By Jessica Censotti, IMANA Communications Director
IMANA Host Commitee: Dr. Shuja Hafiz, Dr. Shiraz Suleman, Dr. Ismail Mehr (IMANA President-Elect and IMR Chair) , Dr. Ayaz Samadani (IMANA President), Dr. Baseer Khan, Dr. Ali Ghouse.
â€œAn Evening with IMANAâ€ in Toronto was a great success. On Saturday, May 11, two hundred Healthcare Professionals, along with their families, came together at the InterContinental Toronto Center hotel to learn more about IMANA. The evening started with a beautiful recitation of the Quâ€™ran by Safwan Suleman, a 12th grade student. Dr. Ayaz M. Samadani (WI), IMANA President, in his opening remarks welcomed all guests and invited them to join IMANA to serve the community, in order to make it a more healthier and productive for everyone, regardless of race or religion. Dr. Ismail Mehr (NY), Chair of IMANA Medical Relief (IMR), shared his own struggle to accept the calling to volunteer. He shared IMANA Medical Reliefâ€™s work around the globe and invited everyone to join IMR in its future medical missions, especially to Haiti in June of 2013.
After a break for Maghrib prayers and a delightful dinner, Dr. Shafiq Qaadri, a family doctor and a Member of Provincial Parliament in Ontario, was recognized by IMANA for his contribution to Canadian Society. Later Dr. Marium Husain (OH), Chair of the Student/Resident Committee of IMANA encouraged all students and residents to become part of IMANAâ€™s student network to help each other and to avail the mentorship opportunities provided by IMANA physicians.
The eveningâ€™s highlight was our keynote speaker, Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, a medical doctor who was born and raised in Jabalia refugee camp of Palestine. In his passionate call for faith and hope, he reminded everyone that faith without action has little relevance beyond self. Many in the audience listened to him with teary eyes when he shared how his life was spared while three of his daughters and a niece were killed in 2009, by Israeli tank fire, just seconds after he left the house. He stated that he knows what he has lost and that what was taken from him will never come back. But as a physician and as a Muslim of deep faith, he shared that he must move forward toward the light. Motivated by his loved ones that he lost, he has dedicated his life to bring justice through peaceful measures with his organization, Daughters For Life. Later he signed his book â€œI Shall Not Hate, A Gaza Doctorâ€™s journeyâ€ for the guests that attended.
An Evening with IMANA in Toronto was great success! Our guests enjoyed each otherâ€™s company, they learned more about IMANA, they were motivated by the work that IMANA Medial Relief is doing and everyone left inspired by the faith in action demonstrated by the Keynote Speaker.
Dr. Baseer Khan, a Toronto-based ophthalmologist, did a wonderful job as the Master of the Ceremonies. The evening concluded with a trio of desserts and coffee, as the networking continued. The attendees expressed interest in developing further relationship with IMANA and many of the physicians in the audience registered as new members.