The CIOGC board and staff express their deep gratitude and appreciation to the sponsors, guests, and volunteers of our 25th Anniversary CommUnity Dinner. The mission of CIOGC was in action at our anniversary event as our large and diverse community united to learn, to share, and to grow together.
Hafiz Rizwan Shaikh from Islamic Foundation School opened the 25th anniversary event with a recitation of Surah Imran (3:103) from the Quran:
"And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favor of Allah upon you - when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favor, brothers. And you were on the edge of a pit of the Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses that you may be guided."
The emcee of the program, MCC Academy Principal Habeeb Quadri, kicked off the celebratory event with a warm and energetic welcome. CIOGC Executive Director, G. Abdullah Mitchell, addressed the audience by underscoring CIOGC's framework of design, purpose, and action. He also emphasized the importance of collaboration among our diverse community in order to overcome our challenges and accomplish our goals.
CIOGC's 2017 High School Valedictorians, representing various member schools, were recognized on stage for their academic achievements.
We were honored to acknowledge our 2017 Top Muslim Achievers, Dr. Ragab El-Rashidy and Dr. Dilara Sayeed. Their accomplishments bring a unique perspective of what achievement actually means. Achievement means persistence. Dr. El-Rashidy stands as living testimony of how a dominant will can prevail over physical disabilities to enable one to achieve unparalleled success, which for him was in the field of science. Achievement requires vision. Buttressed by a laudatory level of success in the field of education, Dr. Sayeed is not resting on her laurels of success and offered to us her vision for the betterment of the community through social and political advocacy, which for her is in the field of politics. We thank them for joining us at our anniversary dinner, and we pray for their continued health and success.
The CIOGC Chairman, Dr. Bassam Osman, presented two proposals to address the needs of the Chicagoland Muslim community. One was the acquisition of a camp site to serve as a venue for Muslim youth and Muslim families from across Chicagoland for spiritual renewal and family recreation. The other proposal was a traveling Muslim museum which would focus on educating Muslims, as well as the general public, about Islamic cultural, history and achievements. Feasibility studies are being implemented for these proposals. Further information will be forthcoming in the near future.
Our esteemed keynote speaker, Dalia Mogahed, Director of Research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU), focused her address at CIOGC’s 25th Anniversary Dinner on solutions for a more vibrant, inclusive, and service-oriented community. She implored Muslim community leaders to reimagine Muslim spaces by focusing on becoming more inclusive and welcoming to women, youth, and the underserved. "If we are fragmented within our own mosques, it's very hard to collaborate across Islamic organizations." she said. Her words resonated deeply with the audience who left the event with a refreshing perspective on how to successfully nurture the continued growth of our community.
Chicagoland's civic and interfaith leaders who graciously joined our celebratory dinner included the Consul General of Pakistan, Faisal Niaz Tirmizi, the Consul General of Turkey, Fatih Yildiz, State Representative Theresa Mah, Very Rev. Thomas Baima of the Catholic Archdiocese, and representatives from the Catholic Theological Union and the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago.
We again would like to thank you for your gracious and generous support and hope you will continue to join us in advancing the interests of the Chicagoland Muslim community through our important work.
The CIOGC Board & Staff
Our Proud Sponsors:
Platinum: Mosque Foundation
Gold: Downtown Islamic Center (DIC), Islamic Center of Naperville (ICN), Muslim Community Center (MCC), and Zakat Foundation of America
Silver: Islamic Foundation North (IFN)
Bronze: Benedictine University and the Mecca Center
Pillars: Alwan Printing, Audio Visual Computer Specialists (AVCS), Elite Decor, Iman Fund, Orland Park Prayer Center, and Shalimar Banquets