Humanitarian Aid in Gaza

ING News & Information, 1/08/09

In this Edition:

  • Mark Your Calendars: Islamic Relief for Humanitarian Aid in Gaza, 1/09/09
  • Interfaith Speakers Panels at Bay Area High Schools
  • Healthcare Presentation to Muslim Nurses Association, 12/14/08
  • ING Participates in Community Non-Violence Conference, 12/13/08
  • Mountain View Reads Program: Women in Islam, 11/24/08
  • Twinning of Mosques & Synagogues, 11/21/08
  • Presentation to Child Advocates of Silicon Valley, 11/20/08
  • Women in Islam Presentation at Los Positas College, 11/18/08
  • Women in Islam Panel in Cookeville, Tennessee, 11/17/08
  • Law Enforcement Training at San Francisco Police Academy, 11/06/08
  • Presentation to Comparative Religions Class at San Jose State 11/03/08
  • ING Presents at Mountain View Library: MV Reads, 11/01/08
  • Thank you for your support

Mark Your Calendars: Islamic Relief for Humanitarian Aid in Gaza

Friday January 9, 2009 at 6:30pm
MCA Banquet Hall (3003 Scott Blvd, Santa Clara CA 95054)
Tickets: $10 adult; $20 family (Dinner Included)

All funds to be collected and distributed by Islamic Relief for humanitarian aid in Gaza. For more information contact Munir Iqtish at 408-505-2941 or [email protected]

Islamic Relief states that, “the humanitarian situation is deteriorating by the day. For several days there has been no electricity or fuel for stand-by generators. Many of the already limited services like water and sewage are no longer functioning. The death toll of the attacks has risen to over 600, with more than 2,800 injured, including 40 deaths and 55 injuries at a school operated by the United Nations. The Gaza Strip faces a ‘full-blown humanitarian crisis,’ says the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The director of United Nations Relief and Works Agency, John Ging, called the humanitarian conditions in Gaza ‘horrific.’ ‘Nowhere is safe for civilians here in Gaza at the moment. They are fleeing their homes and they are right to do it when you look at the casualty numbers.’”

To donate directly or learn more about Islamic Relief, please visit:

For more information on national Muslim reaction to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, visit the website of the Islamic Society of North America at

Major ING Events: November-December, 2008

Interfaith Speakers Panels at Bay Area High Schools

ING’s newly formed Interfaith Speakers Bureau (IFSB) convened panels at several high schools in November and December. They included one which was held at Homestead High School in Sunnyvale on November 13th that addressed all 10th grade social studies classes during a two hour assembly. The topic was “Muslim-Jewish Relations in the U.S. in the Shadow of the M.E. Conflict”. Another included representatives from Muslim, Jewish, Christian and Hindu religions at Silver Creek High School in San Jose on December 16th in a panel for 150 high school students. The topic was “Living the Faith in the San Francisco Bay Area”. Students learned as one student pointed out in his feedback, “that in order to be understood by others for who I am, I must first try to understand others.”

Healthcare Presentation to Muslim Nurses Association, 12/14/08

ING speaker Ameena Jandali presented ING’s healthcare presentation to the Muslim Nurses Association at a meeting of the organization in Oakland on December 14th. The meeting was attended by Muslim nurses and other healthcare professionals from around the Bay Area. In addition to the ING presentation that is designed for healthcare providers and chaplains, representatives from the Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA) and the Chaplaincy Institute shared their perspectives on culturally competent healthcare. Participants were interested in learning more about the three organizations and how they could get involved in teaching, understanding and tolerance in their field. To learn about the Muslim Nurses Association, see:

ING Participates in Community Non-Violence Conference, 12/13/08

As it has for the past few years, ING participated in the Community Non-Violence Conference at Santa Clara University on December 13th. The focus of the conference was to engage with activists who have experience with the power of non-violence to transform communities. The gathering focused on the environment, the role of women, and the critical challenges of overcoming poverty and other millennium goals of the U.N. ING was one of dozens of local faith and non-profit organizations that are invested in issues of peace, interfaith understanding and well being. ING was represented by Maha Elgenaidi, Grace Fong, Amany Ghanem, and Nora Talebi. To learn more about the conference and its mission, see:

Mountain View Reads Program: Women in Islam, 11/1 & 24/08

ING took part in a series of events coordinated by the Mountain View Reads program that were held on November 1st and 24th which focused on the well known book, “Three Cups of Tea.” The book chronicles the efforts of Greg Mortenson, who established an institute to build schools for the children of South Asia after being rescued by villagers while climbing mountains in the region. The two events held formal presentations and discussions relating to Islam and women’s rights. The events included as speakers ING representatives Ameena Jandali and Maha Elgenaidi who were joined by Sumbul Karamali, local author of “The Muslim Next Door: the Qur’an, the Media, and that Veil Thing.” All three speakers pointed out common misconceptions surrounding Islam and the common misperceptions relating to women rights in Islam and how Muslim actions are sometimes antithetical to Islamic teachings. For more information on the events, see the following links:

Twinning of Mosques and Synagogues, 11/21-22/08

Joining dozens of Muslim and Jewish organizations all around the country, ING joined with Congregation Shir Hadash in Los Gatos to hold two local gatherings of Muslims and Jews which was promoted by the Foundation of Ethnic Understanding, a D.C. based national nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening relations between communities. Both events were also sponsored by ISNA and MPAC. On November 21st, dozens of Jewish members of Congregation Shir Hadah joined the Muslim community in prayer and tour of the MCA mosque. And on November 22nd, Muslims and Jews gathered for food and dialogue at Congregation Shir Hadash to share common experiences as religions minorities living in the United States. Over 100 people participated. The program was well received by all participants who felt both events were very constructive in building positive relations between American Muslims and Jews, two of the largest religious minorities in the U.S. who have much more in common and stake than they do differences.

Presentation to Child Advocates of Silicon Valley, 11/20/08

An ING speaker addressed a group of Child Advocates in Milpitas on November 20th at their offices. Child Advocates recruits, trains and supervises Court-Appointed Special Advocates who stand up for abused and neglected children, helping them thrive
and find safe, permanent homes. Each of the agency’s highly-trained volunteers is appointed by the court to work with an abused or neglected child as an advocate and mentor. The focus of the ING presentation was to educate the volunteer advocates about potential Muslim clients and their beliefs and practices. While there have not been a large number of Muslim children in foster care, the numbers are growing, and it is important for the volunteer advocates to have an understanding of their clients. To learn more about Child Advocates, see:

Women in Islam Presentation at Los Positas College, 11/18/08

Long time ING speaker, Amany Nasser delivered a presentation on Women in Islam to a class at Los Positas College in Livermore on November 18th. The class is taught by a fellow ING speaker, Uzma Husaini, and is an Introduction to Islam. Amany spoke about the role and rights of Muslim women, emphasizing the diversity among them, pointing out that many of the practices that are reported in the media, such as honor killings, are more a reflection of culture than religion, which prohibits such actions.

Women in Islam Panel in Cookeville, Tennessee, 11/17/08

ING’s president, Maha Elgenaidi joined a local physician and educator, Dr. Awadh Binhazim at Tennessee Technology University in Cookeville, TN on November 17th for a panel discussion on “Issues in the Muslim World.” The panel focused on the topic of the “Role of Women in Islam: Myths and Realities.” Maha enumerated the various misconceptions followed by an explanation of the truth behind them. She also emphasized the equalizing nature and focus of Islam, not only with regard to women, but to all of humankind. Over 200 students and professors attended the program who expressed tremendous gratitude for the opportunity to address commonly held perceptions and contemporary issues.

Presentation to Stanford Primary Care Associate Program, 11/14/08

An ING speaker delivered ING’s Healthcare presentation to a group of healthcare providers at Stanford on November 14th to its Primary Care Associate Program. The presentation included an overview of what it means to be a Muslim followed by specific issues that impact healthcare providers, including Islam’s view of sickness, family relations, and gender interaction, practices that impact a patient such as praying and fasting, and end of life issues. Knowing about and understanding one’s client’s culture is one of the best ways to ensure culturally competent service.

Law Enforcement Training at San Francisco Police Academy, 11/06/08

ING delivered one of a series of trainings to a class of recruits at the SFPD Academy on November 6th. ING has long provided education to the department, but this year has been training new police recruits. The training includes an overview of issues that might impact law enforcement providers, such as basic cultural practices, language considerations, gender interaction, and other cultural competency considerations. The presentation also touches on contemporary issues relating to the Muslim world, and recruits plied the presenter with questions about contemporary political situations in the Muslim world, terrorism, and women’s rights in Muslim populated countries. Providing an understanding of what is often perceived as foreign is critical in a profession that must interact regularly with different peoples and cultures.

Presentation to Comparative Religions Class at San Jose State 11/03/08

Two ING speakers addressed two different Comparative Religions classes at San Jose State on November 3rd. Both presentations focused on ING’s “Getting to Know American Muslims and their Faith”. After describing the major beliefs and practices of American Muslims, the speakers discussed some of the major issues facing American Muslims, particularly in a post 9/11 world. The students were interested in learning more about this often misunderstood faith, particularly in comparison to the other faiths that they were studying.

Thank You for Your Support!