News / USA

Muslim Women Host Fundraiser for Sandy Victims

Muslim Women Host Fundraiser for Sandy Victimsi
|| 0:00:00
X
November 26, 2012 11:10 PM
A group of women in Washington's diplomatic circles decided to use their different cultures to help people in the northeastern United States recover from superstorm Sandy. VOA's Suzanne Presto attended the Washington benefit, organized by women from predominantly Muslim countries, and brings us this report of "cultural diplomacy" at work.
Suzanne Presto
— A group of women in Washington's diplomatic circles decided to use their different cultures to help people in the northeastern United States recover from superstorm Sandy.  The benefit, organized by women from predominantly Muslim countries, is an example of "cultural diplomacy" at work.

Dancing, exotic food in abundance, camaraderie - all in an ambassador's residence in Washington, DC.  But this is not a typical party.  It is a fundraiser for the victims of superstorm Sandy, which devastated coastal areas of the northeastern United States, particularly in New York and New Jersey.  

The scenes of destruction spurred Rosa Rai Djalal,  the wife of the Indonesian ambassador to the United States, into action.  

"I saw the TV before and during the hurricane and it is so devastated, and I feel a sense of deja vu because, you know, Indonesia was hit by a huge earthquake in 2004 and at that time all the international community helped us and I right away called my friends [and said] 'Let us do something to help them,'" she said.

Djalal is president of the Muslim Women's Association in Washington and rallied fellow ambassadors' spouses and diplomats.

They decided to highlight their different cultures for the benefit of U.S. storm victims.  

Guests paid $50 to attend the lunchtime benefit at the Indonesian ambassador's residence.  All proceeds went to the American Red Cross, where Raquel Mata works.

"I think the title of this event says it all, 'Solidarity for Victims of Hurricane Sandy'.  Because, you know, it does not have a face.  We are all together.  We are all unified in a cause that is affecting everybody," she said.

It is that sense of unity that matters to Fatima Aujali, whose father is the Libyan Ambassador to the United States.  

"Muslim people really care about our friends and the American people.  This is just us trying to do something to help them out,' she said.

Guests bid on donated items as they explored the cultures of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Iraq, Indonesia, Libya, Tunisia, Turkey, Jordan and the Palestinian territories.  

"I have not been exposed to many Muslim countries, and this is a very good opportunity to see them and meet them and talk about it," said guest Se Young Thomas.

They also feasted on a vast array of Asian and Middle Eastern delights.  

The combination of diversity and unity appealed to U.S. Deputy Chief of Protocol Natalie Jones.

"So many women and so many countries came together in such little time to unite around victims of Hurricane Sandy, and they did this through the power of food and their cultures and traditions," she said.

Jones praised the event as "culinary diplomacy" in action.

You May Like

Video On The Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime bombardment, VOA correspondent finds More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid