ING Joins the Bidens in the White House

ING Founder Travels to Washington, D.C.

ING Founder Maha Elgenaidi will be traveling to Washington, D.C. next week to join in the Bidens’ Eid celebration on Monday, May 2nd. She shares her reflections here in a piece titled “Re-Embracing E Pluribus Unum as Our Nation’s Motto,” where she states that “the practice of celebrating Muslim holidays in the White House is as old as America itself. It is documented that the first iftar celebration was held in 1805 by President Thomas Jefferson when he invited a Tunisian envoy named Sidi Soliman Mellimelli to dinner. Upon learning that Mellimelli was fasting for Ramadan, Jefferson changed the mealtime from 3:30 to sunset—when Muslims break the daily fast. The tradition of regular White House iftars for Muslim Americans was initiated during President Bill Clinton’s administration in the 1990s and continued under subsequent administrations.” Read more.

ING’s Engagement with the White House and Federal Agencies is Not New.

Seated at President Obama’s table, Maha Elgenaidi attends the White House Iftar

At the onset of the Biden administration, ING and our affiliates joined forces with the White House and the US Department of Health and Human Services to encourage our readers and followers to get vaccinated against COVID-19. More recently, we provided training to over two hundred staff members of the Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Education across the country on “Islamophobia and its Impact on Education.” Under the Obama administration, ING was similarly engaged in a number of efforts related to education, bullying, and other initiatives relating to Muslim American rights that included urging the US Departments of Justice and Education in drafting several “Dear Colleague Letters” to highlight rising bullying and bias against Muslim, Arab, and South Asian students. We participated in and helped design Federal Partners Summits on bullying over several years, and spoke at the White House-initiated “Know your Neighbor” program, which was later adopted and administered successfully by ING for many years. 

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