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Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago marks 31st anniversary

The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago honors "Top Muslim Achievers" during the Nov. 5 celebration dinner. (Courtesy of Syed Ullah)
The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago honors "Top Muslim Achievers" during the Nov. 5 celebration dinner. (Courtesy of Syed Ullah)

Nov. 5 was the 31st anniversary of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, which was held in Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois.

The event, with the theme, "Together Toward Tomorrow," raises awareness of the Muslim community by honoring "Top Muslim Achievers" and their noteworthy accomplishments to society. The nonprofit organization unites more than 70 mosques and Islamic groups throughout the Chicago area, representing Muslims from different backgrounds.

More than 400,000 Muslim Americans in the greater Chicago area and, increasingly, the entire state of Illinois have been united by the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago for over 30 years. It is made up of a wide and diversified group of organizations, with over 70 member organizations ranging from mosques to Islamic schools and community organizations centered in the Chicago area. Numerous racial and ethnic groups, including African Americans, Nigerians, South Asians, Arabs, Bosnians, Albanians, Turks, Latinos, Caucasians, and many more, are represented among the Muslim population. In order to interact and cooperate with the government, media, interfaith community, and the general public, the Council brings these communities together.

Alia Ammar hosted the event. The event began with a Quran recitation and translation. Executive Director Abdullah Mitchell addressed the audience, emphasizing the council's design framework, purpose, and measures. He also emphasized the importance of collaboration among Muslim diverse communities in overcoming challenges and achieving the council's objectives.

In his address, Chair Dr. Abdulgany Hamadeh outlined the objectives, activities, expansion plans, and funding requirements to continue to meet the community's growing needs.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, state Rep. Nabeela Syed, state Rep. Justin Slaughter, past chair council Irshad Khan, and others spoke at the event.

The council is honored to recognize two Top Muslim Achievers. The award was given to Dr. Hytham Almasri, CEO and founder of Hematogenix, and Arshia Wajid, president of American Muslim Health Professionals. Achievers because their outstanding contributions in their field and appreciated work is valued in the community.

Muslim achievers are recognized for their outstanding success and contributions in sports, sciences, medicine, engineering, academic, journalism, law & law enforcement, finance/business, and entrepreneurship, among other fields.

Sheikh Kifah Mustapha, imam and director of The Prayers Center Orland Park, led the fundraising efforts. Fundraising targets were met in 15 minutes.

The Mosque Foundation, Downtown Islamic Center, Islamic Center of Naperville, Muslim Community Center, Zakat Foundation of America, Islamic Foundation North, Benedictine University, Mecca Center, Iman Fund, Orland Park Prayer Center and many others sponsored the annual dinner.

Consul General of Pakistan Tariq Kareem, several members of the Catholic Archdiocese, and representatives from the Catholic Theological Union and the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago were among the civic and interfaith leaders who joined the celebratory dinner.

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