CAIR-LA Hosts Valley Banquet Dinner
Almost 250 people turned out for the Council on American-Islamic Relations Greater Los Angeles Area (CAIR-LA) Valley Dinner Banquet on Saturday at the Hilton in Woodland Hills.
The event helped raise funds to support the expansion of CAIR-LA's civil rights and advocacy work in the Valley area.
Themed " Partnership for Change: Amplifying the Voice of Valley Muslims," the banquet featured key activists, religious leaders and mosque representatives in the area who have been dedicated to social and humanitarian causes, and challenging Islamophobia to bring about positive social change in their local and wider communities.
Local activist and Master of Ceremony, Marya Bangee, began the program with opening remarks which were followed by a Qur'anic recitation by Qari Taleb Al-Safi of the Islamic Society of West Valley.
Local leader and long-time CAIR supporter Omar Jubran and Abdullah Jaber, the former Imam of the Islamic Center of Northridge, elaborated on the vision for the future of the American Muslim community and discussed CAIR’s critical role in helping shape a more vibrant and thriving future for Muslims in America.
Attendees also watched video testimonials from Congressman Alan Lowenthal (D-CA 47th District) and Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA 27th District) who congratulated CAIR-LA on their many years of service and commitment to upholding equality for all communities.
CAIR-LA’s New Outreach Manager for the Los Angeles and Valley areas, Syed Hussaini, shared his excitement in his new role to work with CAIR-LA’s partners in the Valley area to bring the resources and services of CAIR to that area in an effort to develop, empower and strengthen the voice of Valley Muslims.
Attendees also heard high school senior Fatma Abdelrahman from Clark Magnet H.S., who was presented with the “Champion of Social Justice” award for her dedication to help the homeless and hungry in Los Angeles by raising funds, buying food, preparing meals and hygiene kits and distributing them to those in need.
Following the award, Imam Ahmed Patel of the Islamic Center of Conejo Valley talked about the value of reaching out to other interfaith communities to build bridges not only to gain their friendship and support in times of need, but to also be an asset in the greater interfaith community and be a resource to them when they are in need.
Also in the evening, Executive Director Hussam Ayloush expounded on the importance of CAIR's work in protecting civil liberties, challenging bigotry, and enhancing the understanding of Islam in America.
Lastly, Imam Siraj Wahhaj, religious director of At-Taqwa Mosque in New York, delivered an earnest keynote address in which he underscored the value of CAIR's work in empowering American Muslims and inspired them to continue to support civil rights advocacy work financially and with their time and prayers.
CAIR-LA is very excited to have the support of Valley Muslims and is looking forward to expanding its services and programs to the Valley area.