Community News (V14-I13)

Ahmed Elsayed overcomes all odds to achieve excellence

NEW YORK,NY–For a child of Sudanese immigrants who lived in cramped apartments Ahmed Elsayed has overcome all odds to attain academic and athletic excellence. The 18 year old senior student at Wingate High School in Brooklyn is now headed to Brown University where he has been accepted in the much coveted Program in Liberal Medical Education. His is a great example of how one can overcome all hurdles with determination, faith, and a little bit of help from family and teachers.

Elsayed’s father works as a driver and his mother is presently out of work. His six siblings often lived in cramped apartments and were constantly on the move for better residential facilities. But with good mentoring and support he has been working towards his goals since grade 6. Apart from maintaining a perfect GPA he has excelled in athletics and extracurricular activities.
He’s the student body president, an actor in the school’s theater company, and a two-time PSAL city champion in wrestling.

The Program in Liberal Medical Education is one of the primary routes to Brown’s Alpert Medical School, and it’s highly selective, admitting about 55 students a year from a pool of 2,000 applicants. It allows students to attend medical school without having to take the MCAT.

All of his expenses will be covered, provided that he maintains a 3.0 GPA through eight years of schooling.  If his past is any indicator Elsayed is all set to achieve excellence in his Ivy League education as well.

Islamic association reaches out to the uninsured

PROVIDENCE,RI–The American Islamic Wellness Association is taking care of the uninsured in Rhode Island by holding free screenings. Currently, more than 140,000 Rhode Island residents lack health insurance.

The association, which was founded last February, sees about 11 patients every Saturday and has served more than 250 patients since it became operational last May.  In addition to staffing the Saturday clinic, the association provides free health screenings once a month in community centers, mosques and churches, where the uninsured can have their blood pressure, blood glucose and body mass index checked. Attendees can also seek advice from the physicians present.

The  group aims to provide health care to everyone, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or legal immigration status, she said, adding that 95 percent of the association’s patients are not Muslim. 

MSA raises $5,700 to alleviate suffering in Somalia

ORONO,ME– The University of Maine Muslim Student Association raised more than $5,700 during Project Somalia, a month-long effort to help alleviate suffering that stems from the food crisis in Somalia through the Humanitarian African Relief Organization.

Through its fundraising efforts, the MSA collected enough money to provide various services for approximately 235 families.

The MSA will continue its fundraising efforts into March. This will assure that “people who still would like to donate during the Islamic Awareness Week hosted by the UMaine MSA can do so,” a MSA spokesman said.

Muslims urged to undertake civic engagement

TEANECK,NJ–Attendees at a Muslim community event in Teaneck over the weekend were urged to play an active role in politics and other avenues of civic engagement.

Speakers at the  15th annual American Muslim Union’s Community Brunch told the participants that prejudice and discrimination needs to be fought at all levels of the political scene, reported the Record newspaper. In an opening prayer, Rabbi Lawrence Zierler of the Jewish Center of Teaneck called on God to bless “the Jew, the Christian, the Muslim and all faith communities to be there for each other.”

“Today we live in a world of Islamophobia,” Mohamed Younes, president of the AMU, told an audience of 400 Muslims and government officials. “It is only when we as Muslims have a voice in the government that we can make sure our rights are protected.”

The conference also drew some of the state’s top law enforcement leaders such as U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman, state Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa and Rick Fuentes, superintendent of the State Police.

U.Pacific fundraiser drive for education in Palestine

STOCKTON,CA–A Muslim Students Association at the  University of the Pacific raised $33,500 at a dinner  last Sunday to benefit education and health in Palestine, the Record newspaper reported.
The donations tripled what the Muslim Student Association raised at its 2011 charity event and eclipsed expectations for this year’s event.

All of the proceeds, raised through donations from the 260 community members who attended Sunday, were donated to Islamic Relief, club president Zarghona Fazli said.

Organizers said their goal was to help Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank. The money will be used to help fund schools and hospitals.


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