By Nasreen Saeed
Sunday May 7th 2006 was “American Muslim Voice’s” 3rd annual “Miracle movement” open house. Samina Faheem Sundas, Executive Director of the American Muslim Voice, started this wonderful tradition 3 years ago by opening her own home to all fellow Americans to sow the seeds of friendship. Keeping up with old traditions people came from far and near. I met with lots of locals from Palo Alto and surrounding SF Bay area towns and cities, but people drove to join in as far as from Monterey, Santa Cruz, Sacramento, Woodland, CA etc.
The weather was fantastic, sunny and bright with a little breeze. There must have been 250-300 people jammed into Samina’s house yard and on the street with a lot of sweet fragrance of roses. Every one was enjoying Pakistani food, gourmet salads and pastas, compliments of our fellow American. Pakistani dishes like Chicken Korma, Beryani, Keema with bell peppers, Bigharay Baingans, mixed vegetables, gourmet Channa Dal, and tandori Nan. For desert out of this world Shahi Kheer and Saweeyans were served. Two of our Pakistani restaurants donated the food for this worthy event. Mehran donated chicken and Zafran donated Shahi Kheer. Many of Samina’s friends help prepare food. This was truly a community effort and labor of love.
Our guests were relaxed sipping their favorite cold drinks, meeting with old friends with big warm smiles and making new friends with open arms. There were all races, colors and faiths present and it did not matter if you were a Jew, Christian, Buddhist or a Muslim. The important part was we all felt welcomed, accepted and cherished. We belong to one race, the human race.
A comment by a first timer to this event was,” I have gone to many open houses (referring to real estate open houses) but never one quite like this one.”
The next question was, how do you know Samina? Many after that comment shared a special story. At one point one of our future friends walked over to Samina and asked, who are all these people? She smiled and replied 90% of them are my old friends and the other 10% are my future friends. Are you serious? You have that many friends? She smiled and said, “These are some of my friends” So many of my friends are busy with other worthwhile activities and could not make it.
One of the highlights of the program was singing by a group of lovely ladies, ” Raging Granny’s”. They sang the songs of peace and love and the entire crowd joined in with them. They enjoyed the instant fan club.
At the open house people were all smiles, enjoying food, and having fun with new and old friends. There were wonderful displays of reach and teach, T-shirts, Olive Oil from Palestine and literature for different causes. But the purpose of the event was a very serious one. It is to create a culture of peace, acceptance, mutual respect and harmony among all people of this great nation of ours.
The flyer for the event read: We believe in the power of human connection and thought we can sow the seeds of friendship even under the current political climate of fear, hate, anger and division and we will call it “The Miracle Movement". We are paving the path for this movement and need your help.
After participating in and observing other participants of the event, I came out with the feeling that the event not only it was a huge success but achieved beyond its goals. It sure nurtured the seeds of friendship.
The AMV is planning many “Miracle Movement Open Houses” throughout the nation. The next one will be in Fremont, CA at the AMV Director Reshma Yunus’s castle on Sunday July 9th, 2006 at 5:30 PM. We will serve South Asian dinner.
You do not have to be a Muslim or AMV member to organize one at your home. We encourage all of you to join our efforts in creating a culture of peace, acceptance, mutual respect and harmony in our world. Especially for the sake our children and grandchildren, we owe it to them. Let us spread the “Miracle Movement” in our neighborhoods.
Please contact us for co-sponsorship and endorsements. Samina F. Sundas 650-387-1994 or Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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