Highway Cleanup by Canton Mosque
Cantonâ€”April 22â€”Several representatives of the Canton mosque (Muslim Community of the Western Suburbs) participated in a 2-hour cleanup of Rte. I-275 between Ecorse and Michigan Avenue as a part of MCWSâ€™s â€œAdopt-a-Highwayâ€ program.
This year about 5 members of the community picked up trash alongside route 275, working from early in the morning until about 10 a.m on Saturday. Said Mr. Ahmad Siddik, an MCWS member who helped start the program, â€œAt this point it is hard to get patches of highway that are close to urban areasâ€”mostly what is available is far off the beaten track.â€ MCWS, however, was fortunate enough to obtain a prime patch of highway, only a few minutesâ€™ drive from the mosque, convenient for the community and highly visible to the many commuters who use I-275.
The procedure for obtaining a patch of highway to care for is fairly simple: fill out an application and file it with the Michigan Department of Transportation. Thereafter, MDOT approves the application, issues a safety video and trash bags and hi-visibility fluorescent vests, and the group can begin to pick up trash along the highway at three designated two-week window-periods during the year. After each trash pickup session, the volunteers fill out a report and give that to their MDOT handler.
The government advises volunteers to use work gloves and workboots, to avoid stepping in bodies of water, and to avoid picking up very large or heavy pieces of debris, but to only mark those pieces for later pickup by MDOT personnel.
MCWS is responsible to pick up trash along their patch of highway in April, July, and September. They have maintained this program for two years, and have received a good response from the Muslim community for the event. During their last pickup session, about 15 volunteers spread the work over more hands and made the load somewhat lighter than this weekendâ€™s effort. Still, this weekâ€™s effort was a successful one that resulted in dozens of white MDOT Adopt-a-Highway bags of litter being set aside for MDOT pickup.
For more information, contact MCWS at 734-467-7704 and leave a message for Ahmad Siddik.
HUDA Clinic Stretches Out a Hand to Those in Need
Detroitâ€”April 22â€”The HUDA Clinic, in downtown Detroit at the Detroit Muslim Unity Center on Davison, has been in operation for about two years.
The clinic now sees about 30 patients a day, performing blood pressure checks, giving antibiotics, helping people with colds, with a staff of five to six rotating physicians. The clinic is open only on Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm.
The main group of five doctors who are involved are of many different ethnicities: African American, from the subcontinent, Arabs. Other doctors come on a more occasional basis.
On a visit this past Saturday, about 15 patients of many different backgroundsâ€”some Arabs, some Indians, some African American, some Muslim, some non-Muslimâ€”were all waiting patiently to talk with local doctors.
According to third-year medical student Yusuf Qamruzzaman, who volunteers his services at the clinic, the clients are â€œmostly walkins,â€ who have heard about the clinic through word-of-mouth or through advertising in local newspapers. He explains that the budget of the clinic is between $20,000 and $40,000 annually, which pays for medications, rend for the building, and more. The money comes mainly in the form of grants, he explained, from the state government. He explained also that HUDA has a deal with the Detroit Medical Center (DMC) labs to do lab tests at reduced cost.
â€œIâ€™ve been here since it started about two years ago,â€ says Qamruzzaman, â€œItâ€™s very different now from how it wasâ€”we used to work a four-hour shift and maybe two or three people would come all day. Now we see maybe twenty or thirty patients a day.â€
For more information about HUDA, please visit www.hudaclinic.com, or contact 248-470-3688.
Soup Kitchen Serves 125 People Every Week
Detroitâ€”April 22â€”Very few mosques provide soup kitchens and free food to local people, but the Detroit Muslim Unity Center has that unique good quality among American mosques.
The program is run by Kabah Muhammad and Adel Muhammad, who serve about 125 people every week, giving that many boxes of food. The program is one that provides donations in two ways. First, visitors receive a warm meal prepared by Ms. Muhammad the previous evening, then, the visitors receive a box full of groceries donated by local grocery stores.
Ms. Muhammad is a kindly woman who radiates a sense of motherhood and warmth. Her husband Adel Muhammad is a dignified and quiet man who also provides security for the Detroit mosque.
Friday afternoons, several local grocery stores (Kroger, Farmer Jack) deliver food to the mosque. Mr. Adel Muhammad and his son Omar bag bread and fruit and vegetables, separating the food into different cartons.
At 11:30 am on Saturday, people come to the mosque and she serves lunch, including stir-fry halal beef, vegetables, chili, chicken, string beans, salad, meat from Sadâ€™s halal meat market, and fruits and vegetables from different markets.
Then, after all have eaten a wholesome meal by Ms. Muhammad, they go home with a carton full of donated groceries from Kroger or Farmer Jack. –