7th Annual Fundraising Dinner of Al-Shifa Medical and Dental Clinic
By Akhtar Faruqui
Pictures by Anwar Khawaja
The Al-Shifa Medical and Dental Clinic held its 7th Annual Fundraising Dinner in San Bernardino on October 23, 2011.
The large number of speakers, ranging from eminent religious scholars to important state and county officials, testified to the importance that has come to be accorded to the Clinic and its services: Al-Shifa provides free social, medical and dental services to the indigent and needy regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, creed or color.
The emphasis is on service to humanity and respect for humanism.
No wonder, the Clinic’s doctors and volunteers earned a well-meaning compliment from Dr Muzammil Siddiqi, director, Islamic Society of Orange County: “The best people in Islam are those who benefit others, and that is precisely what you are doing.”
Dr Mohammad Aslam, Medical Director and founding member of Al-Shifa, informed the highly appreciative gathering that the Clinic provides “care for everyone” and “most patients treated are non-Muslims.” Last year “we successfully achieved license status. We are part of a community care coalition of San Bernardino County dedicated to develop safety network for specialty services. We are committed to carry our mission forward… We have the will and the commitment of our group of volunteer physicians and dentists that will help us achieve these objectives Insha-Allah,” Dr Aslam stated.
The list of speakers was long and impressive. It included Congressman Joe Baca, Senator Bill Emmerson, Dr Muzammil Siddiqi, Dr Mohammad Aslam, Shams Hasan, Makbul Patel, Ms Nafisa Wadalawala, Hussam Ayloush, Irfan Murtaza, Sahibzada Muzaffaruddin, Shaykh Furhan Zubairi, Dr Mustafa Kuku, Yaser Slayyeh and Sh Allaedine Bakri, with each one unreservedly commending the services of the Clinic.
Shams Hasan, Chairman of the Board of Directors, informed the gathering that the Clinic "opened its doors in March 2000 and since then has been providing much needed services to the indigent population regardless of the patient’s race, religion, ethnicity, creed or color. The services are provided free of charge by our team of Muslim dentists and physicians who take time out from their busy schedule to volunteer for this noble cause.... For the period July 2010 through June 2011, 56 % of the medical patients and 52 % of the dental patients were Hispanic."
Al-Shifa launched its first mobile clinic in October this year "as part of its efforts to reach out to a larger community," Shams Hasan informed.
Ms Nadia Hasan admirably emceed the proceedings. Well-known poet Irfan Murtaza paid a poetical tribute to Al-Shifa and its dedicated team.