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This past weekend ISNA was fortunate to host its Founders' Committee in the heart of Washington, D.C. Attendees traveled from nationwide to engage in significant discussions relevant to the needs of Muslim Americans.  


On Friday ISNA's Founders and their families had the opportunity to visit the Eisenhower Executive Office Building of the White House and take a tour led by ISNA Majlis Ash Shura Member Asma Mirza.  There they met with numerous White House officials who have been engaging with the American Muslim community for years.  The meeting was organized and hosted by Paul Monteiro, Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, who has been actively reaching out to the American Muslim community through ISNA since the Obama Administration began in 2009.  He shared resources with the Founders and gave examples of ways to engage with the White House.  Mr. Monteiro also cited ISNA as his primary means of outreach to the American Muslim community and thanked the Founders for all the work they did to support ISNA and fulfill the needs of their community for over 50 years.  


Arsalan Suleman, President Obama's Deputy Special Envoy, and Rumana Ahmed, Executive Assistant in the White House Office of Public Engagement, also offered words of gratitude, and ISNA President Imam Mohamed Magid thanked the White House for their ongoing engagement.



Rashad Hussain, President Obama's Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, also spoke, celebrating the work of the Founders.   He said that now is the time for the younger generation to rise up to the model of the ISNA Founders and others who have done great things for their communities and society.   


George Selim, White House director for community partnerships, has had one of the longest relationships with ISNA, working previously in the Department of Homeland Security in both the Obama and Bush Administrations.  Mr. Selim has been an annual speaker at the ISNA Convention and shared his experiences with the Founders about working with ISNA to address national security concerns.  


On Saturday, February 23, following a day of meetings presided over by Founder Committee Chairman Dr. Abdul Alim Khandekar, the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia hosted the ISNA Founders for a dinner and panel discussion of young Muslim professionals working in civic engagement and public affairs in Washington, DC.    



  Adam M. Tugio, the ambassador's counselor of political affairs, shared a welcoming message on behalf of Ambassador Dino Patti Djalal. Ambassador Djalal believes that our globalizing world means we encounter not only different cultures but also different religions at a faster pace.  He recently helped promote international interfaith dialogue by sponsoring Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed, ISNA National Director for Interfaith & Community Alliances, and other interfaith leaders from the U.S. and Indonesia as part of a delegation to Indonesia, Jordan, and the United States.  



The evening's panel discussion featured Muslim professionals who shared their experiences working for the common good both in and outside of the government.  The panelists all spoke about the role that ISNA has played in their lives and the manner in which it has helped with their spiritual development.





ISNA President Imam Mohamed Magid offered his gratitude to the Ambassador and thanked the Founders for their tremendous efforts over the past 50 years.  "Without their help to keep ISNA moving," he said, "I would not be standing before you today." 



Imam Magid, ISNA President, joined the ISNA Founders' Committee members Sunday morning as they discussed the road ahead for ISNA as a national organization.  


As the retreat comes to an end we thank the Founders for being the inspiration of commitment for ISNA to better serve the entire Muslim ummah. The weekend was a successful meeting to involve our indispensable Founders' Committee in strengthening ISNA's activities to better serve the Muslim community.