On July 2nd, the America’s Islamic Heritage Museum (AIHM) and Cultural Center of Washington, DC hosted an iftar fundraiser dinner sponsored by the Embassy of Qatar. The event highlighted the unique role in which the museum serves as is the only institution in Washington DC specializing in and preserving the history of Muslim Americans and their multicultural communities. The collections and museum is a unique historical and artistic collaboration of exhibits and programs (short plays, readings, oral history programs, discussions, and films) that provide a platform for unheard American voices that clarifies the historical and cultural impact Muslims and Islam has played in the United States.
Imam Siraj Wahaj of Masjid Al-Taqwa in Brooklyn, New York provided remarks of encouragement to those in attendance and encouraged individuals to make the necessary investment in preserving our collective Muslim past and present history. In addition, Ali Saad Al-Hajiri, Political and Economic Counselor for the Embassy of Qatar extended remarks on behalf of the Ambassador and encouraged the transatlantic connections between the United States and the people of Qatar. A diverse groups of Muslims and non-Muslims were in attendance, including The Nation’s Mosque, under the leadership of Imam Talib Shareef brought a large contingency of believers to the event. Also, local and national representatives from various Masajid’s in the Washington, DC metropolitan area were represented including: the Council of American Islamic Relations, All Dulles Area Muslim Society, Muslim Community Center, Islamic Society of the Washington Area, International Institute of Islamic Thought and the Islamic Society of North America to name a few.
AIHM under the leadership of the founder and curator Amir Muhammad and his wife Habeebah remains a vital lifeline to the social and historical fabric of Washington, DC and the American society at-large. The continued financial and social support by the community to this institution will ensure a future of preserving the unique experience of American Muslims since the founding as a republic.
By Muhammad Fraser-Rahim, Ph.D candidate in African and Islamic thought, Howard University