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 Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid