Keynote speaker Sylvester Turner, Mayor of the City of Houston, stated that “[Eid] highlights our common humanity and ethical heritage shared by Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike but also the importance of making sacrifices in one’s daily life such as those of one’s time, energy, and resources for the benefit of others.” Mayor Turner spoke glowingly of Mawlana Hazar Imam and his vision to alleviate global poverty in developing countries.
Recalling the 1,000 Points of Light Award given to the Ismaili community by the past five living Presidents of the United States, the Mayor then expressed great excitement for the Ismaili Center Houston, as it will stand as a symbol of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s work and the Ismaili community’s impact on Houston. He emphasized that the “beauty of [the Ismaili Center Houston] is that regardless of what structure is put there, it is the very fact that it is being done in this community that reflects diversity, that is the beauty.”
Beyond the physical magnificence of the Ismaili Center Houston as it takes its place as the seventh Ismaili Center in the world, Mayor Turner reminded the audience not to forget the “heart” from which this building is being constructed, from which the true value of the Ismaili Center Houston is derived.
President Murad Ajani of the Ismaili Council for the Southwestern United States shared with those in attendance the eagerness of the Ismaili community as it looks “forward to the role and potential that [the Ismaili Jamatkhana and Center], and the upcoming Ismaili Center Houston, have in advancing the pursuit of learning and building trust across all communities that call Houston home.”
Over 175 guests, hailing from all sectors of the community, filled the social hall of the Ismaili Jamatkhana and Center in commemoration of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. Beyond simply commemorating an Islamic holiday, the Eid Luncheon has become a staple event for diverse leaders, elected officials, and members of faith communities to interact under the auspices of this festival.