Muslim Support Network’s Community Dinner
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali
The Muslim Support Network (MSN) held its annual dinner for seniors on October 7 at the Mehran Restaurant, Newark, CA. The dinner was attended by about 100 seniors and their families.
The program began with the recitation of the Holy Qur’an by Nabil Asif.
Following the recitation Moina Shaiq, President of the MSN, presented a report on the activities of the organization. She informed that despite financial constraints the MSN was able to provide services to the seniors.
At its monthly luncheons, the MSN arranged activities that were beneficial to the seniors. Last year with the help of Alameda County MSN was able to arrange a seven-week workshop on diabetes which is due to be organized this year again.
A well-known activist of the Bay Area and the MSN Outreach Secretary, Abdul Razzak Adenwala, was the MC of the program.
The MSN seized the opportunity to recognize the services of some active senior citizens as well as its volunteers. Certificate of appreciation were given to Asia Iqbal, Farhana, Hameeda Adenwala, Ibrahim Khatri, Mohammad Ziaullah, Nadra, Naheed Haque and Abdus Sattar Ghazali.
The philanthropists who made financial donations to help organize the annual MSN dinner included Aftab Yaqub, Aslam Chandiwala, Elahi Law Firm, Tasadduq Atari and Wzir Mansuri.
A raffle was an interesting feature of the annual dinner. More than a dozen prizes were given by the MSN to encourage the participation of the seniors.
The needs of Muslim elders/seniors are not being adequately met by our community at large as many of the elders were homebound and encountered language as well as cultural barriers, says Zeby Mohsin, Vice President of the MSN. In many cases, the Muslim elders lacked transportation or finances and were suffering from both physical and mental health issues, she added while explaining the objective of forming the MSM in November 2005.
The MSM partnered with the City of Fremont’s Human Services Department (HSD) to create a program where the seniors could come out of their homes to socialize. The MSM also established an educational program to improve their lives. To fulfill its mission, the MSN held its first community meeting for elders late in November of 2006. The organizers were encouraged by the response of the community.
Gradually, the MSN expanded its services and programs to include: (1) Monthly socialization and educational meetings. (2) Escort services to doctor visits. (3) Transportation for elders. (4) Group field trips. (5) Walking partners. (6) Special events such as the EID dinner. (7) Information and referral services. (8) Travel escorts to shopping and other community business, and (9) Book exchanges.
Zeby Mohsin informed the MSN now holds a luncheon gathering on the fourth Monday every month for the seniors to provide them an opportunity to socialize and also educate them on improving their quality of life through various programs. The meeting is held at the Senior Citizens Center, Fremont, CA.
The annual dinner was part of MSN’s mission to provide an opportunity to elders in the Muslim community to socialize and exchange views about common issues and problems.