IIT held its tenth annual Ramadan Iftar/Dinner on Wednesday June 24th, 2015, hosting more than ninety guests. The event began at 7:00 pm with the recitation of verses from the Qur’an followed by a video presentation about IIIT.
Dr. Al-Shingieti, IIIT Executive Director, welcomed everyone to the Al Faruqi Memorial Lecture and Iftar/Dinner. Noting the new faces in the audience, he said that “we are broadening the circle of IIIT friends as we broaden also the scope of our activity and our outreach.”
He also identified a few innovative projects that IIIT began recently: the Summer Student and Scholars Programs; a research grants program; resident scholars program; a new partnership program with Union Theological Seminary (UTS) focusing on Islam, Social Justice, and Inter-Religious Engagement; the flourishing of IIIT and Hartford Seminary’s relationship in the Imam Education and Training and Chaplaincy Programs, in addition to the newly approved PhD program in Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations.
Following the welcoming remarks, Dr. Yaqub Mirza of Sterling Management recognized Delegate Tom Rust for his exceptional public service. Tom Rust, in turn, expressed his appreciation for the role played by IIIT and other Muslim organizations in the community. He indicated that “not only have you done so much for bringing knowledge to us of Islam, but you brought so much to the community.” In mentioning FAITH (Foundation for Appropriate and Immediate Help) and its annual “Herndon Without Hunger” program where “hundreds of our fellow citizens –no questions asked- are supplied with enough food for a week or ten days” he said, “it is so heartwarming to see what this community does in reaching out to those who are far less fortunate than we are.”
This year, IIIT recognized the academic achievements of Prof. Farid Senzai for receiving tenure at Santa Clara University; Dr. Altaf Husain for receiving tenure at Howard University; Dr. Fatima Mirza for completing her PhD in Social Work, University of Maryland; Firas Barzinji for completing his Masters’ Degree in Business Administration, University of Virginia; and Sumayya Al Shingieti for completing her Bachelors’ Degree in Film and Video Studies at George Mason University and receiving an award for the film she produced.
Dr. Yaqub Mirza then introduced the keynote speaker, Prof. Calvin Allen, Dean of College of Arts and Sciences, Shenandoah University. Dr. Allen expressed his gratitude to IIIT and highlighted the mutual programs between Shenandoah University and IIIT, and the impact these programs have in alleviating misconceptions about Islam and Muslims.
After breaking fast with dates, water, and delicious food a number of distinguished guests shared their thoughts about their relationship with IIIT. These included: Malaysia’s Ambassador to the US H.E. Dr. Awang Adek Hussin, Dr. Douglas Johnston, Dr. Serene Jones, Rabbi Gerald Serotta, Dr. Mohamad Faghfoory, Prof. Farid Senzai, and Dr. Ziauddin Sardar.
At the end of the event, the guests were thanked for sharing their time with IIIT and its friends.
More photos on Flickr