Download the 2005 Newsletter
MUSLIM WOMEN’S COALITION
Greater Washington, DC Area Office
Volume 4:1 (2005)
This newsletter is dedicated to all those who want to walk in the path of love, peace and hope.
5th Annual Day of Prayers and Talk
A Women’s Interfaith Event.
“Come sit in a circle of LOVE, PEACE and HOPE to create a deep understanding. Bring your “listening ear” your “inner silence” and a willing heart.”
on May 22, 2005 as life emerged with renewed energy around us, Muslim Women's Coalition invited women of different faith traditions
to the event, Day Of Prayers And Talk. This interfaith event is held once a year in an atmosphere of cross-cultural
understanding in a loving approach to develop a deeper understanding between women of different faith traditions without proselytizing.
Our colorful circle of "LOVE, PEACE and HOPE" is interwoven with recitations of scriptures, poems, heartfelt prayers, and
meditation. This year’s event was again dedicated to mothers!
This Day of Prayers and Talk was special because it brought old friends together who wanted
to connect with others to share their prayers and thoughts and to seek inner peace.
As the program proceeded, it started taking on the beautiful colors of a prism.
This Day of Prayers and Talk was special because it brought old friends together who wanted to connect
with others to share their prayers and thoughts and to seek inner peace. As the
program proceeded, it started taking on the beautiful colors of a prism.
of the program:
· Scriptures from different faiths were shared by Nazish Tareen
(Muslim), Judy Wolff (Christain Scientist) and Patricia Morningstar (Buddhist).
· MWC member recited an Urdu poem “Wohi Khuda Hai”/Understanding
· Marwa Azizi, who is from Afghanistan and a poet, read her poetry
“Let me get acquainted with You” both in Farsi and English.
· Connie Ridgway, whom we all love greatly, presented a beautiful
song and invited everyone to join her. She is a talented singer who also sings
for The Washington Revel.
· Lisa Cosgrove led everyone in a group discussion of “What
prayer means to us and what forms of prayer we've found most helpful.”
· It was interesting to hear Laura Ramsey’s talk on Peace,
Love and Hope through the practices of ‘Sabud’.
· Betsy Pugin shared some of her personal thoughts on the topic.
· The great Muslim poet Hadrat Jalaluddin Rumi’s poems from
his Mathnavi were recited by Lida Saideen’s sister in Persian followed by Lida’s translation in English. She also sang Rumi in classical Persian.
· The program was also highlighted by Rukmini’s peaceful
bhajan from her Hindu faith tradition.
· Finally, Colleen Dykema gave a brief biography of Pope John Paul
· The event ended by participants signing the prayer leaf for the
The Prayer Tree
The Prayer Tree is an innovative idea that MWC has started. MWC asked all attendees at the 2005 Day of Prayers and
Talk to write individual prayers on the leaves for its Prayer Tree with their names and affiliation in the hope that it will
grow into a Prayer Tree. The idea was to have everyone commit to upholding love,
hope and peace in their communities. We hope to plant a tree in love for
our world whose branches will reach up lifting hope, so that when people look at it they will gain peace.
Uzma Farooq, the Director of the Greater Washington, DC Area Office, welcomed everyone with the following
“We are so gifted by the presence of our friends in the interfaith community who
seek inner peace and who want to contribute to ideals of inclusiveness and deeper understanding of common human values and
at the same time also who acknowledge our own unique identities whether they are racial, ethnic or faith based.
This year’s theme is based on three very powerful concepts of Love, Peace and Hope
in an effort to make an individual conscious commitment within.
Our world is full of complexities. There is
not one thing but many issues at different levels. There are many injustices
that appear from the base matter/the ego. It is the nature of the materialistic
world that it separates us from the spiritual world. The spirit, or Ruh in Arabic,
yearns to go back to its Source. It is this yearning that keeps us on this path
to the Divine.
In Islamic traditions the faculties of the heart, known as Qalb in Arabic, are higher than
the faculties of the mind. What is amazing is that our heart has the ability
to constantly change like a satellite receiving everything and has the ability to turn away from what is false. But the ego constantly pulls us down with its gravitational pull.
To get away from all this we must refocus and meditate. Meditation helps
us to know more about who we are. The more we know ourselves the more we will
know our Lord.
the example of the process of clarifying butter. When butter is heated to a higher
degree it will settle its heavy ingredients down below and boil the necessary ghee/ or clarified butter to the top, which
is of a different consistency now. This example can be applied to our daily lives. When we face each test we sometimes respond with anger, disappointments or negligence. This great negative energy has the ability to consume our light and leave us depleted,
but we can try to turn the negative energy into a source of fuel for the soul by consciously becoming more patient and persevering
by keeping our faith in God. So with each test we can try to purify ourselves
and replaces the negative thoughts with love.
Planning for the 2005 Sacred Circles Spiritual
2004 MWC Vice President and Director Uzma Farooq was invited by Grace Ogden to join the Sacred Circles (SC) at the Washington
National Cathedral as one of the planners on the SC’s Planning Committee for the 2005 Conference. MWC took an active part in providing the committee with names of spiritual Muslim women to participate
in the conference.
Becoming a Member At-Large in the Arlington
MWC and its members attended monthly Arlington Interfaith Council (AIC)
meetings at different churches. We learned a lot about the wonderful community
in Arlington County and hope to become an active partner in further serving its community.
Uzma Farooq has been a member-at Large for AIC since November, 2005, representing the Muslim Women’s Coalition.
Ramadan Basket Project Update
established an excellent relationship with abused women’s shelters around the Greater Washington, DC Area through programs
such as our Ramadan Basket Project. Every year during the holy month of Ramadan when Muslims fast, MWC reaches out to the
community by creating and donating large gift baskets to area shelters. In 2005 however MWC focused its resources on Pakistani
Earthquake Relief efforts instead of the Ramadan Basket project. During this
time, we still addressed local shelters requests for our help. One shelter, Doorways (http://www.doorwaysva.org/) called us
to reach out to a Muslim sister who had inquiries of places to worship nearby and for other assistance. MWC helped connect
the shelter with an Arab-speaking person who helped the woman in need, in accordance with Doorways guidelines.
Donating Toys to a Local Shelter
In and effort
to bring a smile and joy in lives of many children who reside in abused women’s shelter, MWC donated over 200 toys,
which included educational toys as well as age appropriate toys to the children at Doorways.
INTERNATIONAL RELIEF EFFORTS
|Photo credit- National Geographic - A Muslim woman prays in a refugee camp in Bande Ache
Tsunami Relief in Indonesia
2004, a major earthquake followed by a tsunami hit Asia and Africa, devastating many coastal areas. Almost 200,000 people
in eight countries perished in a few hours, and over 100,000 were reported missing. Many more had their homes and livelihoods
swept away. The coastal areas of Indonesia and Sri Lanka and two Indian island chains bore the brunt of the calamity. They
required significant repair and reconstruction.
head office in New Jersey launched an immediate drive by asking the community at large to collect clothing, food items and
medical supplies so it could be sent to the victims of the devastating tsunami in Indonesia’s Banda Aceh area. The Greater
Washington DC Area office sent out a letter of appeal to all its members and friends as well.
The response was great and over twenty large cartons of clothing were collected, tagged and shipped to New Jersey.
MWC teamed up with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to distribute
the aid accordingly. American Red Crescent managers were in Indonesia at the time the earthquake hit, and immediately surveyed
the areas where the most amount of damage was done. The teams are already in place to distribute your generous donations.
Pakistan Earthquake Relief
On the morning of October
8, 2005, a devastating earthquake (measured at 7.6 on the Richter scale) hit the northern areas of Pakistan. (In the
northern areas of Pakistan lies the most beautiful countryside. The breathtaking view of the valleys and the simple
villages below used to illustrate how people led a very simple life. ) However, on October 8, 2005, when many Muslims
were fasting during Ramadan and many children were on they way to school, their simple lives were turned upside down .
In an instant the beautiful countryside became a victim of one of the most devastating earthquakes that South Asia has experienced
in recorded history. Entire villages and families had been wiped out, with hundreds
of children buried alive in their schools. It was estimated that more than 40,000 people had perished in this earthquake
with millions of people left homeless in the rigid winter temperatures in the North.
In response to this disaster,
Muslim Women’s Coalition members in the Greater Washington DC Area collated their resources to raise $10,000 and through
the head office in New Jersey sent desperately needed medical supplies to the affected regions. MWC appreciates all the generous
effort that went into collecting close to $10, 000 from our friends especially from the Muslims and the interfaith community. MWC thanks the Arlington Interfaith Council’s members and friends in helping
us reach our goal!
|Photo Credit - UN High Commissioner for Refugees - Devastated Girls School in Mansehra (Pakistan)
On March 21st, Fauzia Najm (now Fauzia Rashid), for the second time was endorsed by our office “for continuation
as a member to the Montgomery County Commission For Women.” Fauzia S. Rashid retired in 2001 from a long and distinguished
career with the World Bank where her assignments included developing country strategies on the status of women and the Bank's
strategies for furthering women's agenda. Ms. Rashid's interest in advancing the role of women led her to establish,
with a group of women partners, a K-12 school for girls which has developed, as of today, into a 25-school enterprise
enrolling some 10,000 students in Pakistan. She holds a B.A. in Economics and Statistics from Government College, University
of Punjab, Pakistan, and has lived in Montgomery County since 1982. She is a resident of Chevy Chase.
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Muslim Women's Coalition, (MWC) is a 501(c)3 Organization with Business Identification
Number 0400-0055-65. ã Copyright 2011