Eight-year-old Aayan Parpia of the Greater Dallas Jamat expressed how excited he was for his first Mulaqat: “I haven’t done this before so I’m happy that I get to see [Hazar Imam]. I’ve been wanting to see him for a long time. I’ve been dreaming about it... It’s going to be the best day.”
Over the last few weeks, the Jamat has enthusiastically attended special preparatory sessions for Hazar Imam’s Diamond Jubilee visit to the United States. Topics such as site orientation, educational seminars on the significance of Mulaqat and Mehmani, and what to expect on the special day were designed to equip the Jamat with resources they might need to ensure a memorable experience.
“We had a lot of informational sessions, orientations, and trainings. The direction of all the volunteers was phenomenal. I had no trouble finding my way,” said Nasrullah Khimani of Little Rock, Arkansas.
While the local Houston Jamat is quite large in numbers, thousands of Jamati members have travelled to the city via car, bus, and plane from all corners of the country. The Diamond Jubilee Call Center volunteers and hundreds of on-site Jamati volunteers have provided supplemental support for all Mulaqat-related concerns, and have served as a general information portal for visit-related questions.
Asma Bhaidani, Operations Lead for the Diamond Jubilee Call Center in Houston, noted that the line became active in December and has taken over 18,000 calls to date.
“While we did not necessarily have the answers to all the questions we received, our work gave us the opportunity to touch each individual struggling with any issue and escalate them to the Command Center which helped us get the answers,” said Bhaidani. “And I think our attention to each Jamati member has been impactful on the Jamati experience,” she added.
In addition to the call center, hundreds, if not thousands of volunteers from areas such as transportation, hospitality, stage construction, and registration have been working around the clock to ensure a smooth experience for members of the Jamat during the USA Mulaqat.
With Mawlana Hazar Imam’s visit, there is palpable excitement in the air; the Jamat is looking forward to seeing the Imam again in the United States after 10 years — or, like Aayan, for the very first time.