Thank you for visiting my site and wanting to learn more about the Dinner With Your Muslim Neighbor initiative. I am so excited to be able to share with you this special project we have worked on for many months. While still in the early phases, with much work and development to be done, I believe we can reach our goal of motivating communities across this great nation to come together over dinner and discuss the ‘hard’ stuff, get to know one another better and show those spreading hate that love and understanding will prevail <3
How it Started:
I began these dinners with my husband, Hussein in late January 2016. I believe that food is a bridge to understanding and inspired by my faith, I wanted to use my ability of creating dishes for something greater.
During my time on MasterChef, I had received some hateful tweets from strangers who were judging who I was as a person based on how I dressed and presented as a Muslim Woman who wears Hijab. After watching the news one evening, I was saddened that we, as Americans, have allowed the presidential candidacy to be filled with hate. I took the negative experiences and decided to do something positive.
My goal was to dispel the misconceptions may people have, give insight into our day to day lives as American Muslims, create a better sense of community and understanding and share a meal with those around me.
American Muslims share and support the same freedoms we all cherish, including the freedom to practice our faith. American Muslims believe in the right and freedom of all Americans to live and worship in their own way. By breaking bread together, we can create relationships that are more powerful than any hate spewing candidate can spread. We can make a difference in our communities and our country, by coming together and understanding one another. We are in this journey of life, together.
How To Host A Dinner:
- Begin with an open heart and mind. Set your intention <3
- Educate, prepare and enlighten your self first on the inner workings of your faith and as an American. Prepare to be challenged
- Invite your neighbors, colleagues and members of your community. It helps to have a diverse crowd, so you can have diverse conversation 🙂
- Plan your menu and prepare as much as you can ahead of time. I recommend serving family style or buffet because as the host you want to be engaged in conversation and not working on the food. You can always order pizza (because we all love pizza <3)
- Have fun! This is meant to build relationships and community. You should enjoy your time with your neighbors 🙂
- What to Muslims believe and practice?
This is a great place to start because there are so many misconceptions.
- Talk about your day to day and accomplishments!
*Over 10,000 American Muslims serve in our nation’s armed forces and many have made the ultimate sacrifice.
*There are about 50,000 American Muslim medical doctors are saving lives everyday!
*Hundreds of thousands of American Muslims nationwide are community volunteers who, inspired by their faith, volunteer countless hours to making their communities a better place.
*A 2009 Gallup Poll on American Muslims found that American Muslim women are the second mostly highly educated religious group of women in the USA.
- Ask your guests to share what they know about Islam and build from there.
- Ask about the faith traditions of your guests!
We found that we have so much more in common than differences!
For more information about Islam:
Islam Fact Check
More to come! If you are interested in helping develop the guide to hosting these dinners, please leave a comment with your contact information!
Thank you kindly,