AMV sponsors Multifaith peace picnic on 9/11 anniversary
American Muslim Voice sponsored a peace picnic to commemorate the 12th anniversary of 9/11. The picnic, held at the Town Hall in Palo Alto, attracted people from various ethnic and faith groups. The event was also sponsored by Dave Cortese, Supervisor Santa Clara County and Human Relations Commission, Palo Alto. Sara Jaka, Graduate of Mills College, was MC.
The program began with multi-faith prayers. Zara Noor Shabbeer recited the Holy Quran while Majid Ali Shabbeer presented translation.
Jewish prayer was offered by Craig Wiesner, President and Chief Operating Officer of Micahs Call, he also leads Reach And Teach, a peace and social justice learning company.
Rev. Dr. Diana Gibson, Multifaith Voice for Peace & Justice, offered Christian prayer.
Neiha Khan, a Pakistani American, high school student from Tracy, presented the US national anthem in her melodious voice.
Music was lead by Chris Lundin, a music minister from the St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Community of Palo Alto.
Healing the wounds through love, kindness and making a commitment to peace and community building was the theme of speakers who reflected on 9/11 memories.
Among those who addressed the audience included: Claude Ezran, Human Relations Commission, Palo Alto; Venerable JianYing, Abbot, Chung Tai Zen Center of Sunnyvale; Ismael Nas, Islamic Network Group; Syeda Reshma Inamdar, Co-Founder of SEMAH; Mehbob Abidi of Northern California Islamic Council; Zahra Billoo, Council on American–Islamic Relations.
Comments from September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows were presented by Fariha Beig.
American Muslim Voice Foundation founding Executive Director, Samina Sundas, asked the audience to observe one minute silence to honor the innocent 9/11 victims, families and 1st responders.
"On this day marked by tragedy in 2001, we extend our deepest condolences and prayers to 9/11 families and all the other families who have lost their loved ones since then due to senseless crimes against humanity. We will honor 9/11 victims and their families by sowing the seeds of peace and moving all Americans from fear to friendship," she said adding:
"We salute “September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows” for their dedication and commitment to work towards creating peace."
Samina Sundas, who is also Human Relations Commissioner Santa Clara County, suggested that the culture of fear, division and violence should be replaced with a culture of hope, inclusion and peace.
"Our quest for peace and friendship is meant to be an antidote to despair, division and violence. Instead, we hope to inspire a culture of hope, inclusion and peace by working side by side. Together we can create a world we can be proud to leave to future generations!"
Samina Sundas is also Steering Committee member of Multifaith Voice for Peace & Justice.
The multi-faith and multi-culture Peace Picnic initiative, dubbed “Miracle Movement of Peace and Friendship” is part of American Muslim Voice’s larger goal to move all Americans "from fear to friendship,” by expanding the sense of community at a grassroots level.
Andrea LeBlanc, widow of Robert G LeBlanc, killed on UA flight #175, sent the AMV a special message. ' I welcome the idea of your Multifaith Peace Picnic because it will honor both my husband's memory and my grief. I wish I could be there in Palo Alto with you … know that I will be in spirit from New Hampshire. Thank you for doing something that will help turn sorrow into joy. In peace and gratitude."
The American Muslim Voice Foundation was founded in July, 2003, by American Muslims, to work for and with all Americans. The AMV is a grassroots movement based on the simple idea that stronger American communities serve the interests of all Americans. The AMV Foundation deeply believes in fostering friendships among all Americans by bridging the cultural and religious gap. Every day, the AMV endeavors to promote new relationships and nurture old ones because our country’s safety, security and peace depend on our getting to know each other.
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