Saturday, April 17, 2010

MOVIES,MUSIC & YUMMY ICE CREAM AS DHAISY CAME TO MAINE

                   2010 Maine African Film Festival
The past week was an amazing one for me. I am on the board  and organizing committee of the Maine African film  festival and we just had our second  Annual festival. Beautiful movies were screened and the attendance was fair and I had fun at the closing party was  fill with, friends, fun and  good music all night. 
             Dinner with Dhaisy
    Just when that fun  was ending I had to transition into a new kind of fun, I was joining some community and religious leaders, and students  to have  dinner with Dhaisy Khan from New York. She was in  Portland Maine to give a lecture at the '2010 Douglas Schair Lecture on Genocide and Human Rights' and the theme of her presentation was 'MUSLIM WOMEN and the AMERICAN  EXPRESSION of ISLAM.
  Dhaisy is the Executive Director and Co-founder of the American society for Muslim Advancement(ASMA), she is also the founder of The Women Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equity(WISE) and also Muslim leaders of Tomorrow. the dinner was at the Portland Harbor hotel.and the food was excellent but her personality was the icing on top of the perfect night.  There was many community members there to make her feel at home.
              
  CIVIL RIGHT AND DIVERSITY DAY  - AUGUSTA MAINE
   As if that was not enough, I had an appointment with a high school in Augusta, the capital city of Maine. Monday was the Civil right and diversity day organize by the Civil Right Team  at CORNY High School in Augusta Maine, and I was to do a  two presentations on being a Muslim in America (Islam 101)and one on being an immigrant...  I was greeted by a group of smiling students and was ushered into the 'food' room where there is anything from bagel to munchkins and of course coffee, tea and some juice to go with. I was treated like a local ' champion' with one student waiting to attend all my needs. it felt good so much that i text one of my friends in Portland and said I was moving to Augusta.
            My presentation went well I was impressed by the students' engagement through all three sessions.  Most of the  questions  were  interesting, some were silly but genuine,a lot were   honest  questions from young high school students who  wanted to learn about my beliefs and  where I was coming from. I  had lunch and some yummy Ice cream and was praying that I don't fall asleep driving back to Portland.
                               DHAISY' S LECTURE WAS FANTASTIC
  I walk into the Hannaford hall at the University of Southern Maine the room was full like all the past annual Douglas M. Schair Memorial Lecture on Genocide and Human Rights, people were eager to hear what she has to say. She delivered a powerful lecture , answered many question to the satisfaction of the audience. Once again Maine have demonstrated that it is possible for us to co-exist and lean from each other. Thanks to the Hudson Foundation and the Scahair family for making this lecture  possible, for more info on some of the wonderful things they do in our great State please visit them at    
   www.http://hudsonfoundationmaine.org

  Quote of the day:
'There is only one country in the world in which Muslims are FREE and it is the  USA' .....Dhaisy Khan