The program started promptly at 6:45 p.m. with a recitation of the Holy Quran by Dr. Dawud Nassimi. Robert Marro, one of the MACCPAC board members, moderated the program. Various Interfaith officials spoke about their experiences with Muslims through Interfaith work. Among the attendees were Virginia representatives Gerry Connolly and Jim Moran. Representative Donna Edwards from Maryland also attended and spoke about her interactions with Muslims.
Since part of MACCPAC’s mission is to educate and prepare Muslim youth to participate in politics, they conduct an annual Youth Leadership Retreat. In August 2012, the retreat was held in Fairfax, VA and in D.C. where youth from Virginia, Maryland, New York, Georgia and New Jersey participated. On stage, MACCPAC fellows and participants in the retreat spoke about their experiences.
Imam Mahdi Bray fundraised for the night telling the audience, “MACCPAC brings Islamic values and a message about justice. We need the strength of the young people.” Imam Bray felt he attended the dinner for an important reason. “I came here to try to fulfill my prayer: Oh Allah please let me do more,” Bray said. Lastly, Dr. Yaqub Mirza, Dr. Amirul Islam, Dr. Sulayman Nyang, Dr. Esam Omeish, Mr. Robert Marro and Dr. Shahida Chowdhury were all honored with Civic and Community Leadership Awards.