CAIRO - Celebrating 50 years of work for the American Muslim community, the leading Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) opens its annual convention in Washington on Friday, August 30, hosting the largest gathering for Muslims in North America.
The organizers have recruited a team of dedicated volunteers to afford a most memorable experience to the attendees, Basharat Saleem, director of the ISNA Conventions Department, said in a statement issued earlier this month and obtained by OnIslam.net.
Themed Envisioning a More Perfect Union: Building the Beloved Community, the annual convention is expected to lure thousands of Muslims from North America and around the world.
This year's theme is drawn from the Qur'anic verse 59:13 that directs Muslims to build an inclusive community that surpasses worldly considerations, and instead seek service and gratitude to the Creator.
It also reflects a call issued 150 years ago by President Abraham Lincoln for a more perfect union.
The event will run from Friday, August 30, to Monday, September 2.
ISNA's 50th anniversary commemorated another landmark event in the capital when Dr. Martin Luther King made his unforgettable declaration I Have a Dream.
Considering the occasion, the organizers are gearing toward staging a memorable 50th Convention.
The program embraces all ages and interests from discussions on family issues, finances, civic service, spirituality, civil rights, youth development, and interfaith relations.
Complementing the main ISNA offering of programs, there are equally valuable conferences being hosted by the Muslim Students Association of the U.S. & Canada (MSA National) and the Muslim Youth of North America (MYNA).
Along with main sessions (ISNA, MSA, MYNA), other events include parallel sessions, bazaar (550 booths), interfaith reception, Qira'at competition, CSRL luncheon and Matrimonial banquets.
The event will also host art exhibit, Islamic film festival, health fair, photography exhibit and fashion show for sisters only.
ISNA has also invited a rich list of 200 speakers, scholars, community leaders, and public servants.
The likes of Dr. Tariq Ramadan, Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, Imam Zaid Shakir, Dr. Ingrid Mattson, Dr. Jamal Badawi, Hassan Al Qazwani and Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi will join Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and social activists such as Rami Nashashibi and NFL player Husain Abdullah.
ISNA is the largest Muslim umbrella organization in North America.
ISNA's four-day annual convention dates back to 1963, when the first such event was organized by the predecessor to ISNA, the Muslim Students Association of the United States and Canada.
Over the years, the convention has increased in popularity and consistently draws crowds of up to 40,000 Muslims in attendance each year.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net