CAIR-Chicago 10th Annual Gala Round-up [photos]
On behalf of our chairman, Dr. Mazen Kudaimi, the board of directors, staff, and volunteers, we wish to thank you for making our 10th Anniversary Gala a memorable and enjoyable evening! The feedback has been positive with some suggesting that this was one of the most pleasant banquets yet. We were humbled by the huge buzz on social media following the event.
The event that was covered by ABC 7 News.
Find yourself in our photo gallery
(Photos are courtesy of professional and talented photographers: Mohamed Elgamal, Joseph Kerins, Susy Palmer, Milos Markicevic, and Alishba Malik.)
Despite there being three community events hosted that night and many of our supporters out of town at rallies in DC, we are grateful to have had a full house of over 1000 people in attendance representing the diversity in Chicagoland and the tri-state area, in terms of ethnicity, age, gender, and profession.
We are also thankful for the tremendous support of our key partners from the Chicagoland mosques, coalitions, interfaith groups, companies, as well as our official sponsors including our gold sponsors, Zakat Foundation and The Orland Park Prayer Center (OPPC) as well as 40 other organizations, mosques and partners (see list here).
This year, the event was star-studded with many special speakers : Imam Siraj Wahhaj delivered a keen reminder of our commitment to supporting the cause of civil rights.
This year’s keynote had a completely new format. Rather than a single speech, we hosted two great speakers, Imam Suhaib Webb and Professor Sherman Jackson, in a fluid talk show style discussion anchored by our own Dr. Aisha El-Amin who gave Oprah a run for her money.
We wish to thank the 56 public officials including the governor, mayor, attorney general, speaker of the house, senators, congressmen, and the many more who sent us letters of support this year, and those officials who attended our banquet.
This year’s banquet was presided by 100 staff and volunteers who were hard to miss all decked out in their teal and black uniforms! We wish to thank the amazing volunteers who worked incredibly hard to present the community with an evening befitting of its stature.
One of the most talked about segments of the evening was the new CAIR-Chicago documentary “Forward”. It was a bold break away from the conventional organizational documentary and we are glad it paid off with your approval. We wish to thank our amazing friends over at Digital Hydra. Look out for the YouTube video link later this week.
We also wish to thank Amir Mahmoud, a 12 year old activist with the MyJihad campaign who introduced the film. Amir who is recuperating from recent brain surgery is an aspiring film maker and did a great job for us. (Please make dua for his full recovery) that he may make our films for free in 10 years.
Alhamdulillah, we raised over $200,000 in pledges (our goal was $300,000) . It was touching to see the names and organizations on our pledge list - those who never falter in heeding the call even in tough times. CAIR-Chicago is dependent on the support of our mosques, partner organizations and the community to continue our work in civil rights advocacy and, unfortunately, we fell short of our fundraising goal.
Please help us meet our goal by donating online today.
We wish to thank you all once again. Our work could not succeed without your support. You came in large numbers and showed why Chicago’s Muslims are a proud, strong, united community. You made the 10th annual gala one of the most memorable yet. Thanks for all of you who wanted to come but could not and supported us via our online donation page.
Thanks to you, we are now ready to begin another phase of our work. Our promise to you is that you will continue to see concrete results that further raise the bar, as well as a few surprises we are sure you will like. Please stay tuned to our website: www.cairchicago.org.
- The CAIR-Chicago Team
Photography by Mohamed Elgamal, Joseph Kerins, Susy Palmer, Milos Markicevic, and Alishba Malik.