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WhyIslam Sets Record again at LA Festival of Books


04 26 10

 

 

 

By Suzanne Khazaal

 

Accommodating thousands of visitors at the Los Angeles Festival of Books at UCLA, WhyIslam Southern California handed out a record 4,640 copies of the Qur’an at the biggest and busiest booth to teach about Islam, this past weekend on April 24-25. This is the 6th consecutive year for the booth.

 

Explaining the Kaabah. A popular attraction at the booth.

Explaining the Kaabah. A popular attraction at the booth.

Volunteer cheat sheet.

Volunteer cheat sheet. Extensive training is needed to grab attention and convey key concepts in seconds.

After hauling a ton of publications from Houston prior to the festival weekend, an estimated 36 WhyIslam volunteers, located in two different booths, were determined to reach out to all visitors and tourists attending the festival.

Setting up both booths with a black backdrop, quiz kiosk, Arabic text Qur’an displays, custom-made table cloths, bio-degradable bags, badges, business cards, pamphlet doors and bookmarks, WhyIslam volunteers were equipped to cater to all visitors.

Setting up both booths with a black backdrop, quiz kiosk, Arabic text Qur’an displays, custom-made table cloths, bio-degradable bags, badges, business cards, pamphlet doors, CD's and bookmarks, WhyIslam volunteers were equipped to cater to all visitors.

 

“I felt appreciation [upon seeing the WhyIslam booth],” said Maribel Enriquez, 34, of Long Beach. “I think it’s important to clarify misconceptions about Islam and Arabs [and it is important] to be accessible.”
WhyIslam serves English and Spanish speakers, by providing publications in both languages to better help the public learn the truth about Islam.

 

It was promising to see so many people eager to learn about Islam and get a translation of the Quran,” said Hassen Morad, booth Manager. “I know we effected the hearts and minds of the thousands of people we interacted with.” said Tariq Khan, manager for another booth.

Copies of The Qur’an were handed out to people who requested a free copy, along with a brief explanation about Islam or the revelation of the Qur’an.

Copies of The Qur’an were handed out to anyone who requested a free copy, along with a brief explanation about Islam or the revelation of the Qur’an.

 

“I think it helps to learn [about Islam] because of the stereotypes. It’s always good to learn about new cultures and religions and get a good understanding about it straight from the source,” said Jesse Owens, 34, of Pomona.

 

Religious scholars and leaders in the Muslim community, Junaid Kharsany and Mustafa Umar (above) have been continuous supporters of WhyIslam and even participated in the booths alongside volunteers.

Religious scholars and leaders in the Muslim community, Junaid Kharsany and Mustafa Umar (above) have been continuous supporters of WhyIslam and even participated at the booths alongside volunteers.

 

Opening box after box, both booths were motivated to keep up with the flocks of visitors wanting to receive a free copy of the translation of the Qur’an in English or Spanish, along with free pamphlets, bookmarks, business cards and the Qur’an recitation on audio CDs.

Deep in thought at the Islamic Quiz Kiosk. Participants won a card with their name in Arabic calligraphy.

Deep in thought at the Islamic Quiz Kiosk. Participants won a card with their name in Arabic calligraphy.

After visiting the booth, Jasmine Mortaya, 19, of Lancaster said she learned about the prophets in Islam. “I’ve been interested in wanting to read the Qur’an, so I plan on reading it to learn more about Islam,” said Mortaya.

 

Astonished when volunteers mentioned all publications were free of charge, visitors mentioned they were thankful and glad WhyIslam was at the festival to clear misconceptions surrounding Islam and its followers.
“Every time I’ve heard about Islam it’s always been negative because of the news, which is all lies, and the way I believe to learn is by picking up a book and reading about it,” said J.C. Carrillo, 33, of Downey.

 

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  • Ahmed

    This is a rare moment when I can be proud of being a Muslim and an American. Good Job!

  • Samy

    SubhanAllah…this is the best way to reach out to all and clear off misconceptions about Islam and Muslims. Great job WHYISLAM!

    Samy

  • Abo Mohammad

    Mashallah May Allah reward all your efforts and hard work

  • Benya

    Great event coverage, Thanks a lot.

  • Nick

    Masha’Allah! This is so encouraging. May Allah reward every brother and sister involved in this amazing effort. JazakAllah Khair!

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  • Riyad

    Bismillah

    As-Salaamu’alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu

    WAllahi, reading about this effort brought tears to my eyes. As a Muslim, I am so proud and thankful for all of your incredible efforts for the sake of Islam and therefore for the sake of Allah. Masha’Allah, I am incredibly impressed and moved. May Allah reward all of you in this life and the next and may He bring continued success to your efforts. Just by reading about this effort, I would like to get involved in some way or another, so please get in touch with me if I can be of any assistance here in the midwest (Ohio). Jazakum Allahu khairan. Wa-Salaamu’alaykum.

  • http://liliana.parodi@yahoo.com liliana parodi

    when are you coming to Miami to do the same thing here we really need to do dawa .I will volunteer Inshaallah.Please let me know.

  • Javed Maungoo

    Assalamoualaikum Brothers and Sisters in Islam.

    I am a Muslim born from Mauritius (Indian Ocean). My two spoken languages are English and French.

    Recently I have joined a beginner Course in Modern Standard Arabic as I am a non-Arabic speaking Muslim. Yet I am motivated in learning the Arabic vocabulary and Islamic terminology used in the Qur’an Shareef, Hadith and Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). My main aim is to understand my religion and help my brothers in doing dawah.

    Below is my address, I should be thankful to Allah if you, people at ICNA Org could send me your books, lessons and Arabic Materials intended for beginners in Arabic Language.

    Hope that my mail would be taken into consideration.

    Jazah Allah Khair.

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  • Orlando Rosario

    Masha Allah Al Hamdulillah wa Allahu Akbar am a Latino convert to Islam shahadah in 1979. It’s the greatest thing in my life.