My personal beliefs are reflected in Islamic Relief’s core values – excellence, sincerity, social justice, compassion, and custodianship. These values are derived from divine revelation and prophetic examples that guide Islamic Relief’s mission resonate with me personally.
IRUSA’s work is driven by a sense of gratitude to our creator, executed with integrity and patience. Thus, when I met Br. Belkacem Nahi, a regional manager at IRUSA, at an event in Charlotte, NC, he encouraged me to join the IRUSA family and become a regular volunteer. It was only natural that I got involved and eventually volunteered to do community outreach and organizing in Charlotte. Envisioning a better world is what we aspire for. I am so intrigued by the work IRUSA does domestically and worldwide.
I see our vision aligned perfectly. It’s what we all hope and work for, a world of preserved human dignity, prosperity and absence of suffering for all humanity, instilling justice and promoting growth in vulnerable communities. The reason I’m grateful to Allah for facilitating for me to take a small part volunteering for this giant organization.
2. One common value among IRUSA Blueshirts has been a commitment to compassion. We’ve seen it expressed countless times. Could you tell us a bit about how you’ve seen compassion play out during your time as a volunteer?
Absolutely, kindness and compassion envelopes all the work of IR. Whether it’s restoring houses after a disaster hits or providing care packages and food parcels to the local neighborhood. There are so many that come to mind. But, one particular moment touched my heart. During the early stages of Covid-19, I got involved in a disaster response project led by Br. Said Durrah of the Volunteer department and Sr. Gihan Ahmed of the Disaster Response Team.
We needed to secure 1,500 masks from Charlotte. I turned to an Afghan refugee family who had only resettled in the United States a few years ago and had just found their footing. I knew they were skilled at sewing and asked if they would like to help make masks. Their teenage daughter was eager to participate in this project and provide relief to American doctors and nurses during Covid-19. She wanted to pay it forward and to give to the community as a member of the community. It gave her a sense of belonging and American pride.
3. What project have you enjoyed taking part in the most?
In September 2019, we prepared 25,000 meal packs to send to countries in Africa and domestically. Alongside Salman Zaman, from the Marketing department, we worked with 50 volunteers from diverse religious, racial, and ethnic backgrounds. We came together as strangers but we left as friends, bonded over combating hunger.