Report by Rabiya Khan
(CAIR-Philadelphia Advisory Board Member)
Governor Tom Wolf and First Lady Francis Wolf made history when they hosted the first Eid-al-Adha dinner celebration at the Governor’s Mansion in Harrisburg on Thursday, September 15th, 2016.
More than two dozen Muslims from across Pennsylvania were invited to attend this historic occasion where they were treated to a three course meal prepared by the Governor’s personal chef.
Before sitting down to eat, a room was available to perform the late afternoon (“Asr” in Arabic) prayer.
Attendees mingled with each other and were introduced to the Governor and his wife who graciously took the time to personally greet each guest. After taking pictures with their excited and honored guests, everyone took their seats at the dining table where the meal was preceded by a speech by the Governor and a prayer by Imam Mikal Shabazz of Masjidullah in Philadelphia.
In keeping with the traditions of this religious holiday, the Governor announced that the halal meat his chef had ordered and prepared was divided into three portions: One for the poor, one for our meal, and one for us to take home and share with our family and friends.
The dinner attendees were:
- Zakariyya Abdur-Rahman, President & CEO, Nicetown CDC
- Osama Al-Qasem, President, Council on American-Islamic Relations Pennsylvania
- Rep. Jason Dawkins, Legislator, Philadelphia
- Nasir Emadi, Shia Muslim Community (Harrisburg)
- Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr., Philadelphia City Councilman
- Dr. Fariha Khan, Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs
- Rabiya Khan, Founder, Solidarity Society of South Central PA
- Tiffany Chang Lawson, Executive Director, Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs
- Samia Malik, Community Leader, Central PA Muslim Community
- Dr. Atizaz Mansoor, Islamic Society of Greater Harrisburg
- Wasi Mohamed, Executive Director, Islamic Center of Pittsburgh
- Dr. Mubasheer Mumtaz, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community (Harrisburg)
- Jalila Parker, Executive Director, Governor’s Advisory Commission on African American Affairs
- Majeedah Rashid, Chief Operating Officer, Nicetown CDC
- Imam Mikal Shabazz, Imam of Masjidullah in Philadelphia
- Shirley Jones-Shakur
- Sharif Street, Attorney, PA Senate Candidate
- Salima Suswell, Philadelphia Eid Coalition
- Mukarem Syed, Islamic Community Center of Lancaster
- Hani White, Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs
At the end of the evening, local activist Samia Malik presented the Governor with a plaque on behalf of the Muslim community which stated: “The Muslims of Central PA extend this small token of appreciation for your courage in standing for justice and equality for all citizens, including American Muslims. We also recognize your humanitarianism in welcoming refugees to our Great State of PA.”
View More Photos on CAIR-Philadelphia’s Flickr
View More Photos on Governor Wolf’s Flickr