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Mother’s Day, Iftar fundraisers bring in $68,000 to support Zaman’s programs

May was a boon month for Zaman International’s fundraising efforts, with its annual Mother’s Day Brunch and Community Iftar Dinner raising $68,000 to support crisis assistance and job training programs.

With the theme “Destination Hope,” the Mother’s Day brunch on May 6 netted a record high of almost $51,000 from ticket sales, raffle ticket purchases, donations, product sales and contributions from vendor sales. Nearly 650 women and girls gathered at Crystal Gardens Banquet Center in Southgate to enjoy whimsical table settings inspired by major international cities, vie for raffle baskets, and shop in a “marketplace” offering products by Planet Bakery, Creme au Beurre, Soap 4 Hope, Inspired Home Co., Modesty Michigan, Narang Chocolates, and Zaman’s Culinary Arts Kitchen and Sewing Program. More than 100 donated raffle baskets teemed with specialty foods and teas, gift certificates and cash, designer luggage and handbags, children’s toys and crafts, and a bonanza of cooking supplies – an homage to the organization’s new Culinary Arts Kitchen.

Just two weeks later, the Community Iftar Dinner drew more than 550 people to Dearborn’s Bint Jebail Cultural Center to break the Ramadan fast, netting approximately $17,000 to support Zaman’s clients. Guests were treated to Dairy Queen and Tim Horton’s gift cards, the gifts of Ali and Amane Haidous and Hassan and Sikney Charara, respectively.

Both events provided guests with highlights of Zaman’s programmatic accomplishments. At the Mother’s Day Brunch, students in the Sewing Program serenaded attendees about their success learning English to the tune of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” while Women’s Interfaith Solutions for Dialogue and Outreach in MetroDetroit (WISDOM) was recognized for its ongoing support of Zaman’s students. The Iftar dinner featured presentations by Amanda Saab, director of Zaman’s crisis assistance operations, and her husband, Hussein. Hussein spoke about Umami Wear, a new line of “foodie” clothing with items sewn by Zaman’s sewing students, while Amanda pitched the book signing by nationally renowned pastry chef Stella Parks, which took place on July 15 at the Hope For Humanity Center.

Zaman CEO and Founder Najah Bazzy said the Iftar dinner, which had not been planned for 2018 due to its close proximity to Mother’s Day, was organized at the last minute due to overwhelming demand from the organization’s supporters.

“The dinner has a loyal following, particularly among our many male Zamanitarians who do not attend the Mother’s Day event,” Bazzy said. “The dinner is a beloved and much-anticipated occasion for Zamanitarians and we were happy not to disappoint. I am deeply grateful to the staff and volunteers who worked tirelessly to organize the event upon very short notice – as are the women and children who are benefiting from the funds raised.”