ISB Atlanta News

January 2012

Building Bridges of Understanding

ISB Atlanta

Dear ,  


On January 16th, we along with our fellow Americans celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Day. It is only fitting that we honor Dr. King, for during a time of turbulence and upheaval in our country's history, he eloquently articulated for the needs of those marginalized in society, whether they be Blacks and/or poor. In the end, as we remember Dr. King, we can't help but honor his legacy and hope to mirror his values and carry on his campaign on behalf of those less fortunate among us (see story below "ISB Organizes Effort to Alleviate Hunger in Atlanta").


It is with this legacy in mind that ISB Atlanta was founded in 2001 - recognizing that in the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy there was an acute need to speak out for a minority that had quickly come under attack, in this case American Muslims.


Since then, we have tried to proudly follow Dr. King's ideas, correcting misperceptions wherever and whenever we can, promoting respect and cooperation amongst all Americans and educating our fellow Americans on the true nature of Islam.


Nothing could have pleased us more than when ISB Atlanta's work was recognized by Emory University when we were bestowed with the "Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award" (see first story below "ISB Receives 2012 MLK Community Service Award). We are honored to receive this prestigious award and hope that we continue to embody the spirit of Dr. King's message. 


As always, ISB's work is only possible through the generous support and contribution of its friends and supporters.  You can make a secure online donation through our website or mail a check to ISB Atlanta, P.O. Box 2608, Peachtree City, GA 30269. All donations are tax deductible.


Thank you,


Soumaya Khalifa-One Nation

Soumaya Khalifa
Executive Director
ISB Atlanta

ISB Receives 2012 MLK 
Community Service Award 
MLK AwardISB was awarded the 2012 "Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award" by Emory University on January 19.

The 20th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Awards Program, themed "Voices for Social, Economic & Political Justice," was sponsored by the Rollins School of Public Health (SPH) and the Goizueta Business School. 

ISB was awarded the "Innovation for Change" award, which was presented by Emory's Muslim Student Association (MSA) President Asad Abdulla. 

"The Islamic Speakers Bureau works to counter misinformation and negativity by engaging and educating Americans about Islam," said Abdulla. 
Dean of Rollins SPH James W. Curran, MD, MPH, ISB Executive Director Soumaya Khalifa, MSA President
Asad Abdulla

Executive Director Soumaya Khalia attended the event and accepted the award on ISB's behalf. 

"This is so exciting for us," said Khalifa. "This is a very significant honor for our organization." 

Each year, the event recognizes and celebrates people and organizations in greater Atlanta whose work exemplifies the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The event, which was followed by a catered reception, featured Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears (Retired), as keynote speaker. For more information on the event and other award recipients, please click here.
ISB Speakers At
Uplifting Conference
Khalifa at MCG, Inc.
Khalifa at MCG, Inc.
The Muslimah Consultation Group (MCG), Inc., a Muslim women's support and networking group, held its "Sisters' Conference" at the Georgia Piedmont Technical College's Conference Center on January 14. 

ISB's Executive Director Soumaya Khalifa and ISB Speaker Zaynab Ansari attended and spoke at the "Inaugural sisters' Conference Uplifting Our Sisters - One Sister at a Time." The event was attended by more than 150 Muslim women from the Atlanta area. 

Khalifa's topic was "Uplifting Your Sister Through Consultation," focussing on the importance of mentoring in the professional world and harnessing the collective experience
Zaynab at MCG, Inc.
Ansari at MCG, Inc.
of all women through consultation.  Ansari's topic was "Uplifting our Sisters Through Encouragement," focussing on the concept of "enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong" in terms of promoting strong personal, moral and ethical framework and encouraging others to be the best they can be. 

Also a speaker at the conference was Tayyibah Taylor, publisher and editor in chief of Azizah Magazine, a national American Muslim woman publication. Her topic was "Uplifting our Sister Through Positive Example." 

The conference also included panel discussions, a luncheon, and breakout sessions. For more information on MCG, Inc., please click here
ISB Participates In Interfaith Panel  
The ISB was invited by the Jewish Federation of Greater Chattanooga in Tennessee to participate in a panel discussion on January 21. 

Imam Plemon El-Amin, recipient of ISB's 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award, represented the ISB at the event and in the panel discussion. Other panelists included a rabbi, a Greek Orthodox priest, and a Baptist lay preacher. 

The event, which convened a Havadallah (ceremony marking the end of the Sabbath/Shabbat and welcomes in the new week), also featured a community-wide dinner and a panel discussion titled, "Stairways to Heaven" at the Jewish Cultural Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. 

The Jewish Federation of Greater Chattanooga organizes two annual dinners and panel discussions to educate the audience about the different faith traditions.  The "Stairways to Heaven" theme suggested that each panelist discuss the beliefs his faith tradition in regards to heaven and the after life. For more information, please click here.
 ISB's History Discussed
During Lecture Series
Dr. Nuru Akinyemi, Soumaya Khalifa, and student who won a copy of "Green Card Stories" in a drawing
ISB Executive Director Soumaya Khalifa -- who was recently featured in a book of essays titled "Green Card Stories" (see story on top right) -- discussed the history and foundation of the ISB during a lecture at the Kennesaw State University (KSU). 

KSU's Center for Africa and African Diaspora Studies invited Khalifa to speak to students on January 25 about ISB's efforts over the years to reach thousands of people, to educate and 

to debunk any negative stereotypes about Islam and Muslims.  

The lecture is part of a series designed to examine contemporary issues of economic and social justice, race and gender equality, sexuality, cultural and economic globalization, and Africa and African Diaspora relations.

For more information on the book click here.
ISB's Executive Director Speaks 
At Conscious Summit 
ISB Executive Director Soumaya Khalifa was invited by the Georgia Institute of Technology's (GA Tech) African American Student Union (AASU) to participate in a discussion panel on January 26.

The "Conscious Summit" is an event during which AASU invites students to discuss issues of interest to them and to the community. Other panelists included a free thinker as well as representatives from the Jewish and Christian faith traditions.

The "Conscious Summit" is an annual discussion forum that encourages dialogue and promotes social change through the exchange of ideas, opinions, and solutions for major issues and current events. 
ISB Organizes Effort To
Alleviate Hunger In Atlanta
The Muslim community of Georgia is coming together to help alleviate hunger by donating food items from January 30 through March 7. 

"Being Your Neighbor's Keeper" food drive is organized and spearheaded by ISB's Amani Elghoroury. Four Atlanta mosques are collecting non-perishable food items to be donated to the Atlanta Community Food Bank. 

The Islamic Society of South Atlanta, Masjid Al-Ihsaan, Roswell Community Masjid, and Islamic Community Center of Atlanta are reaching out to their congregations for donations. 
In This Issue
ISB Receives 2012 MLK Community Service Award
ISB Speakers At Uplifting Conference
ISB Participates In Interfaith Panel
ISB's History and Foundation Discussed During Lecture Series
ISB's Executive Director Speaks At Conscious Summit
ISB Organizes Effort to Alleviate Hunger In Atlanta
Green Card Stories Features ISB's Soumaya Khalifa
Green Card Stories Features ISB's Soumaya Khalifa 

ISB Executive Director Soumaya Khalifa is featured in a book of essays that share compelling personal stories of 50 immigrants.

In the book Green Card Stories, Soumaya sheds light on how earlier in her life she "longed to share the rich complexities of her Muslim religion and background with fellow Americans of different faiths." Today, the ISB "reaches thousands of people, focusing on education and debunking negative stereotypes about Islam and Muslims."

Green Card Stories "reveals the rich cultural and economic Contributions of immigrants to American life," said one review by Elaine Charnov, Director, Education, Programs and Exhibitions, The New York Public Library. 

The essays are written by nationally recognized journalist Saundra Amrhein and portraits are by award-winning photographer Ariana Lindquist. 
For more on Green Card Stories, please click here.
Dr. Abdullah Kapic and Slma Shelbaya participated in a panel discussion organized by student staff members at the Department of Housing at Georgia Tech on January 7. The purpose of the discussion, which was attended by a total of 100 students, is to teach student staff members about different religions as well as to help promote an atmosphere of respect, acceptance, and understanding of for all students regardless o their religious backgrounds. Also on the panel were representatives of the Jewish and Christians faiths as well as a free thinker. 

Dr. Abdullah Kapic and Noor Abbady co-presented to a group of 13 7th graders and five parents at the Unitarian Universalist congregation of Atlanta on January 8. The presenters allowed for questions and answers during the presentation on the history and demographics of Islam and Muslims. This is the second time that the hosts have invited ISB speakers for a presentation. 

Huma Faruqi and Noor Abbady co-presented at the Marist School, a private Catholic school in Atlanta on January 13. Faruqi and Abbady were invited by Dr. Doug Seanor, who regularly invites ISB speakers to his classes to speak to three of his classes, a total of 66 students in their junior year. Dr. Seanor said that his students noted that Faruqi and Abbady were "among the best guest speakers hat they have had for any class in their five years here." 

Dr. Abdullah Kapic presented at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Norcross on January 15 to a group of eight 8th graders and three adults. The presentation was part of the students' "Confirmation Class" graduation as they have completed three years of religious teachings about their own faith as well as other sacred traditions. 

Amin Tomeh hosted the same group of eight 8th graders and three adults from Christ the King Lutheran Church (see above) on a tour of Masjid Omar Bin Abdul Aziz in Lawrenceville on January 22. The group learned about Muslim prayers, Islamic art and calligraphy as well as the significance of the architectural features of a mosque.  
Upcoming Events
February 12 - 24: ISB is partnering with the American Jewish Committee - Atlanta Chapter to bring "Free Men" (a film about a Parisian mosque that harbored Jews during WWII) to the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. For more tickets and screening times, please click here

March 11: Atlanta Community Food Bank 2012 Hunger Walk/Run. For more information, please click here.

About ISB

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The Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, apolitical educational organization that provides certified Muslim speakers to promote awareness about Islam and Muslims. The ISB is a local affiliate of the Islamic Networks Group (ING).

Volunteerism is one of the primary drivers of our continued growth and success. Most of our volunteers are students or full-time professionals who find the time to contribute to non-profit work. In return, they find great satisfaction and fulfillment by providing an important service to their community. For more information click here. For an ISB Volunteer Request Form, click here.
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