|The Shia Muslim Council of Southern California, in collaboration with the Islamic Shura Council was honored to present a Grand Celebration of Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday: Prophet Muhammad Inspires – Banquet and Excellent Awards on Saturday, December 7th, 2019 at the Yorba Linda Community Center.
This much anticipated event was sold out and the Muslim Community came together to celebrate the most auspicious occasions of the year. This unique program reflected on The Gift of Prophet Muhammad on mankind, and also recognized the unsung heroes of our community who have exhibited excellence through the teachings of the Prophet in various areas.
The Full Program Video and Pictures can be viewed here. Congratulations to our 2019 Award Winners:
Service to Humanity – Anessah Al Hassan
This award is for demonstrating a commitment to serve mankind through actions, deeds and time
Humble, kind and soft spoken she is focused to eradicate the homeless, provide literacy opportunities and introduce them to Islam and help by providing temporary housing until they get on their feet. Her services includes home schooling her 3 children, raising her 9 nieces and nephews, holding Jum’a prayers for 100 of the African American community members, and temporarily housing homeless women and families. It is not unusual to hear that Aneesah is housing 15 people at her I bedroom home!
She creates opportunity for those who have none. She has saved young men from local gangs and introduced them to Islam by teaching them the values of the Prophet and the Message. Aneesah holds islamic classes as well as nutrition classes to help people have more control over their health. She visits the sick and the elderly and delivers necessary items like water and hygiene care packets for those who have no means to leave their homes.
Excellence in Volunteer Services Award – Samar Aziz
This award is for dedicating one’s time, resources, talents to volunteering for causes that impact society
An exceptional human being who lives and breathes to give and spread hope, love and peace. whose effect on the Muslim Community has been enormous. She embodies the qualities of kindness, caring and giving without boundaries. A selfless person who works tirelessly and volunteers her time, resources and energy to help empower others to thrive and reach their full potentials. She has a vision to live her life in service of others.
No obstacle deters her mission or hinders her way. She does not see color, religion and sees all as deserving humans who are in need of help. She is a practicing pharmacist who has won many awards for her outstanding service to the community and humanity. She is Board member and founder of Sabil, – a nonprofit that was established to serve refugees and has helped countless families to improve many lives. She also helped establish the New Horizon and continues to serve on many other committees at different Mosques and organizations.
Excellence in Higher Education Sanaz Jalili
This award is for promoting by example, Islamic values through education and sharing of knowledge
Her tenacity to promote our Islamic values through education is amazing. Through education, her work has promoted positive images and understanding about Ramadan and Muslims. She is dedicated, extremely passionate constantly working to promote, advocate, and educate to improve the image of Muslims. With a Master’s degree in Social work, she is the co-founder of a far reaching education initiative designed to build bridges and breakdown stereotypes of the Muslim community.
She is the co-founder of RamadanREADy’s with a mission is to educate and promote the celebration of Islamic culture in Libraries by increasing the number of children’s books, arts, crafts, & displays in libraries. Today there are Libraries all around the United States using the RamadanREADY kits to be displayed in their libraries. This widespread exposure is through her constant effort has made an amazing impact on educating the young generations as administration of Libraries and the OC Department of Education
Lifetime Achievement Award – Salam Al-Marayati
This award is for service to, community members with a continuous mission to serve in any capacity possible
He is a familiar face and well known for his long-standing services to the Muslim Community on Southern California. Over the years, he has played a leading role in speaking for and advocating the interest of Muslims in America. Engaging effectively with federal and states official representatives to shape Muslim friendly policies in DC he eloquently speaks for Muslims in major media channels in response to issues and events that impact Muslims in America.
Along with other prominent community members, he was instrumental in establishing The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) in 1988. In the last 3 decades he has expanded the value and effectiveness of MPAC from Southern California to nation-wide. He developed very good connection with Hollywood and introduced very effective Media awards for those that supported Muslim causes.
Excellence in Promoting Islamic Values – Ameerah Fatemah Hirji
This award is for modelling principles that are reflective of Islam as part of ones daily life’s purpose and activities
At young age of 15, she is a role model not only to her sisters but to many other girls in the Community. She is inspiring teenage who has promoted Islamic values of modesty, respect, patience, gratitude and love for her faith through action. As an American born Muslim, she’s been constantly challenged about her identity from her hijab to her good akhlaq to breaking the norms of culture. She has weathered these storms with great tenacity and continues to drive forward in promoting her Islamic values among Muslims and non-Muslims with great pride.
She goes to large public high school, where as the only hijabi, she defeats stereotypes by playing basketball, golf and is a 1st degree Karate belt . She has been involved with a number of organizations volunteering with Girls Scouts, Uplift Charity, SMC, ILM Foundation CAIR, Shura Council, and others. As part of the one of the First All Muslim Girl Scouts and she welcomed non-Muslim Girl Scouts to IIOC to share with them what wearing Hijab was like and was featured in the Orange County Register.