Monday, February 18, 2008

ALMA in Atlanta.. by Siri Carrion


Feeling the connection
When you meet people from your home country or the city were you where born it feels so great! There is an instant connection, but when you meet another Muslim from your country or city there seems to be this instant bonding that takes place that you cannot describe.

Alhamdulillah, ALMA (Atlanta Latino Muslim Association) had its first meeting/lecture on Feb 16, 2008. My intention was to bring the Latino community together to put a face to a name and have dinner and just get to know each other. But you know Allah is the best of planners.

My plan was this, to invite Hajji Yousef Maisonet from Mobil, AL to come and speak to our small Latino community and describe his experience in Dubai at the Imam training program. Inshallah, I wanted to hold the first gathering at the Masjid. As it turned out, one Masjid was scheduled to have its old roof taken off and a new one put on. I called in another favor from the Amir at another masjid. As it turned out, they too had an event already scheduled. Alhamdulillah, Bro. Franco and his wife suggested I have the meeting at his home. Well Allah knows best and he is Akbar.

There where about 20 + people in Brother Franco’s home. I had cooked a pot of pollo guisado and arroz con gandules. The brother had some food catered as well so no one will go home hungry. As we were eating the sisters were able to share their stories about their children. And the men discussed issues with in Islam and giving dawah. Around 4pm we got the presentation going. I introduced myself and my organization to the group while Hajji Yousef set up.

Hajji Yousef is a well accomplished photographer and journalist. His DVD presentation was just beautiful. The pictures he chose where just magnificent. During the presentation he narrated and described in more detail the pictures he emailed to me. Well in my mind this was the end of the show and everyone can go home.

Well Allah had another plan. Subhan Allah, there where several brothers from area Masajid. One brother in particular is the Vice President of ICNA in the southeast region. Subhan Allah, This brother was so moved with what I had put together, by the grace of Allah, he almost jumped out of his seat to dance. The short of it is this, they have a clinic and extra space in a highly populated Latino community and he offered us the use of this room to do dawah, hold classes or whatever else we want to do for the community. ALLAHU AKBAR! Believe me I did not know this small gathering would turn out to be so grand and beautiful. I was not asking for anything. I just wanted to bring people together to say we are Latino and Muslim. I just wanted to connect with my latino muslim brothers and sisters. In no way did I expect for these wonderful brothers to offer my small organization so much! ALLAHU AKBAR! That is truly a blessing.

So now the latino community has a place to meet and give dawah to other latinos and just have a place to reconnect with our culture. Inshallah Allah will continue to bless those who are giving dawah for the sake of Allah. Ameen. Inshallah, we will continue to be successful and see the latino community grow by leaps and bounds. And Allah knows best.

Shareefa Siri M Carrion, Founder


1 comment:

PIEDAD said...

Takbir .. Allahu Akbar my lovely sister in islam. It is with small acts of worship that we succeed daily. This risk you took to bring an imam from Alabama paid off in multiple ways.. I applaud you and must tell you that it is infectious. Our Tampa Bay sisterhood started a small Imam fund to bring Imam Yousef and other latinos here to Florida aswell. wasalam Khadijah Rivera coordinator for PIEDAD