Brought to you by: Omar Salim/Community Service Ambassador/Thaakat Foundation
Thousands of patients with leukemia and other life-threatening diseases need a bone marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant and depend on the Be The Match Registry ® to find a match.*
Finding a match: The basics For a successful transplant, a patient needs a matching donor. Special testing determines whether a patient and a bone marrow donor or umbilical cord blood are a good match. The closer the match, the better for the patient.*
In conjunction with the kind folks at the Hamdard Center, Thaakat Foundation hosted our first bone marrow registration drive in February. While on that gloomy Sunday we registered just under two dozen individuals, we realized this was not a cause we could abandon. Since then we have hosted six drives registering over 350 people, the majority of whom come from minority communities that the registry truly lacks.
Race and ethnicity matter Because the markers used in matching are inherited, patients are more likely to match someone from their own race or ethnicity. Adding more donors and cord blood units from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds to the Be The Match Registry increases the likelihood that all patients will find the match they need.
We all have the power to help, the power to give hope.
For more information on joining the Be The Match registry or to hold your own drive, contact Omar Salim
For those of you who will be attending the ISNA convention in Chicago, we are signing up volunteers for a bone marrow registration drive held in the bazaar at the convention. Please contact us to sign up for this weekend!
A Note from Umer Zakaria, President, Lane Tech Muslim Club
Lane Tech Muslim Club would like to thank Dr. LoBosco and the rest of the administrative team for allowing our club to flourish. We are blessed to have such a great principal who allows us to practice our faith at school. Thank you for working with us to make Islam Awareness Week and the rest of the Muslim Club activities a success!
We would like to thank our sponsors, Ms. Paganelli and Mrs. Mikbel. They have been more than supportive of the Lane Tech Muslim Club for many years and for that we would like to express our appreciation. They have always been open to our ideas, and because of this reason we were able to have our first ever Islam Awareness Week this year. Without their cooperation and help, none of the events planned would have been possible. We hope that Ms. Paganelli and Mrs. Mikbel will continue to sponsor the Lane Tech Muslim Club and allow it to flourish even more. They have truly made Muslim Club the success it is today with their never-ending support and dedication. Thank you for a great year!
We would also like to give a big thank you to Takreem Basheeruddin, who has helped us make this event a success even after graduating! We are truly very appreciative of her help with this year’s Spring Dinner.
Last but not least, we would like to thank all of our guests, especially Thaakat Foundation for supporting and believing in Lane Tech Muslim Club! We would not have been able to reach our goals without your help, motivation, and prayers.
From Thaakat: All the best tonight with your event Lane Tech Muslim Club, we are so appreciative of your continued support. You have served as model students who care for the progress of our global communities.
By: Syed Murad Ali
On Saturday, January 8th, a dear friend of mine’s mother passed away. And to pay my respects to her and her family, I attended her funeral services. But with my attendance, I left with more than I could have ever imagined.
I did not have the honor to personally know the departed, Vaseem Ahmed, but what I experienced yesterday through her funeral services, my time at her grave and the prayers held in her honor gave me more than enough information as to the type of woman she was and the amazing life that she led. I witnessed the hundreds upon hundreds of people pour into the massive Islamic Community of Central Jersey (ISCJ) Masjid yesterday where even the robust institution was challenged to house all of the guests. People in prayer were hovering over one another with just a matter of inches before them and behind them, all anxious to give their regards and well wishes to this wonderful woman. All of the leaders that spoke, shared words that hit hard. We are here on this earth not to bask in glory, not to count our money, not to become most powerful- because none of this comes with us to the grave. What comes with us is the purity of our soul and the good deeds we did for our communities and those in need. Vaseem Aunty was the perfect example of one who led an honorable life, she was a building block for an honest society and source of strength for those around her.
Next I made my way to the burial place where I found myself amazed once again. As I stood there on the grounds in my paper thin traditional garb, otherwise known as shalwar kameez, I looked at my surroundings which had seen two snowfalls and the snow surely stood its ground. I looked to my left and my right to see yet another mass of people. There was a diverse crowd, both elders and youngsters, all of whom had been touched by Vaseem Aunty’s work in her community and the Masjid. People stood shaking from the bitter cold, ankles high in snow, though I realized that there was no place any of us would rather be than to stand there to pay our respects. Once the procession began, you couldn’t feel a cold, the wind was silent, we were all numb to everything other than the hope that our heartfelt prayers for Aunty would reach the heavens.
Lastly, I attended the d’ua which took place at the Institute of Islamic Studies (IIS), the society in which Vaseem aunty played an instrumental role in operating. With the support of her family and friends, she helped to create an extremely powerful Ummah and the strength showed in emotion and numbers as hundreds wept, hugged and prayed to hold onto the memory of this kind woman.
Last night I walked away not with my head lowered in sadness or remorse but with a newly found vigor. This woman, without ever knowing it, inspired me. In her death she gave me strength and motivation to be a better person and inspire others around me. The outpouring of love and blessings I witnessed yesterday was truly a beautiful departure. One that I could only dream of. Only heaven awaits…
You will be greatly missed.
I would like to welcome you all to our 3rd annual Thanksgiving event with the elderly at Hamdard Center. Before sharing any further information I would like to commend all who reached out to volunteer.
There are a few reasons why we have this event every year. The elderly at Hamdard visit the center a few times every week to spend some time in a social atmosphere which they unfortunately do not get enough of as they begin to reach older age.
They are so thankful that we visit, their faces light up in joy when we speak with them and share that we are there by choice. Often times you’ll catch them hug you as they leave or sing the group a song. I feel it’s important for us to remember where we came from, to be thankful for our culture and the wisdom past generations have shared. Our way of sharing thankfulness is by giving time to those who deserve it. Thank you to the Hamdard Staff for allowing us the opportunity and to our wonderful board and volunteers for being so kind and generous.
The events started with creative turkey crafting. Volunteers sat with the residents complete with tiny pom poms, glitter, leaves and construction paper and each crafted a turkey to match their personality. As time for a full turkey lunch arrived ( yum yum thanks to Italian Express, Devon Ave, Chicago IL) the residents rushed to finish their non-edible turkeys.
From perfect carvings, to the sweetest potatoes- the group enjoyed endless helpings of great food. Volunteers were more eager to serve than eat themselves and the elderly huddled around the tables to continue conversations before the hours were over.
As everyone neared full belly, the residents deemed it perfect opportunity to sing a few songs. In due time, we had our own Bollywood clatter in the room and the volunteers and residents shared some of their favorite tunes. There were a few Birthday’s in the room so the team even happily took to singing our very familiar happy birthday song and let that follow with a round of musical chairs!
Our volunteers were to the top of their limits with happiness, I mean the impact they had made came full circle almost immediately. Before the day was over, a few of the seniors even openly shared their thankfullness to the Thaakat Team.
Now my friends I ask you. If you knew that in a matter of 2 hours of your day, in your life, in your long year you were able to make such a difference in someone’s life, would you wait? We are hoping that word spreads over time and more youngsters realize their responsibilities to the community around us. Make it happen kids, there is no better gift than giving.
Again Thank you Hamdard Center Staff and Director Kiran Siddiqui, Italian Express and all of our volunteers and board for making this happen.
Show your thanks, by making a difference.
My attempt at being at being non-political.
By: Uzma Bawany/Thaakat Foundation
If one were to ask what the biggest problems in Pakistan were right now, some people might even say traffic, garbage and bad marriages. For a country which houses the sixth largest population in the world, there are bigger problems to be oriented and once those are taken care of, problems such as overcrowded buses and littered highways will resolve themselves. A good leader understands that a superior macro management campaign will bring resolve to the micro dilemmas. Smart infrastructure for example will tackle traffic, litter, pollution and the economy.
When I heard of Sir Pervez Musharraf’s arrival in New Jersey I felt this was something I needed to hear, it was something that I needed to be a part of. I had tried so hard to not be a part of the political arguments in Pakistan, though when there is turmoil and disrepair as there is today, it is unavoidable to turn the other way. The source of all of the problems come from the leadership and infrastructure you have in place. Unfortunately with Pakistan, there is neither and we can’t deny it any longer.
Many argue that there is no good enough leadership that exists today to fix the problems of the country. Everyone has their arguments for and against Musharraf, so I went in with a completely non- biased view, only knowing that there must have been something he had done right as he held the torch of power for nine years in Pakistan. For me, his strength and cohesiveness in leadership was confirmed by what he had accomplished though the global relationships and bridges he had built.
Some may argue that a bridge is not important, however if that was the case our curiosity may not ever have known what lay on the other side. Bridges, figurative and literal, whether they are in transportation, communication, technology or relationships are all very important, it helps us to grow and expand the fabric of our lives.
To some of the crowd, his speech wasn’t inspiring enough. Others argued that he only embellished all of his accomplishments. I felt he shared just enough of what he needed to share to prove he could handle the state of affairs.
As I sat there, I felt tired of all people had promised to do, I didn’t want him to come in and do the same thing. I needed to hear what was real; I needed his rebuttal on controversial issues in the past so I could make up my mind on whether he would be a good leader for the future. He shared that some people make mistakes and learn from them, for that we must be forgiving. When we think about the leaders that have come and gone in recent years, we are immediately able to devise from them those who learn from precedents and those who continue to challenge them.
Musharraf shared that he wasn’t a philosopher, that he was a regular man who understood all of the tribulations the country faced. He is an average guy, with above average knowledge on the country, it’s international relationships, an insider view on the security threats and a man who could prove he was able to handle the seat.
He explained that stability in the nation comes from securing trustworthy local governments who understand their people. Stability comes from leaders who recognize the importance of empowering the poor and the value of building up the country, one city at a time.
Many can argue that the country needs a fresh palette, a new leader, a changing inspiration. We all also know that the state of Pakistan is in such a condition that a new leader may not have the capacity or network to handle the atrocities. Pakistan is currently dealing with internal and external security threats; grappling title of most dangerous country in the world. Stricken with the destruction of the floods, it is also crouching on an infrastructure that has been washed away. Despite all of this, the country is divided, and the likeliness of civil wars seems all the more forthcoming.
The country is not ready for something new, it needs something familiar. It needs a strong and confident leader. It needs someone who understands its delicate maze. Who you support is up to you, however value that even as a Pakistani in America you have a voice. You have the opportunity to share your opinion with all of your family back home. It’s an opportunity for you to come together to change the face of the nation. Now my fellow Pakistani’s, is not the time to run and hide.
*Thaakat is a non-political, non-religious organization. My opinions are in no way a reflection of the organization. These are purely my lighthearted and harmless thoughts on a future for the country. I am not a professional of any sort, so please do not coin my phrases as facts unless you have done your own research
*Comments are welcome; Thaakat@gmail.com. Please let’s respect each others diverse opinions. All of my rebuttals are in the article. Thanks:)
As time for our Thaakat HoopFest Tournament approached take off, we hurridly gathered all of the support we could get. Businesses, people and teams reached out to help in what capacities they could.
I’d like to give a special shoutout to Sullee J, who was en route to Baltimore and halted his trip to rep THAAKAT that weekend of September 25th 2010 to address the crowd.
As the final teams prepared to play their championship game, Sullee took center court and humbly shared some inspirational words. After a day of hustle, the crowd was immediately quiet with respect as he spoke. His address was decorated with thunderous applause by the crowd. Thank you Sullee for including us in your successes! It is often difficult to come across someone with grand talent and a busy schedule who has the time to dedicate to the cause. It is even more difficult to find someone as grounded and as kind as Sullee.
Below is his inspiring address to the crowd!
My name is Sullee J, from BALTIMORE, MD and I just want to briefly tell you a little about myself
and why I think it’s important to follow your dreams, regardless of what other’s tell you is right, and how we can make doing good, feel good.
I use to write poetry growing up, as an outlet, you could consider the pen as my heart and paper my therapist. Already dealing with fake/real friend issues at a young age, racism, personal problems and more, I felt like no one understood me, so I found myself in wrong situations trying to find others for acceptance when really, acceptance was about finding myself. About a year and a half ago, I was told I should try hip hop just to see where it takes me, because of my skill and what I had to say. I never realized how big of an influence music was not just to me but the world. It’s almost like a prayer, second most influential after God. Think about it, when your down, happy, angry, any mood or situation you are going through we pop in a song that helps us cope or feel how we want to, because we like the words and we listen because we can relate and learn from it. I use music as an inspiration, to spread positivity, to make change, to bring about awareness, and realness of what is surrounding us.
I have been around to about a dozen states, to europe twice this year and back, including my mainstream coverage on fox, cbs, cnn news, about 50 mainstream stations across 8 different countries, opening for major industry acts such as mos def, dmx, waka flocka, travis porter, maino, dj drama, whoo kid, jay sean and more. Everywhere I have been I have some how made a difference, whether it was working with the save the children foundation in Norway, or even currently we are building a school in Port Au Prince haiti with Hunter Kinkead, Pascal and the Tony Manshino foundation. So now that you know a little about me, I would like to explain my opinion on following our dreams.
We all have dreams right? We all want to be number one, we all want to be on top or known for something that goes down in history so one day we can be remembered as not just month date and year on a tombstone, but someone of importance.
I feel that Dreams begin in our heart, and who is the one, who seems to be in everyone’s heart that can never be wrong? God! with that being said, what your heart says, is what God has destined for you to walk toward. Not anyone else, just you.
What is a DREAM?
A dream is something you follow
and be the lead
a dream is something you attempt
to see, as long as you believe
Our dreams are what were meant to be
if you don’t fight for your self
or stand up
you’ll end up disliking your self,
dreams are as real as u r, look in the mirror
all it takes is a little belief, patience, hope
n God in the picture
its hard n i get ya
everyone might say your wrong, n predict the
worst n expect nada
but thats what haters do,
let them motivate the fact that u deserve
the best product
so what is a DREAM?
besides a state of sleep
a dream is your will,
will you find the way to be?
It’s important to dream, and mostly follow them, especially if we have the ability and means to do so. Not everyone in this life gets the chance to be what they want to be, it’s not always becuase they never tried, but because they couldnt. Sometimes achieving our dreams, can make others feel like they achieved theres. Dreams. It’s important to introduce this fact not only to ourselves but our future generation, none of us should be forced or pushed into a place where we don’t feel comfortable, the only ones pushing us should be ourselves. It’s always important to follow your heart, because no one understands you like yourself.
Another thing I wanted to say, is about working with charities and doing good for not just community but people in general. You ever realize how good it feels when you make another person smile, a gift worth more then material, something you do from the heart. I think as humans we all need to take part in each other’s lives, some way or some how, regarding positivity in order to make it contagious. Charity is something we should all do, regardless of age, it keeps us humble and and helps us realize what we have, we should be thankful for. There are people in the world, who wear the same clothes for months, who don’t eat but a can of soup for a whole week, who have never seen a playstation or computer. Can you imagine, a lifestyle where you didn’t have the option to be involved. It’s important to be grateful for what you have, because thats what allows you to have more. So I believe it’s not only important but should be apart of us to want to help, that means without motive and just good intention.
With that being said, I hope you see where it has gotten me, I support charity work, because at the end of the day, when it’s our time to go, we only die with deeds, not what’s in our pocket. Do it for yourself, not to brag about it!
Travel the world, have lunch with Robert Pattinson, end the Mid-East conflict, become an artist, be America’s first desi president! Everyone has some sort of goal or dream in life. For many it’s following your heart and going after the perfect career. Yet I see so many of us struggling to do just that… chasing your dream by following your heart. Why do so many of us struggle to pursue our dream job? What is it that comes in the way? Responsibilities, lack of support, fear?
We all feel a sense of responsibility to ourselves and those around us. Having a stable and practical career allows us to harbor that responsibility. Today, the importance of money is clear. That is why so many of us choose careers that will be financially lucrative. We put the notion of “following your dreams” to the side in order to choose what is practical in life- the safe choice for a safe future. We grow up believing that choosing the safe and practical career path will lead to success. But why must success be defined by monetary values and one’s place in society? It’s an idea that our parents have drilled in us since we were kids. And for good reason… they want to see you accomplish great things in life. No one wants to see you fail. But do these “great things in life” correlate to true happiness? Sometimes a strong support system isn’t there in chasing our dreams. So you go after the “right thing to do”. But does that truly make one happy? Life always has its give and takes. Is it worth it?
Our dreams are sometimes outside of our comfort zone. They require you to get off the path everyone else is following and create your own. It takes conscious effort, growth and change. And this can feel somewhat scary. Is it really fair to let fear win?
The great Sufi poet Jalaluddin Rumi once said, “Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” I wish more of us would follow his words. If you love what you do, it will never feel like work. That will bring an unconditional happiness that cannot be replaced. There is an unspoken beauty about doing something you love. You do it from the heart. And that is something one can put no monetary value on.
By: Favad Ali/Guest Writeremail@example.com
It was a world cup to remember for many countless reasons. We narrowed it down to the top 5.
- 1. The Vuvuzela. If you watched any games you would have been sure to hear a constant buzz in the stadium which sounded kind of like a swarm of bees. This sound was made by a horn that is indigenous to South Africa soccer events. The constant noise turned off some people and was actually nearly banned. We are glad it wasn’t. It gave the game an African flavor that set it apart from any soccer event that came before it.
- Team USA. From the gift goal against England to the controversial draw with Slovenia to the nail biting win at the death against Algeria. Team USA’s run to the second round and nearly into the quarterfinals captivated this non soccer loving nation. USA soccer hopes that the enthusiasm showed by millions of Americans across the country is here to stay.
- Ghana. Ghana’s run to the quarterfinals, which came at the expense of the USA, was vital to the African continent as the other 5 teams from Africa failed to live up to expectations. An entire continent stood united behind Ghana as they nearly became the first African team to reach the semifinals.
- Controversy. Everyone agrees that nothing stirs up conversation more than a good old fashioned controversy. And there was plenty of it at this World Cup. Unfortunately, for the refs, most of the controversy came at their expense. Team USA had a game winning goal called back for a phantom foul. England had a goal called back because the linesman did not see the ball cross the line. An Argentina player scored a goal against Mexico from a blatantly offside position. These types of referee mistakes sparked debates on whether instant replay should be installed into the game in the future.
- The best team won. When all was said and done, we saw traditional powerhouse teams such as France and Italy bow out at the group stage. We saw heavy pre-tournament favorites; Brazil and Argentina fall short at the quarterfinal stage. But when the dust settled and the smoke cleared it was Spain. Spain, the raining European champions, a team with a style and flair for beautiful football unmatched by all other competitors reigned supreme. They played the most attractive game all tournament long and are well deserved champions.
Here is looking back at South Africa 2010 (with a smile) and here is looking forward to Brazil 2014. I for one, cannot wait.