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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Gallery: A Look Back at Day of Dignity in 2010

2010's Day of Dignity season was full of memorable moments, lives touched, and dignity given and received. For those who volunteered to the beneficiaries who came for health screenings, school supplies, clothing, and hot meals, the Day of Dignity events was an important model of how important it is to give dignity to those who need help. Thanks to all who turned out.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Gallery: "A Night for the Love of Palestine" in Washington, D.C.

Hundreds came out for Islamic Relief USA's "A Night for the Love of Palestine" in Washington, D.C. this past weekend. It was an evening of love and celebration, featuring Islamic Relief Goodwill Ambassador Hanan Turk. A second event is coming up in Florida. Click here to learn more.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Islamic Relief USA Receives Interfaith Visionary Awards

The Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington (IFC) awarded Islamic Relief USA with the InterFaith Visionary Award for its generous donation to support the vital work of building community and nurturing understanding among different faith-based communities.

The award was presented at the 31st Interfaith Concert at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception by Catholic University on Nov. 16, 2010.

On Saturday, Sept. 11, Islamic Relief USA was awarded with a plaque in recognition of its interfaith efforts. The plaque was received at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS)’s 9th Annual Peace Gathering and Law Enforcement Appreciation. The “Peace Gathering” allows community members of all faiths to come together and remember the victims and families affected by the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and to honor members of law enforcement who risk their lives to protect citizens’ rights.

Islamic Relief USA CEO Abed Ayoub, VP of Programs Adnan Ansari, VP of Operations Khaled Falah, Director of Public Affairs Christina Tobias-Nahi and Fund Development Coordinator Belkacem Nahi were at the event to accept the interfaith award on behalf of the entire organization.

IR USA Participates at CFC Kickoff Events across the Country

One fact that you should share with your friends, especially those employed by the federal government, is that Islamic Relief USA (IR USA) is on the U.S. government’s Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) charity list, which means that federal employees’ contributions to IR USA are matched by the federal government!

This is not something new, but recently, IR USA has been trying to spread the message to federal employees who are interested in making a meaningful difference in people’s lives.

IR USA staff members traveled to Washington, D.C.; Seattle, Wash.; and Scott Air Force Base, Ill., to participate in CFC kickoff events and raise awareness about Islamic Relief’s projects. The events were meant to showcase U.S. nonprofit groups that are featured on the CFC list.

In Washington, D.C., Director of Public Affairs Christina Tobias-Nahi and Financial Analyst Rehan Tahir participated in the kickoff at Bolling Air Force Base, informing federal employees, many of whom were in the Armed Forces and worked on the base, about IR USA’s work.

“Many of the people didn’t know about Islamic Relief USA,” Tobias-Nahi said afterward. "They stopped by to talk to us about the projects we are doing both overseas and in the U.S. and were enthusiastic to learn more."

You can make a difference too. If you’re a federal employee and interested in taking advantage of the CFC program, Islamic Relief USA’s CFC code is 10194.

The CFC is the world's largest workplace charity drive and raises millions of dollars every year to assist thousands of charities through donations from federal employees and service members. The CFC supports eligible nonprofit organizations that provide health and human service benefits throughout the world.

You don’t have to be a federal employee to donate to IR USA though. Donating online is fast, easy and secure. Donate today!

--Zeyad Maasarani

photo (from left): Heidi Wolfset, Wash. Secretary of State Sam Reed, Daud Mohmand

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Islamic Relief USA's Abed Ayoub Speaks at White House for ‘Leadership Consultation’ Event

Islamic Relief USA (IR USA) joined international leaders and convened with local stakeholders of government, NGOs, and faith communities for the “Leadership Consultation for Faith, Health and Development” event on Nov. 23 at the Washington National Cathedral and Nov. 24 at the White House. IR USA CEO Abed Ayoub spoke at both of these events, where a new report titled “Many Faiths, Common Action: Increasing the Impact of the Faith Sector on Health and Development: A Strategic Framework for Action” was launched.

This event came on the heels of IR USA’s participation in “Breakthrough Summit,” led by the Women, Faith and Development Alliance and spearheaded by then Secretary of State Madeline Albright in 2008 at the Washington National Cathedral. One important development from that summit was the subsequent creation of the Center for Interfaith Action on Global Poverty.

IR USA aided in planning the two-day “Leadership Consultation,” which was organized by the Center for Interfaith Action on Global Poverty (CIFA). The first day’s events focused on the engagement of the faith community to promote existing interfaith work in the developing world while also addressing the critical gap for additional resources, technical assistance and sustainability of projects.

Those attending the event also agreed that health issues should not only be the domain of the medical profession but should constitute overall well-being, including food, water, sanitation, environmental stewardship and protection from violence — as individuals only become ill when the societies in which they reside fall ill. Many attending the event said that religion should be used for inspiration and not for division. In the evening, an interfaith service was held, and IR USA’s Naaem Muhammad presented the Muslim call to prayer. The group then met Indonesian Ambassador Dr. Dino Patti Djalal for dinner and heard his remarks on the need for moderation and tolerance.

The discussion was continued at the White House the next morning with representatives from many of the Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnership offices as well the Department of State, National Security Council and various government agencies, where an emphasis was made on the need for better monitoring and evaluation of the outcomes of overseas programs overseas rather than inputs. For example, instead of evaluating how many bed nets are distributed, programs should be assessed for how many lives are saved.

Finally, newly appointed Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development Dr. Rajiv Shah addressed the attendees and called upon everyone to become development partners working toward the same common goal. Jan Henningson, senior advisor at the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and member of the Swedish Foreign Ministry, quoted the Qu’ran, saying “Compete [only] with each other in good deeds.”

To view or download the report, Many Faiths, Common Action: Increasing the Impact of the Faith Sector on Health and Development – A Strategic Framework for Action, click here.

– Christina Tobias-Nahi, Director of Public Affairs, Islamic Relief USA

photo (from left): Christina Tobias-Nahi, Abed Ayoub, Admiral Tim Ziemer - U.S. Global Malaria Coordinator, President's Malaria Initiative (PMI)
photo courtesy Donovan Marks

Annual Report Reveals Islamic Relief USA Reduced Costs in 2009

For a charity and relief organization, one of the most important things is to use the least amount of money for administrative costs so that the maximum amount of money from donors reaches those who need it most — the beneficiaries. Therefore, we’re excited at Islamic Relief USA (IR USA) to share this great news with you!

A recently completed financial audit found that IR USA reduced its ratio of administrative and fundraising costs in 2009 from the year before.

An independent auditing firm found that 93.85 percent of donor contributions were allocated to the intended projects in 2009, as compared to about 91.94 percent in 2008. This means that your contributions are making an even bigger difference and helping even more impoverished people around the world. This should come as no surprise. At IR USA, we are committed to using our supporters’ donations in the most effective and efficient ways possible.

Recognizing IR USA’s fiscally responsible practices, America’s largest nonprofit evaluator, Charity Navigator, has awarded IR USA with the highest rating of four stars for seven years in a row.

“Only 2 percent of the charities we rate have received at least seven consecutive 4-star evaluations,” Charity Navigator’s President, Ken Berger, wrote in a 2010 letter. “This ‘exceptional’ designation from Charity Navigator differentiates Islamic Relief USA from its peers and demonstrates to the public it is worthy of their trust.”

To view prior years' Annual Reports, click here.

The tax year is almost over! But you can make a tax-deductible contribution on our easy-to-use online donation form by clicking here.

To learn more about IR USA’s projects, click here.

-- Zeyad Maasarani