By Susan Schwartz, Muslim Media News Service (MMNS)
IR held a fundraiser in Los Angeles Sunday evening at the Shriners Auditorium that was both a successful fundraiser and an spiritually uplifting event. Titled â€œEvening of Inspirationâ€, the presentation was flawlessly executed and made the nearly 4000 people in attendance feel as one with the performers. The Los Angeles appearance was only one of numerous venues. The others were: Dallas, Bay Area, Detroit, Newark and Cupertino, Ca. The event was subtitled: A Benefit Concert for Children around the World.
This year marks the second year that Evening of Inspiration has toured the United States. The success of last years events – tickets were often sold out in advance of the event – necessitated seeking larger halls.
Anwar Khan led the fundraising appeal and presented slides and a short motion picture of IRâ€™s work around the world.
Comedian Mohammed Amer was the MC and had the audience laughing from the beginning of his entry on stage until he left. He is part of a comedy group â€œAllah Made me Funnyâ€. During the course of the evening he told the audience that his group would make a full length motion picture in Anaheim this summer.
On entering the stage, Mohammed commented that as a Palestinian this was the greatest distance he had covered without running into a checkpoint.
One woman, holding her side, said â€œI donâ€™t remember when I have ever laughed so hardâ€ at the end of one of Mohammedâ€™s skits.
Hamza Robertson from UK, a recent revert to Islam, sang a touching medley, the most inspirational of which was a song about the Prophet (s). Hamza noted that the Prophet (s) was his role model, and he hoped that he would also be a role model for todayâ€™s youth.
When Sami Yusuf entered the stage the audience applauded for such a period of time that only when he began his music did the cheering of necessity stop. His music mesmerized his listeners with its sheer beauty, message, and the obvious piety of the singer and his backup.
More that $200,000 was collected for childrenâ€™s relief.
Islamic Relief was founded in 1984 in the UK. The US affiliate was founded in California in 1993. IR has offices in 37 countries and operates 360 projects. The services Islamic Relief provides include, but are not limited to: feeding the hungry, orphan sponsorship, sanitation, education, income generation and emergency relief.