Beliefnet
City of Brass

Houston has a large, diverse Muslim community, that is as much a part of the civic fabric of the city as any other group – and during Hurricane Harvey, Houston’s Muslims are doing their part.

My own community, the Dawoodi Bohra Jamaat of Houston, engaged in rescue operations and fed evacuees en masse:

The National Guard delivered meals prepared in the FMB kitchen to the George Brown Convention centre where over 5000 evacuees from the floods have taken refuge. Here distribution was taken up by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and American Red Cross volunteers.

40 members of Saifee Guards Houston along with madrasah and Mahad-al-Quran students gathered to fill sand bags which were delivered to homes and neighbours including the Lifepath Church.

Saifee guards are coordinating with city authorities and the George Brown Convention center (shelter) and have committed to provide over 8000 meals (so far) to anyone affected by the disaster.

Saifee guards, along with physicians from the community are preparing a team of around 100 volunteers to help at area shelters in the next few days, as more and more evacuees are brought into these centers.

Photos: Dawoodi Bohra Muslims in Houston prepare food for food for the evacuees at George Brown Convention Center

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Photos: Dawoodi Bohra Muslims engaged in community rescue operations

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The Ahmaddiyya Muslim community also engaged in rescue and supply operations:

More than 100 members of Muslim Youth USA, and 40 members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association, passed out food, water, and other supplies in Houston, according to organisers. Both groups expect to gain more volunteers from surrounding cities when the roadways open up.

Madeel Abdullah, director of humanitarian affairs for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association, said more than 700 members of his organisation have been affected by the storm. But the volunteers, he said, are “helping anybody else that’s in distress”.

“We’ve already provided basic supplies such as food items and water bottles,” Mr Abdullah told The Independent, “and we have a few members who have boats who are going around making sure everyone is safe.”

Both youth groups were assisted by Humanity First, an Ahmadiyya Muslim charity dedicated to disaster relief. First founded in England, the charity has expanded to more than 40 countries in the last 25 years.

Photos: Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth helping evacuees and distributing supplies

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Muslim organizations are also opening up their facilities as shelters to people trying to escape the flash floods and rising water. Examples include:

Islamic Center/Masjid Al-Mustafa: 17250 Coventry Park Dr, Houston, TX
Islamic Center/Masjid Al-Sabireen: 610 Brand Lane, Stafford TX
Islamic Center/Masjid Abu-Bakr: 8830 Old Galveston Rd, Houston TX

On Launchgood, there are several fundraising campaigns devoted to emergency relief, which have collectively raised (as of 8/29, 8am CST) about $40,000.

These are just examples – we will be surely hearing more stories of civic responsibility and everyday heroism in the wake of this history-defying storm, in the weeks to come. Muslims in Houston are answering the call just like their fellow citizens of all races and religions. This is what community looks like. And this is why we are all going to be ok.

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