Islamic House of Wisdom holds fundraiser, recognizes local leaders
Thursday, 05.02.2013, 07:57pm- Arab American News
DEARBORN HEIGHTS — The Islamic House of Wisdom (IHW) celebrated its semi-annual fundraising dinner last Sunday, before an audience of hundreds of officials, dignitaries, supporters, and community members of different faiths and nationalities, who turned out to support the mosque.
Since its establishment in 1995, the IHW has created a niche for itself in the community through its focus on the spiritual needs of Muslims and reaching out to non-Muslims through awareness and dialogue. The mosque reaches out to political activists and organizations and combats Islamophobia, in an effort to eradicate hate and ignorance against Muslims.
The event program included a recitation of verses from the Holy Quran, special presentations, an awards ceremony, and a highlight of the pro-active programs and services that the IHW has provided to the community over the years.
IHW Spiritual Leader Imam Mohammad Elahi thanked participants for their attendance and reflected on the effective role of the mosque in the community and as a spiritual organization. Following his speech, the IHW board recognized five individuals for their achievements and service to the community.
Dearborn High School student Ollie Ajami was recognized for his athletic and educational achievements. Ajami has accepted a full athletic scholarship to Grand Valley State University, where he will play college football.
The Islamic House of Wisdom honorees pose in the front. Honorees were (From Left to right) Hajji Mariam Ousman, Mr. Harold Samhat, Attorney Abed Hammoud, Dearborn High student Ollie Ajami, and Dr. Tallal Turfe. Dr. Tallal Turfe was recognized for his national and international achievements, including his dedication to unifying the community and his work for peace and justice through his books, numerous lectures and outreach activities.
Attorney Abed Hammoud was recognized for his achievements and contributions to a number of high-level jobs in the area, including his most recent position as an Assistant U.S. Attorney within the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Michigan. He was also recognized for his leadership and his role in establishing several community civil and political organizations, including the Arab American Political Action Committee.
Mr. Harold Samhat was also recognized for his personal achievements and his dedication to the community. He has been a successful businessman and a prominent contributor to the community, as a board member of the Arab American National Museum, for a number of years.
Hajji Mariam Ousman was recognized for her unwavering support to the IHW over the years. She has served the IHW for a number of years and has participated in every capacity to promote the mission of the organization.
Some of the attendees at the event included candidates who are running in local elections this year. Among those present, included Dearborn Heights Mayor Dan Paletko, Dearborn Heights Mayoral candidate Janet Badalow and Dearborn City Council candidates Susan Dabaja, Mike Sareini and Moe Berro.
Dabaja, Sareini, and Berro all expressed a unified message during their address to the attendees, highlighting the importance of getting involved in local elections. Mayor Paletko also encouraged community members to get involved as well and went on to recognize the IHW as a leader in the community through its continued efforts to foster interfaith cooperation and dialogue.
Another speaker at the dinner, Father Jeffrey Day, who was representing the Catholic church, made some important remarks, reflecting on the new Pope and how his appointment sparked peaceful dialouge between Muslims and Christians.
While the IHW has served as a spiritual home to many, it has also provided care to the needy on many occasions, through food assistance, child care, clothing and occasionally cash assistance to those less fortunate. The center also performs funeral and wedding ceremonies and conducts outreach programs, which include the disbursement of books, Qur'ans and gifts to Muslim prisoners.