A SHOW OF ISLAMIC FAITH AND GOODWILL
Members from mosques throughout South Florida came together on April 21 for a celebration that affirmed their pride in being American Muslims and their participation in a nonprofit organization that assists people of all faiths.
About 400 people turned out for the dinner, marking the 10th anniversary of the American Muslim Association of North America.
The event, a fundraiser for the Miami-based group, filled the hall inside the Darul Uloom Institute at 7050 Pines Blvd. in Pembroke Pines.
Organizers received around $32,000 in pledges and donations, said Sofian Abdelaziz Zakkout, director of the American Muslim Association of North America (AMANA).
Proceeds will go to the group's many programs, which seek to build friendships and understanding, Zakkout said.
In South Florida, there are about 70,000 Muslims and 25 Islamic centers. AMANA has about 1,000 members in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, along with countless volunteers from many local mosques. The organization has branches in California Connecticut, Georgia, Michigan and Puerto Rico as well, Zakkout said.
AMANA's projects have been varied, ranging from providing blankets and tents to tsunami victims in Indonesia to collecting food for the victims of Hurricane Wilma in Broward County.
Other outreach efforts include an annual festival with food and music that draws thousands of visitors, Zakkout said. Volunteers also feed the homeless in downtown Miami, provide counseling, and work with many local community organizations, Zakkout said.