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Over 400 jamati members and friends from the larger community volunteered to pack meals over 4 hours on the Day of Thanksgiving.

Bell jingles, loud cheers, and upbeat music could be heard in Carrollton Headquarters Jamatkhana on November 21, 2018, as numerous volunteers competed to make meals for children and their families in the North Texas area. With turkeys roasting in their own ovens, volunteers chose to wake up and come serve on this Thanksgiving morning.

Alternate Winter Break brought together over college students from around the USA, who spent their winter break engaged in service at food pantries, schools and community service centers.

Every December, students wind down by snuggling up in their favorite blankets, binge-watching television sitcoms, and soak in the merry holiday season with heaps of food and family gatherings to enjoy a break from essays and midterms. However, this year, 20 students volunteered to take a more alternative route to the traditional winter break.

Jawed Jessani discussing conflict resolution with students at the 19th Annual Arizona Peer Mediation Conference, November 2016

“We are here today to recognize the great work of the Ismaili Muslims’ Conciliation and Arbitration Board. The arbitration and mediation program you have developed is remarkable, and many good things have come about as a result of your ability to resolve disputes in your community.” -From remarks by Hon. Carol Hunstein, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia, at the National Conciliation and Arbitration Board luncheon, Atlanta, May 4, 2012

Salim Rahimi, Hon. Sec of the Council for the Central US, welcoming the artists, speakers, and guests to the dinner at Plano Jamatkhana.

“Diversity is not a burden to be endured, but an opportunity to be welcomed,” said Melia Belli, Associate Professor of South Asian art history at the University of Victoria, in her opening remarks. The occasion was the Islamic Art Symposium entitled “Intersections: Visual Cultures of Islamic Cosmopolitanism,” held at the Dallas Museum of Art between May 4-5. It was cosponsored with the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History, Islamic Art Revival Series, and the Aga Khan Council for the Central United States.

At Plano Jamatkhana, volunteers tracked the number of snack bags throughout the event to see how far they were from their donation goal of 1200 snack bags.

Toddlers and seniors alike, adorned in clothes matching the occasion, clutched brown paper bags and swarmed tables strewn with water bottles, packets of oatmeal and granola, pretzels, and fruit snacks. The Jamat expressed excitement for the celebration—it was Eid al-Fitr after all— but its energy was being channeled into an activity that embodied the spirit of the holiday: service.

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