In the Media

11/14/08: Muslim center holds singles nights

Muslim center holds singles nights

By Nick Meyer

Friday, 11.14.2008, 08:19pm

Singles nights are events that many different religious institutions hold to give people a chance to meet someone special who shares their beliefs in a positive environment.

But when Kathleen Mary Kalil looked around the Muslim community, she didn't see the same opportunities for people to meet each other. That's why she decided to help create a series of Muslim Singles Meet & Greet events in the metro Detroit area. The next one will take place at 8 p.m. on November 22 at the Islamic House of Wisdom on Ann Arbor Trail in Dearborn Heights.

Kalil partnered with Jennifer Elahi, wife of Islamic House of Wisdom Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi, and Tarek Hassan, an architect and professor at Lawrence Tech, to help create the series of events.

"For a long time we've been reading in the paper about Jewish and Christian communities that do this at their churches, but we don't have anything like it around here, so we thought we might as well give it a try," said Kalil.

Kalil said the goal of the series was to give Muslim singles, especially those who are divorced or widowed, a chance to meet each other in a proper, dignified manner. The response from the community has been overwhelming so far, as people ask Kalil about them all the time.

The first Meet & Greet event, held four months ago, turned out a little differently than Kalil expected, however.

"A lot more men than women showed up at the first one," she said. "But now, we're spreading news around, putting fliers at universities and mosques and businesses as well as getting in the newspaper for more widespread publicity."

The event is open to all Muslims and Kalil says that if the next one is as successful as she hopes, she and the Committee for Muslim Singles' Nights will look into different venues for the future such as other mosques or perhaps Arabic restaurants in the Dearborn area and beyond.

"We hope that it will be a very respectful, dignified way for Muslims to meet each other and then they can take it from there," said Kalil. "They will have the opportunity to talk to each other, trade e-mail addresses or phone numbers, and then see where it goes."

Kalil said it is recommended but not mandatory that women wear a scarf to the event. She plans to hold the events every couple of months depending on how the reaction goes from the public.

Attendees at the November 22 event are asked to bring a $1.00 donation to cover the cost of refreshments. For more information, call Kathy Kalil at 248.563.6740, or send an e-mail to either kkalil@peoplepc.com or Bridgette@wayne.edu.