Thousands Gathered for the 55th Annual National Convention of ISNA in Houston
TMO Report: Thirteen years ago Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana, resulting in thousands getting displaced, and were hosted by Houstonians at the famous George R. Brown Convention Center (GRB). Over 2,000 Muslim Volunteers served these guests from Louisiana at GRB on September 11, 2005, which was appreciated by everyone. Those volunteers included Muslim leadership and volunteers from Houston and other cities of USA.
Thirteen years later August 31st till September 3rd, 2018 again saw thousands of Muslims gathering from all over USA, Canada, and other international countries thronging GRB for the coveted 55th Annual National Convention of Muslims Umbrella Organization Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).
Around 200 Speakers spoke on various topics, with the overall theme of the Convention being “In God We Trust (Ref: Quran 33:3).” This was the first time Houston was chosen for ISNA’s National Convention, and the local hosts and participants from Houston of this 55th ISNA Convention showed the true spirits of Islamic & Southern Hospitality.
Ten days before this Convention, General Election Results of ISNA were announced, where new President replacing Azhar Azeez is Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed; and Vice President replacing Dr. Altaf Hussain is Safaa Zarzour, who have started their tenure right at after this Convention.
Some of the salient features of ISNA Convention was “Basketball Tournament / Clinic for Boys & Girls” in three categories each; Film Festival; Islamic Arts Festival; Health Fair with Blood & Bone Marrow Drives; Zumba Cardio Fitness Class; Food Packaging Event to help assemble kits for the homeless in partnership with SEARCH Homeless Services; Children & Family Carnival; Food Court with ISNA Chef Challenge being cheered on by Comedian Preacher Moss; Till Midnight Comedy Show with Preacher Moss and Allah Made Me Funny Team; 5-K Fun Runaround and in the picturesque Discovery Park benefiting Interfaith Ministries’ Houston Meals on Wheels; Adams’ World Live Show presented by Sound Vision; Urdu Mushaira organized by ISNA and International Academy of Letters USA; around 200 Speakers expressing their candid views on various relevant contemporary topics inspiring everyone to become active & positive members of the society around where they live, and much more.
Earlier the 55th Annual National Convention of ISNA started on Friday, August 31st, 2018 with Jummah Khutabah delivered and prayers established by outgoing President Azhar Azeez.
Saturday of ISNA Convention is traditionally famous for the Community Service Recognition Luncheon (CSRL). This year saw the 19th CSRL, where 78 years old Sheikh Muhammad Nur Abdullah, Former President of ISNA got the Life Time Achievement Award.
CSRL started with stirring Quranic Recitation was done by Young Ahmed Burhan from Minnesota, who recently won the International Award of being the Best Qari.
Rashida TLaib from Michigan, who is going to be among the two First Muslim Congresswoman, gave a moving and most inspiring speech, as her children stood around her: She said Muslims are most humble people and shy away from telling their good stories of societal & humanitarian services, but it is time that Muslims brag a bit about it: Not for the sake of show off, but for the sake of bringing the true picture of Islam & Muslims in front of all Americans.
Other most inspirational speakers at CSRL were Shaun King, famous Social Justice Advocate & Writer of Book “The Power of 100”; and Mehdi Hasan, award-winning presenter of “Up Front” and “Head to Head” on ALJazeera English.
Local Community Service Award went to Dr. Moein Butt of Shifa Foundation, which provides excellent Healthcare Services at minimal cost to the Muslim & Non-Muslin Communities’ across the Greater Houston Region at the Masajid of Islamic Society of Greater Houston (ISGH).
Mayor of Houston speaking at the Breakfast with Elected Officials said: “Success is not often determined by what the scoreboard says at the end. It is determined by whether or not you wake up every morning and decide if you will continue to be in the game. If you will continue to fight until the struggle is over. ?Find your purpose.”
Rep of TMO talking to several participants got these responses:
“I had a great time at ISNA-55 in Houston. Mad props to all the organizers and volunteers, who put in countless hours leading up to the convention. Despite some minor hiccups, it was extremely organized and beneficial. A few humble thoughts to share.”
Another comment received: “ISNA truly is an umbrella organization for Islamic Institutions in America: educational seminaries, relief charities, civil rights groups, Islamic banking, financial vehicles, halal food, fashion designers, etc. Everyone is invited and given a platform to speak, leading to engagement across different worlds and perspectives. Despite the fact the overall attendance can always be higher, the high visibility of several activists meeting in one place creates a tangible sense of excitement in the Muslim community. And even animosity from Islamophobes in the form of threatening displays of gun-toting protestors outside the GRB Convention Center. Which ISNA, political allies, and the Houston police handled beautifully by the way.”
Another remark: “As an active member of another national organization, I believe there’s a lot to learn from ISNA’s inclusiveness and collaboration. Overall there is much benefit with this convention. May Allah bring Barakat and Khair (Blessings) to all the good work Aameen.”
For more information and participating in activities of ISNA, one can visit www.ISNA.Net