Tonight, my son, Mustafa (20 years old – who just returned from a semester of service and study in rural India) and my daughter, Amira (9 years old) attended the Islamic Relief “A Night of Inspiration” concert at the University of Maryland’s Clarice Smith Center for the Performing Arts and had a deeply moving experience. My oldest daughter, Salima (17 years old – tomorrow), wisely decided that AP Bio and Humanities finals were a priority and choose to stay home and study. She really did missed out on a great night of performances and coming together.
But what inspired me the most was my daughter Amira’s experience. The show was sold out so people like me were standing. I was posted up on the side of the stage and Amira was sitting in the front with some children, one of them a daughter of one of the Islamic Relief staff people and family friend. During the break between performances Naeem Muhammad made a presentation about orphans and showed a powerful video about the plight of some of the world’s poorest children in Africa and Asia. Then the fundraising started. I was standing on the sidelines this time – usually I would be on the stage, but not tonight, I was not raising funds just praying the fundraisers on. To my surprise, my little Amira comes backstage with her friend and says, “Daddy you have money. You can give $500”. Then she took it to another level, she asked, “Do I still have $50 (from gifts) in the bank?….I want to give my $50 and you give your $500, okay”.
I carried her back to the theatre and she raised my hand (while she was hiding behind me) and we pledged our $550. It was a truly a night of inspiration for me and my family and for many more families. My daughter is living up to her name – Amira: Leader (female, masculine: Amir). Tonight she was the leader and I the follower.
May Allah make from opening of the hearts of our children an inspiration that would become the realization of true (Islamic) relief to the starving children around the world .
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