Muslim Group Helps Needy Students

August 19, 2007

Author: PARADISE AFSHAR

Source: The Miami Herald

http://www.miamiherald.com/494/story/206247.html

Altaf Ali had a vision that one day he would organize the Muslim community to join in an end-of-summer tradition: distributing school supplies to needy children.

''I was a student once and noticed a lot of students did not have supplies, and I said one day I'd have to have the Muslim community help out in this,'' said Ali. "It is our moral obligation -- and not only as Muslims but as Americans -- to give.''

That day came Aug. 11, when Ali and the South Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Affairs (CAIR-SFL) got together with several Islamic centers to distribute school bags filled with supplies to about 325 children.

Another 125 or so children got bags and supplies the next day when the distribution continued at Masjid Miami Gardens, 4305 NW 183rd St., one of the major mosques in the area.

''I came just to help out,'' said Afroza Kashar, 21, of Miramar. "I think it's a good cause. I respect that CAIR is taking money from people who have money and giving it to people who don't.''