December 2008
Issue # 7

Community Safe Zone: The Next Steps

By Omar Kamran, Organizing Intern

                                                               photo by Savera Iftikhar
On November 25th, IMAN and the Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP) held a Community Safe Zone Forum, bringing together active community members, leaders, and organizers from around the Chicago Lawn community. The forum was held to follow up on the Community Safe Zone Project, a collaborative effort to address the continuous rise of violence that affects the lives of youth and their families on Chicago's Southwest Side.  The forum provided a platform for community members most affected by the issues of violence, dilapidated public school systems, housing foreclosures, and decreasing job opportunities to discuss how the community should effectively tackle these issues.

The networks that were created between the community members and the actions that will be taken in the weeks that follow mark the undeniable success of this event. "We have a long way to go. It was beautiful to do the summer thing, don't get me wrong, but it was just the beginning. The forums, the one-on-one meetings, and gaining a better understanding of the needs of the community are the next steps in order to get this off the ground," said Rafi Peterson, IMAN board member and active organizer for the Community Safe Zone. The forum came to a close with participants committing themselves to distinct committees that will deal with anti-violence, jobs, and housing issues, ensuring that both community members and community based organizations hold each other accountable.

First All Kids Enrollment Workshop

By Haneen Alwawi, Health Clinic Intern

                                                                       photo by Ali Khan
"We know providing every child with health coverage means better attendance and performance in our schools. We know it reduces the pressure on insurance premiums. We also know it can boost our local economies and improve productivity in the workplace. But more than any of these things, giving every child the chance to grow up healthy is the right thing to do," said Governor Rod R. Blagojevich.  In agreement with this sentiment, IMAN partnered with the Arab American Family Services on Tuesday December 2nd to host its first All Kids Enrollment workshop. All Kids is a state sponsored health insurance plan that seeks to offer comprehensive health coverage for all Illinois children who need it, regardless of immigration status or any other external factors.  Chicago's only free Muslim-led health clinic is committed to not only offering the highest quality care for its patients, but also to improve the overall healthy of its target communities and as such, it is critical that it assist residents in enrollment for programs like All Kids. The clinic hopes to continue offering the workshops on a quarterly basis. 
Michael Klaus Schmidt: Finding Tranquility

By Fathima Khan, Communications Intern

                                                                        photo by Ali Khan 

Hanging in the conference room of the IMAN office on 63rd street are several dynamic pieces of art by Michael Klaus Schmidt, a German-born Muslim artist.  The paintings use a layering technique that superimposes geometric patterns on the actual subject.  In the case of one of the pieces, the subject is a mosque, and the superimposition of the geometric patters forces the viewer to look through them to see the true subject of the art.  These geometric patters, Klaus says, were not inspired by Islamic art but began as borders on his other pieces and doodling in the margins.  Although Klaus was at first hesitant about reconciling his passions for Islam and art, he came to the conclusion that he should follow a strict interpretation and not include images of people or animals in his work.  "Although I believe there are exceptions to this interpretation, I choose to follow it strictly in my paintings because it brings me the most satisfaction and tranquility," he says.  And through his paintings, Michael Klaus Schmidt brings satisfaction and tranquility to many others as well. 
For information on how to purchase Michael Klaus Schmidt's artwork, contact
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IMAN Featured in BET News
IMAN staff, leaders and board members consulted BET reporters on "Heart of the City: Chicago's War on Violence",  set to air on Sunday, December 7th, at 10 pm EST. The special features IMAN & SWOP's Community Safe Zone, a collaborative effort to address the continuous rise of violence that affects the lives of youth and their families on Chicago's Southwest Side.  The news special also gives "special thanks" to IMAN and will include a link to IMAN's site on
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IMAN Leadership Development: Session 1
Saturday Dec. 6th, 10am
Unite Here Building: 333 S. Ashland
Contact Omar Kamran to RSVP
Saturday, Dec. 13th, 11am
Marquette Park Field House, 6734 S. Kedzie Ave
Community Cafe in New York
Saturday, Jan. 31st. 
The Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz
Memorial and Educational Center
3940 Broadway | New York, NY 10032 
Takin' It to the Streets

Saturday, June 20th, 2009
Marquette Park 6734 S. Kedzie Ave.
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Rami Nashashibi
Executive Director

Kyle J. Ismail
Associate Director

Mariam Azam
Health Clinic Administrator

Veronica Zapata

Career Development Manager
Sultan Muhammad
Lead Organizer

Asad Jafri
Director of Arts and Culture 
Omari Kamal
Account Manager 
Reza Alrifai
Staff Support

Angela Rosario
Executive Assistant

Shamar Hemphill
Youth Organizer & Coordinator 

Madeehah Muhammad
Office Coordinator

Ahlam Said
Communications Coordinator
Savera Iftikhar
Graphic Designer & Photographer
Haneen Alwawi
Health Clinic Intern  
Manal Farhan
Education Reform Organizer Extern
Fathima Khan
Communications Intern  
Omar Kamran 
Organizing Intern  
Saquib Usman
Career Development Intern
Amir Al-Islam 
David Kelly, JD
Ali Saqib 
Yasmine Abou-El-Kheir 
Seemi Choudry
Clyde K. El-Amin 
Sherene S. Fakhran, M.D, M.P.H 
Medical Chair 
Tariq Iftikhar, MD  
Maha Jarad 
Maaria Mozaffar, JD 
Ameena Muhammad 
Laila Muhammad  
Feroz Patel

Rafi Peterson 
Project Restore Coordinator 
Tariq Simpkins

Ali Ammoura
Nada Elsayed 
Maha Jarad 

David Kelly 

Haroon Najam
773.434.IMAN (4626)
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