November 7th 2015: Benefit Dinner For The Islamic Center.

For two years I had not been able to hold the “annual” Fund Raiser Dinner for the Islamic Center of Quincy. For a tiny community of Muslims that we have here, we had major internal politics and the issues divide us into those wanting to have the dinner and invite the public, and those that didn”t. Each person would be charged, and the food we would serve, would be different ethnic dishes from different parts of the world. And they ranged from India and Pakistan, to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Philippines, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia and Indonesia to name a few. Unfortunately, some of the members of our group are such fanatics, and think that all the monies we get for the building and upkeep of the mosque should come only from Muslims. To me this is ridiculous, to say the least. We don’t beg for money. We cook the food and we sort of sell that food and the money we get we use to repair and remodel the building we have. We are only about twenty Muslim families here, and when I founded the mosque in 2001, we had only about four families. None of these families here are so rich that they can just write a check for ten or fifteen thousand a piece as they do in the larger cities. I have always wondered why these guys came to  USA. Why should they feel happy to receive a check from their employers who are not Muslims?  Ours is a humble place and all I want is that we have some funds in our bank so that we can finish the building with dry walls and ceilings and roof or other sundry repairs.

For two years I couldn’t hold this event. This year in early October I decided that I would hold it all by myself, and if anyone was interested in helping me, they were welcome to cook and bring a dish. The arrogant people pretended to not hear my voice. But there were others who bent over backwards to help me. Each of them brought two ethnic dishes, and last night was the biggest affair, and the most food that was served, with about twenty different dishes!

IMG_5465 IMG_5468 IMG_5469 IMG_5470 IMG_5471 IMG_5472 IMG_5473 IMG_5474 IMG_5475 IMG_5476 IMG_5477 IMG_5478 IMG_5479 IMG_5480



Don’t my princes look so handsome? The last picture is of Noah and Sayeed, with Andrew and Zain.

The hall (kindly lent to us by a church locally), was packed to capacity;  I had a table set with different donations from local artists and merchants to use for silent auction, which included my services to go to someone’s home and cook an Indian Dinner for 4 to 8 people. All the items were sold, and my services went for $500. The tables were choking with food, and I saw some plates that had mountain of food loaded on them. They kept coming for seconds and I had containers available for any one interested, to take some home for an additional donation that they could pay if they wished.

Needless to say the evening was a huge success, and those who had opposed the event, well I hope they can get the stench of raw eggs off their faces!! (Did I say that?)

About Zakiah

I write poetry and some fiction, have a book that was published in 2012. . . Stray Thoughts/Winged Words. I have four grandchildren, ages 16 and half to almost 16 months. I love the ocean, and grew up along the Indian Ocean in South India. I am a retired physician. Don't know much else to say. Thanks for reading. That has been my profile for so many years. My daughter Saadia a great poet and story teller, has two sons; the oldest grandson is now 21 years old, doing architectural engineering at Missouri S&T in Rolla MO. His younger brother is almost 16 and taking driving lessons seriously and is in High School. The other two grandsons, children of my son Sayeed, are 9 and 5. I have recently published another book titled Gulistan, A home of Flowers. It has stories and memories of my childhood and of a distant land which I still consider as my HOME., even though I have lived here in the US for more than fifty years. Hope to see you on my blog.
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26 Responses to November 7th 2015: Benefit Dinner For The Islamic Center.

  1. slmret says:

    Oh, my goodness, Zakiah — no wonder we haven’t seen much of you for a while! I’m so glad you did this, and even more that there people to help you. And how wonderful that it was a great success 🙂 ! I love the shot of you and your two girls — and the last shot of Sayeed and your littlest princes!

    • Zakiah says:

      Thank you Janet. I had been under so much stress because of this, and I kept thinking, what if my dishes taste awful, or what if we don’t have enough food. I prayed like crazy. The event was so successful and so stunning in the attendance. I am really blown away by the support of this beautiful community. Now, even though my body feels like it has been run over by a truck, I am so relaxed. I will start posting and responding to comments and visiting other friends. Thank you for your comment. Hope you are doing well Janet. Hugs. ❤

  2. christao408 says:

    Wow, it looks like quite a success! Sometimes, you have to push through even when there are those who will not support or, worse, will try to be obstacles.

    • Zakiah says:

      That’s exactly the way it was Chris. Obstacles galore. I am just so happy that the president of the Center supported me and made me feel good. I always feel that if we are doing something for The Creator and His House, He will bless. That’s what happened last night. It was a great success story. Wish you and Tawn were here.

  3. beowulf222 says:

    I really like your pragmatism. Never understood the religious hardliners (regardless of their belief). And I noticed this was not held in the mosque. 🙂 Great example for showing that we can all get along. Well done!!

    • Zakiah says:

      Thanks Nick. Our Mosque is very small, and we don’t have a facility to have so many tables and chairs to host a hundred people. That’s exactly what I told in my speech on Saturday night. IF we tried, we can all get along.

  4. ruthdetwiler says:

    First I want to say how much your Princes have grown and what handsome young men they are.
    Those who cared and whose hearts were in the right place, who volunteered and cooked and worked beside you are usually th ones who help make a wonderful happening that will not be forgotten soon.
    It looks absolutely wonderful and I love the smiles on everyones face.
    You did well my friend.

  5. jstnotherday says:

    I would love to have won that special cooked indian dinner. 🙂
    … but I could never afford your services. 😉
    I am sure it will be wonderful for whoever won,
    and congrat’s on the success of your gathering.

    • Zakiah says:

      Perhaps you can come to Illinois someday, and let me cook something for you. I have to say though, each year it gets tougher for me; the muscles ache and groan and cry a lot. I keep going like that bunny in the commercial.

  6. OH, how wonderful!
    I’m so glad you did this and it was such a beautiful success! I bet every one there will be ready to pitch in and help so that it can be held again! I am so inspired by you…that you did this even in the face of opposition and obstacles!

    You and your daughters are so beautiful! And all your Princes are so handsome! 🙂
    I am not Muslim, but I would love to attend an event like this (if I was welcome) and donate toward your great cause! 🙂

    (You DID say that! And you have every right to! 🙂 )
    HUGS!!! 🙂

    • Zakiah says:

      Thank you Carolyn. Next year I will send you an invitation, and I hope you can come. Sandra Erikson wants to come. Cindy Glass was here one year and she liked it a lot too. Thank you for all the sweet and kind words.

  7. Lyne's View says:

    (pats heart, and points to you) It only takes ONE to bring more and more and more.

  8. I’m so happy for you. So glad it was a success. Good for you for going ahead w/the event this year. While not Muslim, I would have attended..It would be such fun to taste all the different foods and just sit and fellowship.
    How crazy to think only Muslims can donate..but you have that in every religion..those who are fanatics and cut of their own noses to spite their face as the saying goes.
    LOVE the pics. I want a top like yours lol–Loved it and the pink one too.
    Yes, your princes’ are very handsome indeed.
    Love and hugs, my friend.

    • Zakiah says:

      I think there was some jealousy among some of the people. They didn’t want me to do all the arrangements, speak at the function, send the invitations out, etc. These new comers, physicians all, forget that I was the one who founded the mosque. I have lived in this community for 37 years and people know me, and respect me, and want to support me. I think these guys wanted all the glory for themselves. Anyway, I am glad I stayed my ground and we pulled this off. I am happy.
      Thank you for your kind comment. My sari that I am wearing, I believe I got it from Dubai many years back. It is chiffon, and though the weather has turned and is much cooler, I had to wear something like that instead of a heavier sari, because working the night at the place really makes me warm and I didn’t want a heavy dress or sari to have to put up with.

  9. marica0701 says:

    Wow, what a lovely dinner! Kudos to you for organizing it. It looks like it was very rewarding in many ways 🙂

    My church once had an international dinner for a fundraiser, and I loved it. My mom made a Slovak dish and I wore my handmade folk costume. I would love to organize such an event again. Maybe next year I will.

    • Zakiah says:

      You should. Doing things like that is so gratifying. We were in Slovakia in 2009 and enjoyed the food there so much. You should come here and attend our dinner sometime.

  10. That’s great. I am glad it was such a success.

  11. rudyhou says:

    i’m so happy for you and this accomplishment of yours. so glad you managed to have so many people participated at the benefit dinner, and the fact that the local church lend the space for the event is an awesome thing to see. this goes to show that there is hope yet to have us all live together in peace.

    • Zakiah says:

      The event was wonderful Rudy. We had so many dishes from all over the world. The Indonesian men had made this ‘ummazing’ appetizers with cabbage and carrots. They were like fritters, and I am telling you, I had about six of them myself before I set the tray out. 😉

  12. That’s awesome. I just worry that you seem to be the only driving this. But it’s great that it went very well. Peace.

    • Zakiah says:

      You are so right Matt. I am the only one who starts the ball rolling and get people to start thinking, and help. I have had so many hurdles to get through to be able to finally have this dinner. For two years we didn’t hold this function because of some people within this Center. I am so happy that I was able to overcome their angst and pettiness and take care of it. The event was a HUGE success. Peace and blessings to you too love.

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