The Youth Leadership program hosted its 9th Annual MLK Day “Feed Your Neighbor” event at the Beacon of Light Center (BOL) at Masjid Al Islam in downtown Dallas. The event brought together approximately 60 volunteers from TMWF youth and other organizations including, the Islamic Circle of North America, Islamic Relief USA, Brighter Horizons Academy, and the Flower Mound United Methodist Church. Thank you to all our volunteers who donated the food, supplies, and clothing.
In keeping with Dr. King’s legacy of service and promotion of the brotherhood of humanity, volunteers were moved by their experience. Irene Muturi, a friend of one of the TMWF families, was delighted to see youth coming in the morning on a school holiday to help others. “Hopefully I can continue helping this community regardless of the event…[This should not be] just a one day thing…[there’s an] ongoing need. Being with people of other faiths speaks to what MLK Day is all about: doing good and coming together of people of other faiths.”
TMWF youth, Anushe Sheikh, was surprised by the response of the needy who came, “I really like how polite and happy they are, despite their situation.” Yasmin Zeidan, a Brighter Horizons Academy (BHA) youth, felt that, “It was a great opportunity to see the community that we don’t usually see and a great opportunity to give back.” Her BHA school-mates, echoed her feelings, including Hana Awad, “To be honest I was going to stay home sleeping, but I’m so glad I came. Once I saw all their smiles it was all worth it.”
Other youth, such as Adam al-Asad, were contemplative. He wanted to tell others who might not have been able to volunteer on this day, “If you can’t feed a hundred people then just feed one.” Also, Amal Al-Hafi, who hadn’t volunteered at the Beacon of Light before, was profoundly touched by the experience. She reflected, “Giving back to the community is a gift to yourself.”
TMWF is grateful to the administration of BOL for opening up their facility to the youth volunteers. Sister Khadijeh Abdullah, the coordinator of the Health and Human Services of BOL expanded on their various services. Feeding programs from farmers’ market harvest projects and local restaurants help provide fresh produce for volunteers to cook at their facility, supplemented with frozen foods. Breakfasts are offered every weekend via various sponsors.
The BOL houses a donation room where volunteers can put together various hygiene and food kits. Food kits for the homeless are single use, including water, crackers, tea, candy, etc. Family pantry plus kits for needy families include oil, rice, and flour. The facility also has a reading and respite area with pencils, pens, paper, puzzle books, general books, magazines, games, and a microwave and popcorn. Through generous donations of large screen TVs and laptops they offer movie nights and computer classes. Cell phones are also available for usage in their facility.
Sister Khadijeh welcomes anyone who wants to come and help on Saturday mornings, from 9 am to noon. There are lockers for volunteers, a large kitchen area for food preparation and storage, and bathrooms. Sister Khadijeh concludes, “We are trying to make it a comforting and calming place.”
More information at http://www.masjidalislam.org/.
Reflecting on 2016, the year brought great highlights for TMWF, as well as difficult and sad times. My prayers are that 2017 and the coming years bring peace, goodwill, and compassion to all.
We continued to have our doors open to all our brothers and sisters, from all faiths and communities, from all over the country, and even from across the oceans. Victims of domestic violence (DV) with unique cultural and spiritual needs found an oasis of peace in our services and our compassionate, dedicated, and committed counselors, case managers, and attorneys. Victims moved out of the trauma and abyss of DV abuse, into a hope filled independent state, standing firm on their own two feet, working, learning, and knowing how to provide for themselves and their children. Our qualified counselors helped children who had experienced or witnessed the trauma of abuse to transition from a constant state of fear, anxiety, anger, and destructive tendencies to a calm, cooperative and more receptive state, open to healing, growth, learning and cooperation.
Our caring staff, generous community, and partnering organizations ensured that the needy and DV victims received shelter, housing, food, clothing, backpacks, furniture, cars, financial education, scholarships for continuing education, and most importantly the confidence to recognize their own worth.
A huge salute to TMWF’s generous, compassionate partner organizations and individuals. TMWF received grants from the Dallas Women’s Foundation, Harold Simmons Foundation, Liberty Mutual, Catchafire, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, City of McKinney, City of Frisco, City of Plano, City of Richardson, Texas Department of Health and Human Services, the Criminal Justice Division of the Texas Office of the Governor, US Dept. Health and Human Services-Family and Youth Services Bureau.
We partnered with New Hope Ministries (to furnish clients’ apartments), North Texas Food Bank, Hope Supply Co., Baitulmaal, ICNA, ICNA Sisters’, local mosques, (including IACC, IAC, MIA, EPIC, IANT, ICI, and ICA, which provided toiletries, diapers, cleaning supplies, clothing, and financial aid), Bank of America and BB&T’s compassionate staff (providing financial literacy training for clients), Tabani Family Foundation (providing transitional housing), Qaiser Jahan Najmi Memorial Fund, The WAQF Group (providing rent and help where it is most needed), and Rasheed Family Foundation (providing scholarships in the health profession).
Our financials have been audited annually by an outside agency since 2009, with minimal to no recommendations, and thus indicating their stamp of approval of our financial practices. Such positive audits highlight our meticulous financial maintenance and transparency.
Along with our celebration of our cumulative successes we also experienced tremendous heart aches with the huge tragedies in the loss of three wonderful ladies in our community to domestic abuse. These tragedies increased our educational efforts to raise awareness about DV. Again, we reached out to our wonderful imams during our two annual awareness campaigns which take place during the month of Ramadan (this year in June) and during October, the National DV Awareness Month. Imams devoted many khutbahs (sermons) and provided resources for services during those campaigns as well as throughout the year. Not only did local imams participate, but Imams who had partnered with TMWF in the past, but now reside in different cities or states, also participated in this effort to educate our communities about peaceful relationships in the home and within the community at large.
Other highlights included:
• Engaged the youth in DV awareness through many speaking engagements with CCCFV, MAS, PHI Alpha Gamma, SMU MSA
• Attended or spoke at national conferences/workshops: NNEDV in Atlanta, United States of Women’s Conference in Washington, DC
Outreach and Education
• Interfaith efforts in the 2nd Community at Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, First United Methodist Church in Plano, and the Faith Club
• Educational speakers at our Ladies Only Monthly Luncheons and Radio Azad
• Youth hosting their own topics on Radio Azad
• The Islamic Arts Revival Series 5th Annual Juried International Exhibition of Islamic Art at Irving Arts Center and the awesome group of artists and speakers who participated
Since the beginning of the TMWF Youth Leadership Program in 2007, over 500 youth have shown great leadership and community service. The Youth Program is preparing the future generation of committed civically and socially engaged leaders, which is made evident in this testimonial from our youth alum, Hanan Hassan:
“I used to volunteer with TMWF in high school. In the beginning, it started as an organized way for me to gain community service hours for my extracurricular activity commitments, such as the National Honors Society. However, over time I began to form friendships with the other members of the youth group, saw mentorship in the TMWF leaders, and gained knowledge in a variety of areas that would be beneficial in the years to come. I learned about various societal issues (i.e. homelessness, unemployment, domestic violence, and mental health) and how they impact my neighbors, brothers and sisters in Islam, and the greater population. I learned about team building, community partnerships, and interfaith collaboration for the purpose of combating these issues. I learned about what it means to give up my time to help those in need and rewarding it can be. I learned that regardless of socioeconomic status, race, religion, gender, or situation, we are equal and anyone may just need a hand at a certain point in life.
All of these teachings benefited me tremendously as I went on to college at Southern Methodist University. Throughout my undergraduate career, I served on the board of the Muslim Students Association, founded and served as president of the Habesha Collegiate Students Network, and co-founded and served as president of Women in Business at SMU. I also regularly volunteered at the I Have a Dream Foundation in Dallas. Volunteering in high school with TMWF, gave me the leadership skills necessary to do all of these things. It also made community engagement and giving back a regular accept of my life, something that no longer felt like a commitment. In May, I graduated with a master’s degree in accounting from SMU’s Cox School of Business. Today, I am living in New York, working for a Big Four accounting firm, in M&A transactions.”
We are thankful to you for helping us get this far in our services. We are extremely proud of the work that has been done and the accomplishments that have been made; the kind of work is stellar, and the impact on people’s lives is significant. Please continue your support and donations. TMWF is a unique organization that has given a voice to Muslim women and their families in all walks of life and through all venues. Every dollar you donate will be stretched to the maximum limit and will ensure that TMWF continues to be the “oasis of peace” for our community and society.
Thank you for being a #PeaceChampion. We look forward to your support in 2017.
Hind Jarrah, Ph.D.
By: Nagia E. Moharram, TMWF Communications
At TMWF social services, Jameela Tifla1 provides play therapy to children, adolescents, and adults. Ms. Tifla, a Texas Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), who specializes in play therapy, explains the effectiveness of her counseling services.
With children, ages 3 to 12 years, Ms. Tifla uses child-centered play therapy. She explains, “[For children] play therapy is what talk therapy is to adults. Play is their natural language …[and is] innate to them…. [Through play] they learn about themselves …[and] about the world…[and] make sense of the world. It’s just the most natural process for them.” During the play therapy sessions, toys become a child’s words and play becomes the child’s language.
The toys in her playroom can be found in any home, but Ms. Tifla specifically choses them for their therapeutic value. The toys are of different categories: aggression (a sword, hand cuffs, a dart gun, a drum), nurture (a baby doll, stuffed animals), pretend (dolls, a doll-house, kitchen, puppet theater), mastery (puzzles, blocks, cards), dress-up (clothes), expression (art, musical instruments), and so on. The different categories allow children to express themselves in different ways.
The child begins by exploring the playroom, but eventually chooses certain toys; slowly a theme emerges in his play, which depicts what he is experiencing in his life.2 Ms. Tifla does not correct the child, nor direct his play, but she trusts that that the child will take the therapist where the child needs to go, in terms of their processing their trauma.
One key component of play therapy is the genuine relationship between the therapist and the child, where the child feels comfortable enough to trust the therapist. The therapist is supportive, non-judgmental, fully present, and supports the child by reflecting on the child’s feelings. For example, the child might bang on the ground the aggression toy sword. Ms. Tifla’s reflective response might be, “Johnny, you are really angry. You feel like hitting that on the ground.” She reflects by providing words to the feelings exhibited in his actions.
The therapist’s reflection does two things. First, it validates the child’s feelings; second, the therapist is giving the child the words to express those feelings in an appropriate way. Children may not have the cognitive ability to express themselves, especially when they have experienced trauma.
Although the play in the playroom is unstructured, the therapist does impose some limits. If a child is trying to hurt himself or the therapist, or tries to break something, Ms. Tifla uses what is called, “therapeutic limit setting.”
The acronym for those limits is, ACT, where:
Using the previous example, if “Johnny” were to use the sword to try to hurt Ms. Tifla, she would say, “You are so angry at me that you are wanting to hurt me, but I am not for hitting. You can pretend that inflatable Bobo Doll (a large inflatable doll in the shape of a punching bag) is me, and you can hit that instead.” By using the therapeutic limit setting, Ms. Tifla has, “A,” acknowledged the child’s feelings (anger, in this case); “C,” communicated the limit on his actions that it is not ok to hurt someone (“I am not for hurting”); and “T,” targeted an alternative way of for the child to express his feelings that is not harmful (letting his anger find expression in the punching of an inflatable toy).
Using ACT therapeutic limit setting highlights to the child that all feelings are ok, but all behaviors are not. Such limits help children distinguish between healthy ways of coping and expressing their anger in unhealthy ways. Ms. Tifla emphasizes, “We don’t want to keep the child from expressing [his] feelings, …whatever the feeling is, those feelings are ok and it’s ok to express them, but it’s important for the child to learn how to express them in a safe way, in a safe place, without hurting himself, hurting someone else, or breaking something. Here [in the playroom] he is allowed to feel, but limits are put in place…[and he is given] an alternative way to express himself.”
The entire playroom is available for that unstructured play which gives the child a sense of having control over what he wants to do and how he wants to do it, within therapeutic limits. The child has control inside the playroom that he may not have in his life outside the playroom. If, for example, there occurred a traumatic catastrophe, such as a flood, where the child might have lost his home, he would have had no control over that event. The playroom offers the child a place to regain some control over his life, which is therapeutically empowering.
Eventually, what the child learns in the playroom, he applies outside the playroom. For example, the mastery category of toys, which allow children to win a game, build something, or become competent at something, gives the child a sense of having control. The mastery and achievement they experience gradually builds their self-esteem. Ms. Tifla might reflect that achievement of mastery, “You made that, and you’re so proud of yourself.” She explains, “Being able to build that self-esteem through these activities, helps transfer that same built up self-esteem outside of the playroom…. Every time I am reflecting, I am building up the child’s self-esteem.”
Ms. Tifla emphasizes that play therapy is a slow process. It takes time for a child to build enough trust in the therapist to play out a meaningful life event and allow himself to expose his feelings in the playroom. There isn’t one pivotal point were the child has instantly healed. Rather, the child has various contemplative experiences through his play guided by the therapist’s reflections. Every child is different and they each go through various stages in the playroom. Multiple play therapy sessions are needed for the child’s realizations to add up to healing and the success of the therapy. Ms. Tifla urges parents to bring in their child on a consistent basis, because consistency is what allows for better outcomes.
Sand Tray Therapy
With clients that are older children, adolescents, or adults, Ms. Tifla uses another form of play therapy, called sand tray therapy. Because play therapy is very much about developmentally appropriate practices, sand tray therapy is used with her older age clients who can benefit from the more structured form of therapy. Like the playroom, the sand tray toys also have categories. In sand tray therapy, the therapist will give a prompt. For example, Ms. Tifla might ask the client to create a scene of what he’s feeling that day, or a scene of his current life. Once her client has created the scene, he and Ms. Tifla process it together. The client will talk about why he picked what he picked and what it means to him. Ms. Tifla explains, “A lot of times, when doing the sand tray, it’s like looking at yourself or your life outside of yourself. It’s almost like an out of body experience. It makes the experience really real for them. ‘This is my life; this is how it is; or this is how I want it to be.’”
Some clients on their own will create two sections in the sand tray: “This is how I want my life to be, and this is what my life is right now.” Ms. Tifla might ask the client to use the sand tray to make a day in his future, to encourage goal setting. The therapist processes the scene with the client to help him find ways to cope with the experience in the scene he has created. For example, if the client has created a bullying scene depicting him surrounded by several other children, the therapist might ask, “Well, what do you think you need right now to feel safe?” He might pick out a play figure that he feels will make him feel safe, perhaps a figure that symbolizes his teacher. And then he might say, “If the teacher were next to me, I would feel safe.” In the moment of processing, the client is coming up with a resolution, “This is what I can do,” which provides him with a sense of control, of knowing what to do next time.
Through the processing of the sand tray scenario, the client becomes empowered to express himself and has his feelings validated (he was scared); also he feels safe by finding a resolution and having a plan for next time [seek out the teacher]. Ms. Tifla explains, “Even being able to feel a feeling and express it, is half the battle. And someone listening, not expressing, just listening and validating that feeling is so therapeutic.”
She explains that children have to rely on their adult care-givers at home, siblings, classmates, teachers, or counselors to validate their feelings. But if their life’s circumstances do not provide them with anyone other than their play therapist to listen to their fears and concerns, then their relationship with the therapist becomes very important. The sand tray is a very powerful medium in therapy to allow the client to work things out.
Child Parent Relationship Training
With children under the age of three, Ms. Tifla uses Child Parent Relationship Training, (CPRT) which is based on a ten-session curriculum. She explains, “CPRT is basically coaching parents in some very basic play therapy skills that I use in the playroom, to allow them to be agents of change in their children’s lives.” Parents are coached in basic play therapy skills and helped to choose specific, simple, affordable toys (that can be bought at the dollar store) to create their own toy box at home.
Parents are asked to have a 30-minute play session once a week with their child, during which they are required to be fully present with their child. Being fully present means that any distractions are put away. Cell phones must be put away; TV’s must be turned off; and any other children must be looked after by the other parent or another care-giver. The play session must be a specific designated time for one parent to be alone with the child in play therapy for 30 minutes.
Parents are coached in basic reflection skills. Ms. Tifla tells parents to allow children to play without intervention or correction, while keeping the ACT therapeutic limits in place. Parents find it difficult initially, but they slowly get used to letting the child be. Ms. Tifla suggests, “Play dumb. If your child says, ‘Can you open this for me?’ or ‘Can you do this for me?’ Reflect, ‘Oh you’d like for me to help you.’ If it truly is a hard thing to do, say, ‘Let’s figure this out together.’” She continues, “And if it’s hard to open, twist it open a tiny bit, and ‘hmm why don’t you try this again.’ And then the child might open it by themselves, and then the child might say, ‘I did it!’” She explains to parents that by allowing the child to figure things out, the parent is helping their child with mastery, which strengthens the child’s self-esteem.
The two things CPRT hopes to achieve is strengthening the parent child bond and helping the parent understand the child in a different and better light. The therapeutic limit setting, ACT, helps the process along. Eventually, the 30-minute play session and the ACT limits transition into their daily lives as common behavior. Positive changes slowly emerge. CPRT works when the parent is stable enough to be the child’s anchor and agent of change. If parents aren’t stable, and do not feel that they can be fully present, Ms. Tifla encourages them to take care of themselves first, acknowledging the importance of parents to take care of their own needs. However, Ms. Tifla continues to work with the child and allows the parents to participate in whatever capacity they can offer. “I work with them where they are.”
1 Name changed for privacy
2 The male pronoun “he/his” is used generically only for clarity in the text to distinguish between the therapist, who is female, and her client. Ms. Tifla helps both male and female clients.
We would like to extend heartfelt well wishes and prayers for our brothers and sisters celebrating their major holy seasons during December. We hope that you will experience happiness, health and good friendship within your communities and within this whole nation. We pray that the alienation, negativity, resentment and fear of the “other” will be replaced with the spirit that ALL faiths emphasize – the spirit of compassion, hospitality and good will to one and to all.
We would like to express our sincere appreciation to all our friends and supporters for enabling us to continue being the “voice for the voiceless” – please see the feature on TMWF “Out of the Shadows” Plano Profile December 2016 (page 42-45), and the article featuring IARS in the Arts Link Magazine (pages 20-21), and the youth leadership empowerment organization (since 2007, our youth program has empowered approximately 500 young Muslim boys and girls in high school and college. The program has enabled them to serve their community in senior homes, hospitals, soup kitchens, in homeless services, and these young men and women have continued their undergraduate and graduate education in business, law, health professions, premed, and they are continuing to give back to society.
We continue to build friendships in our interfaith and outreach program, (please see the Shoulder To Shoulder program at Frisco Mosque) on November 2, 2016. We are really the symbol for what was stated recently “The Muslim community has the lowest crime rate, the highest entrepreneurship, the highest educational attainment for women in the country. They are the model American community.” Van Jones on CNN via Zainab Chaudry.
And yet, this year has also brought major heartaches with the senseless murders of three members of our community. We are doing everything in our power to educate about Domestic Abuse, and have provided workshops for the community, the youth and mainstream audiences. We continue to provide shelter for women and children who are suffering, and yet each month we turn away at least 40 women requesting shelter because we do not have any vacancy for them in our Peaceful Oasis Shelter – that is almost 377 victims to date this year!
Brothers and Sisters, we need your financial support to meet all the needs for shelter. We have used your tax and fitra money in the amount of $50,000 to pay for rent, utilities, medications, and registration fees.
Please make your end of year tax-deductible donation to TMWF and save lives.
Thank you for being a #PeaceChampion.
Hind Jarrah, Ph.D.
The months leading up to and after the U.S. Presidential Elections have left me with mixed emotions. I have been stunned and confused by the divisive speech and hate crimes being perpetuated and even endorsed by many in power, not only in my beloved U.S., but also world-wide. The cry of the not so distant past, “Never again!” fades with every seething fear monger’s pen and every hate filled fist pounding a pulpit for more death and destruction of the “other.” The louder voice calls, “You are either with us, or you’re against us!”
I cry, “Where is my beloved America headed? How is it that this land is more your land, than it is mine?” I’ve grown up here and interacted with so many different ethnicities, and that’s the very thing that has made me love my country: it’s tenacious hold on the belief that, “We are all created equal.” That’s why I am proud to be an American. I have been aware of the power-hungry in other parts of the world, where the 1% rule without regard for the suffering masses. But that’s not how it’s supposed to be here! The U.S. should be leading the way as the model for the rest of the planet. We should be seeing the humanity in each and every person, and in that we are stronger working together, for everyone’s well being, not just a randomly selected few.
While, I have been disheartened by what I have seen around me. I have also seen signs of hope. Americans who may not have been talking before to each other, are trying to have conversations, even if they begin as stilted ones. Americans who have been active for years trying to promote inclusivity, are ramping up their efforts with an infusion of new colleagues who may have been previously only inactive well-wishers. Americans are reaching out to ask their fellow Americans, “Hey, are you ok?”, and the answer is “Yes, thanks for asking, how about you?”
After the elections, I was concerned about attending my local mosque having learned of the rise of Islamophobia leading an increase in threats and hate crimes against law abiding, peaceful American Muslims. But I was very pleasantly surprised as I drove up to the first Friday prayers after the election. I found a small crowd of different ages of well-wishers of other faiths holding up signs of friendship to greet all the Muslim congregants as they drove into the parking lot of their mosque for the regular Friday sermon. Some of the signs read, “You are not alone,” “We stand with you, together,” “I love our Muslim friends,” and “Y’all means ALL!”
I waved at these dear strangers and mouthed, “Thank you!”, as I dropped my husband off at the mosque parking lot. I decided not to attend the sermon, so that I could show these kind folks how much my community and I appreciated them. I drove quickly to get them some flowers from a nearby grocery store. When I came back to hand them each a rose, I only caught a few of the sign holders as they were just dissipating. I managed to find out that they were actually strangers to each other as well, not affiliated with any organization. They happened to have shared similar ideas and connected on the Internet. Just strangers getting together to tell other strangers, “You’re welcome here.”
Meanwhile, my husband told me that inside the mosque the imam acknowledged these sign holders and their random act of kindness. He said their presence were signs of hope sent from God. May God continue to bless America.
– By Nagia E. Moharram
From Hind Jarrah, Ph.D., Executive Director:
“One more domestic violence tragedy”
One more tragedy of domestic violence (DV) occurred on October 23, 2016, in Richardson, Texas. The victim, Hanan Seid was a young mother of two children, a 3 year old and an 18 month old. She was gunned down by her estranged husband, after having moved out for her and her children’s safety.
I would like to express my utmost appreciation to our Imams who made sure to dedicate their Friday Khutbahs (sermons) to domestic violence during Domestic Violence Awareness month in October. Imam Nadim Bashir of EPIC, Imam Zia-ul Haque of Irving, Imam Yaser Birjas and Omar Suleiman of Valley Ranch, Imam of Islamic Association of Collin County, including Imam Yaseen Shaikh in Maryland, all raised their voices and condemned domestic abuse, and yet the murders continue.
As part of our awareness campaign, we interviewed Mufti Mohamed Umer Esmail from the Nueces Mosque in Austin, Texas. He highlighted their efforts in educating and supporting the Austin community, regarding the importance of peaceful relationships within a family and among men and women as well as the need to emphasize the equality of men and women as stated in the Holy Quran. Read more.
This year alone TMWF has served …
So what should be done?
Within the Mosques:
In the Communities At Large
We at TMWF are doing our best to address this issue, through a very thorough and focused comprehensive approach: both by serving the victims, and also by actively raising awareness. But we cannot do this alone. Saving lives and strengthening families requires the efforts of the entire community. Please join us, learn to recognize the red flags, know the resources available, be generous in your donations of funds, time, and expertise. Let’s work together to become a community of agents of change and of peace champions. Below are some of the resources available for educators and survivors:
Lastly, I would like to request everyone to exercise their right and sacred duty to elect the next President of this great country. Please click here to find your polling locations, and encourage all your friends to vote, too.
Thank you for being a #PeaceChampion.
Hind Jarrah, Ph.D.
Sadly, Governor Abbot has decided to withdraw Texas from the Federal Refugee Resettlement Program.
We at TMWF join refugee resettlement agencies and faith communities in objecting to Governor Abbott’s Decision.
Our agency and many others support re-settlement of Syrian refugees. It is to our advantage to welcome refugees. They are not a burden nor are they taking away jobs. On the contrary, they make significant contributions for the betterment of our society.
We believe that The United States of America is a nation of immigrants and refugees who came to this country seeking a better life. It’s interesting when reviewing the names of prominent refugees worldwide and nationwide to see a long list including co-founder and former CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs, and founder of Kinko’s, Paul Orfalea. Simply Googling names of important refugees and immigrants reveals names like Albert Einstein, Steve Forbes, Yo-Yo Ma, and Khalil Gibran among others.
Bill Holston, Executive Director of Human Rights Initiative in response to this decision by the governor sent this appeal to his church:
“On September 21, Governor Abbott declared his intention for our state to withdraw from the Refugee Resettlement Program. Refugees are people who have a well-founded fear of persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or social group. Texas has led the nation in resettling those who have fled war torture and abuse.
This decision to withdraw from the Refugee Resettlement Program is wrong for many reasons.
First, it violates scripture. Among other places, Scripture records in Deuteronomy: 17 For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. 18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. 19 And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.
Second, it violates Methodist teaching. Our Bishops have said in response:
As Christians and as Texans our values are grounded in respect and hospitality toward newcomers. Those values lead us to welcome refugees to our state. We recognize that these are difficult and complex times but as Christians, we rely on Jesus Christ to overcome our fear of those who may be different.
So, please let the Governor know you disapprove of his decision as well as the hateful language that has been used in connection with demonizing those whose only action is fleeing war and chaos to seek refuge.”
Urgent Take Action Alert
Please call the Governor’s office: 512-463-1782 and use the sample script below:
“Texas has a proud history of helping refugees. We cannot turn our backs on families who are seeking refuge and a chance to rebuild their lives in peace. That is not who we are as Texans. I am extremely disappointed by the Governor’s decision and I will continue to support refugee resettlement in Texas.
Texas has the largest resettlement program in the country and has been successfully welcoming refugees for over 40 years. Despite the Governor’s decision, Texans will continue to welcome and serve refugees. Local charitable organizations will step up and take on the role of coordinating resettlement services.
The Governor’s decision goes against the overwhelmingly welcoming spirit from faith and community partners across Texas and around the country. Every day we see Texans practicing their commitment to courage and hospitality by welcoming refugee families.
The United States has the most stringent security screening process in the world. Refugees who come to our state want nothing more than to work hard, send their children to school, and build new lives in safety. We cannot allow our state to abandon families who have already gone through so much. That’s not who we are as Texans.
We are extremely disappointed by the Governor’s decision and we are determined to continue supporting the refugee resettlement program in Texas.”
This is a critical time to show your support for refugees. Every action counts. Make your voice heard today!
Your voice can also make a difference in the upcoming national elections. Please take advantage of this great right and go out and vote. I strongly encourage you to educate yourself on the issues and the platform of every candidate before you cast your vote.
On Sept. 17, 2016, at the multi-purpose hall of the Islamic Association of North Texas (IANT), TMWF in partnership with the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) hosted an orientation workshop for newly arrived Syrian refugee families to familiarize them with their new home in the USA. The workshop was extremely well attended, with close to 80 attendees.
The host agencies aim was to make the new arriving families aware of important facts pertaining to their children, including parent children interactions, safety, Internet security, law requirements for driving, school attendance, etc.
The host agencies aim was to form long time relations with these families, setting up mentoring programs for them with current resident families who can “adopt” them and help them transition smoothly into the new culture and the new country.
If you are interested in volunteering for this program, please send in your contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On a related note, Barbara Whitesides, author of the Arabic alphabet book, Sugar Comes from Arabic, read about TMWF’s workshop and graciously donated 5 copies of her book, to mentor families trying to communicate with their Syrian families.
What a kind and helpful gesture! Thank you, Ms. Whitesides! Both non-Arabic and Arabic speakers can learn simple basics about both English and Arabic, so they can begin their language studies to better communicate with one another.
What is Domestic Violence Awareness Month?
Every October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) is observed to bring to light an issue that effects our community in a staggering way. DVAM is an opportunity for domestic violence organizations like TMWF, to connect with the community through meaningful outreach and awareness raising events.
Our “Peace in the Home” program has helped families to survive the trauma of abuse and achieve well-being, such as Uma and her family. Uma’s story below is just one instance where YOUR belief in our mission has made a life-changing difference.
#TakeaStand. Together we can stop this epidemic.
Talk about domestic violence and help us fight the cycle of abuse!
Victims of domestic violence like Uma live in constant fear. They feel the abuse is their fault and often times try to either minimize, or take responsibility for the abuser’s behavior. For victims of domestic violence home becomes a walk in a field of land mines – a place of constant terror.
Domestic violence at home also robs children of their childhood! Children are impacted by abuse sometimes even more than the victim. A child does not need to be directly abused or witness abuse to suffer its consequences; if abuse happens in the home, they know and are impacted for life. More.
YOUR contributions make it possible for us to provide 24-hour emergency shelter, 24-hour hotline, case management, legal representation as well as counseling for the victims and their children.
Everyone has a role to play in building a safer Texas. There are many ways you can show your support for family violence victims and survivors, and help create communities free from violence (tcfv.org).
Thank you for your generous donation to Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation on North Texas Giving Day 2016. The results are in!
We are humbled and honored by your continued support to fulfill our mission to empower, promote and support all women and their families.
TMWF uses your valuable contributions in the most effective way possible to bring renewed hope for the community’s most vulnerable members; promise of a brighter future for our youth; and education to build a stronger community.
Dear TMWF Friends and Supporters,
From the Executive Director:
“September: A Month of Remembrance, Celebration and Coming Together Emphasizing Our Common Bonds of Compassion, Kindness and Mutual Respect”
In contemplating the coming month’s events, I am deeply moved by their tremendous significance, locally, nationally, and internationally. September is an extremely busy month for TMWF, as you will see in this newsletter. Please join us for the wonderful programs, events, and presentations, which you will find extremely informative and relevant to ensuring a society of compassion, care, and positive social change.
I. September 5, 2016, Labor Day was a celebration of all the workers who contribute their expertise and knowledge to help society function smoothly.
II. September 11, 2016, is the remembrance of the tragic events of 9-11-2001, which changed history for us here as well as the whole world. We make sincere prayers for the families of the victims and all people in the world to live together in peace, harmony, and good will.
III. This year September 11, 2016, coincides with The Day of Arafah on the Islamic lunar calendar. The Day of Arafah is the final day of the annual Muslim Pilgrimage to Mecca, the Hajj. September 12, 2016 coincides with the celebration that culminates the ending of the Hajj, called Eid al Adha, known as the Festival of Sacrifice (celebrated for four days). These holy days will be observed by about three million pilgrims while they fulfill the fifth obligatory Tenant of Islam, the Hajj, as well as the rest of the 1.6 billion Muslims all over the world. During this major observance, Muslims are paying tribute and enacting the story of Abraham-the patriarch of prophets and messengers for Jews, Christians, and Muslims-therefore emphasizing that the essence of these three major world religions is the same.
I cannot help noting that the Day of Arafah this year is falling on September 11. Three million pilgrims will gather on the small hilltop called Arafah (Arabic for “to recognize”) in Mecca, where tradition claims that this is where Adam reunited with Eve after they descended from Heaven! It is such a sobering reminder that all of humanity are children of one couple, and all are brothers and sisters and cousins of one another, with common bonds uniting them together, irrespective of their different faiths, denominations, genders, ages, languages, customs, and economic statuses. While the Muslim pilgrims are on Mount Arafah (September 11, 2016), dressed in the simplest of outfits, they are indistinguishable from one another in their observance of the ritual. They all are actually rehearsing how all of humanity will be resurrected on the Day of Judgement, and will be standing before the ultimate and just Creator, with only their deeds and actions to speak for them!
As a Muslim, I feel that we are sending a message to our brothers and sisters in humanity, that should also be the most eloquent response to Islamophobes and hate-mongers, who are trying to separate God’s creation into ‘them’ and ‘us’, and turning races and faiths against one another: On this September 11, 2016, all Muslims worldwide will stand together as one compassionate caring human community, exchanging good wishes of peace together, and donating generously to feed and help those less fortunate, while following the example of Abraham-the father of all the monotheistic messengers-unified in their humanity and humility.
“Eid Mubarak” to all our Muslim brothers and sisters here in North Texas and to the 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide for the great celebration of Eid-ul-Adha-the major Feast of Sacrifice.
IV. September 17, 2016, is the official opening of the Islamic Art Revival Series 5th Annual International Juried Exhibition at the Irving Arts Center. This event also highlights our shared humanity as it uses the universal language of art to communicate to all world cultures. Artists from different countries will present their talent and show the expansive influence of Islamic art on a large range of cultures resulting in a unique as well as inclusive whole.
V. September 22, 2016, North Texas Giving Day is another great day witnessing the bond among ALL people in support of charities benefitting different causes and needs. In fact, it is a miniature replication of Muslim giving during Eid-ul-Adha! Last year North Texas Giving Day raised $33 million through more than 118,000 gifts benefiting 2,020 nonprofits. Can you imagine what 1.6 billion Muslims giving on any Eid can amount to and how many people can benefit?
VI. September 24, 2016, is Muslim Day of Dignity where all Muslim charities come together to feed the homeless in South Dallas, and when TMWF will be sponsoring a workshop on “Establishing Peaceful Families” at EPIC Mosque in Plano.
My dear TMWF friends, members, staff, donors, I am inviting you all to join us at the upcoming celebrations, remembrances, and charitable giving to spread good will and compassion among all our brothers and sisters in North Texas.
I’m also asking for your sincere and heartfelt prayers for our loved ones experiencing very serious challenges to their health and emotional, economic, and physical well-being. May God bestow infinite blessings of healing and stability in their lives!
Why should you give on North Texas Giving Day?
Your support of TMWF’s various programs makes a difference in so many ways. When you:
We encourage you to give generously to TMWF and other charities of your choice on North Texas Giving Day. Donations that range between $25 to $50,000 will be multiplied by $2.5 million in bonus funds and prizes, which increases the value of the donation!
By giving during North Texas Giving Day, you show the care and compassion of the Muslim community.
Mark your calendars and be part of the excitement and incredible generosity!
TMWF services also include:
HELP IS AVAILABLE!! Please reach out for help if you or someone you know needs help.
Zika Repellent Update: Materials Now Available
With the rise of the Zika Virus outbreak, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is sharing information to help prevent the spread of the Zika Virus in Texas. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) issued a press release confirming that Healthy Texas Women and Texas Medicaid will cover the cost of mosquito repellent for women who are between the ages of 10 and 45 or pregnant.
DSHS has developed materials, including a digital information toolkit with newsletter copy, flyers/fact sheets, posters, social media content and PSA’s for organizations to share with their constituents and employees. These resources offer information regarding simple but important steps Texans can take to help prevent the spread of the Zika virus. The materials are free and available to download or available to order online through this link: http://www.texaszika.org.
September 17 – Opening Public Reception of The Islamic Arts Revival Series (IARS) International Juried Art Exhibition at the Irving Arts CenterBring family and friends to celebrate and learn from this unique international exhibit of art, workshops, and performances of Islamic art and its world-wide influences.
Where: Irving Arts Center, 3333 N. MacArthur Blvd, Irving, TX 75062
Time: 6:30-9:00 pm
Free admission but please RSVP at http://bit.ly/2c274s8
We are proud to announce that artwork created by our own Islamic Art Revival Series Curator, Shafaq Ahmad, “Ilm o Ishk” (Knowledge and Love), sculpture of plexi-glass, won best work in the juried art exhibit of the Dallas Public Library.
Additionally, Ms. Ahmad will exhibit her installation in the main gallery at the Irving Art Center during the IARS 5th Annual International Juried Art Exhibition. On October 22, after the Jason Moriyama lecture, she will have a brief collaborative presentation and performance with the Ismaili Muslim Youth Choir of Dallas.
Sept. 18 – Workshop: Orientation for New Refugees
North Texas is receiving a large number of Syrian families who will need our community’s support. This workshop co-sponsored by TMWF and the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) provides insight on the needs of new refugees joining our community. Please consider contacting TMWF, not just to give short-term support of food or clothing, but for long-term support such as adopting a family, mentoring youth, or teaching English as a Second Language.
Where: Islamic Association of North Texas (IANT), 840 Abrams Rd, Richardson, TX 75081
Time: 2:00-6:00 pm
For more information and registration email email@example.com.
Sept. 20 – TMWF Women’s Cultural Day Luncheon
Hosted at Zonga’s Mediterranean Grill
Where: 7657 Boulevard 26, North Richland Hills, TX 76180
Time: 11:30 am- 2:00 pm
Admission: $20 donation
By early reservation only.
Seats limited/First come first served.
For more information and reservations please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 469.467.6241.
To join the mailing list to receive notification of upcoming “Ladies Only” Monthly Luncheons Contact us at email@example.com.
Sept. 24 – TMWF Presentation at East Plano Islamic Center: “Are We Establishing Peaceful Families?”
Please join TMWF and EPIC Community in learning about the elements necessary for establishing peaceful families and addressing the scourge of domestic violence that disrupts the sanctity of our homes.
Where: East Plano Islamic Center, 1350 Star Court, Plano, TX 75074
Time: 2:00-6:00 pm
Click here for more information and registration.
Hope everyone has had an amazing summer! Here are some of our upcoming events for this fall.
On September 24, we will be volunteering at Day of Dignity to help provide hygiene kits, clothes, household items, health screenings, and fruit to the underprivileged in Dallas. The address is Martin Luther King Center on MLK Boulevard, Dallas, TX 75215. We will announce the time soon. Also, TMWF will be collecting fruit to distribute on the Day of Dignity, so please email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up to donate fruit. It will be greatly appreciated by the recipients!
On October 8, we will be volunteering at the White Rock Lake Cleanup. Location is White Rock Lake, Dallas, TX and the time will be announced soon. We will be picking up trash around White Rock Lake in Dallas. Volunteers will be provided with disposable raincoats (depending on the weather forecast), trash bags, tools to pick up trash, as well as hot coffee, water, and breakfast (fruit, granola bars, cookies, donuts, etc.). This is a great opportunity to easily gain volunteer hours while also enjoying fresh air and the beauty of the lake.
On November 19, we will volunteer at the Plano Community Garden from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. Location is 4030 W Plano Pkwy, Plano, TX 75093.
Tasks vary each month but they always need help with weeding, mulching, pruning and turning the compost piles. They provide adult gardening gloves and tools but volunteers may bring their own. Since no gardening experience is necessary, even non-gardeners can join in the fun. Please be aware that parking in the gardens is limited so carpooling is encouraged, whenever possible. Only 10 volunteer spots are available. Email us to RSVP your spot!
Note: Volunteers 13 and younger should be accompanied by a parent or guardian
All volunteers can earn volunteer hours for their service. To sign up for these events, please respond email email@example.com.
Stay up to date with future fall TMWF Youth volunteer activities by visiting our Facebook page!
Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation continues building bridges of understanding and goodwill among peoples of all faiths and races.
There are many upcoming opportunities for you to meet your neighbors and make new friends. Please join us for these events.
We continue our interfaith outreach, via our membership in the The 2nd Community – a multi-faith community program formed to share faith stories “freely and fearlessly” and hosted by Northaven United Methodist Church. The 2nd Community events serve to facilitate a respectful understanding of the beliefs and practices of others and, in so doing, enriching one’s own faith perspective.
“The theme of the ten monthly sessions of The 2nd Community in 2016 (February-November) focuses on “Owning Violence: Affirming Nonviolence”. During these sessions, participants will develop an informed understanding of violence and nonviolence from various perspectives.”
Click here to register.
We appreciate our supporters!
“My life and the lives of my children have been forever changed, they have been restored to a peaceful place and none of this would have been possible had I not reached out to TMWF.” – TMWF Client, S.B.*