This past weekend our community stood in solidarity with the victims of the Orlando shooting, against violence and hate of all forms. Despite limited time, 120 youths of Husseini Islamic Center came together to pull of an incredible fundraising event on Saturday night titled "Muslims for Peace: a Solidarity Event in Remembrance of those Whose Lives were Lost". It began with a short program by our visiting speaker Sheikh Nur Mohamed who condemned this attack and encouraged all to participate in the interactive stations that followed. We had stations for hand written letters for the victims families and those hospitalized, hand prints to portray our solidarity, roses, waterbottle and foodstuffs assembly to take the following day to the vigil, poster making and a bbq station. Not only did the entire community help raise funds for the victims, they participated in genuine and heartfelt acts of kindness and compassion, a fundamental tenet of our faith.
The fundraiser event created excitement and build up towards the Candlelight Vigil on Sunday, where members carpooled or rode on buses arranged by the Management Committee, with a total of over 160 attendees passing out snacks, water and roses around Lake Eola. Our presence there was felt, appreciated and the response of love was overwhelming. It was an evening of unity, peace, courage and understanding, a beautiful beginning towards building bridges and relationships in our communities and our world.