Camp Taha Visit (Michigan, USA)

July 2011

Alsalam Foundation had their first visit this summer to the Taha Camp based in the United States Columbiaville, Michigan, (around 2 hours from Detroit). The team consisted of    Sajad Jiyad, Jawadain Baraka, Zahra Shirzad and Kariem Hussaini lead by Sayid Fadhil Bahrululoom. Camp Taha is a several week program organised by Hajj Hassanain Rajabali and his team of dedicated individuals for youths and families to develop one’s mind, body and spirit. The camp includes a wide range of sports activities, workshops and lectures.

The team visited the camp with the aim of participating in the activities to better familiarise themselves with the structure and organisation of the camp in order to serve as a stepping stone for Alsalam Foundation in working on developing a similar concept in Europe. The participation of the team varied on different levels; supporting the camp management on the day-to-day duties, providing workshops and presentations for the youth (this included an introductory presentation of the projects run by Alsalam Foundation), supervising and facilitating all sports activities, and helping with the discipline of young children.

Their participation went further:

Sayid Fadhil Bahrululoom – Sayid had much to offer in the camp with his guidance being a key part for the youth. He delivered several lectures as part of the main programme and run a number of workshops on theological issues ending with Q&A and open discussions. Sayid was also on the ground partaking in the sports activities and providing his mentoring service to the young children and youth as and when they approached him.

Sajad Jiyad – Sajad’s excellent presentation about Imam Mehdi (a.s.) encouraged the youth to learn more about the Imam as well as strive while they have the energy as youths in getting closer to the Imam. That is by practicing Islam in a sincere way as well as preaching what they learned to their families, friends and other people. In addition to this he run a few workshops and partially participated in the running of seminars for the older youths.

Being a first point of contact for the youth was each of: Zahra Shirzad, Jawadain Baraka and Kariem Husaini who maximised their efforts in supervising and guiding the children in the best way possible. They not only helped on the ground level but also along with Sajad and Sayid Fadhil managed to raise awareness of the significant work the IDO is undertaking in Iraq and gladly raised $2,666 for the orphans of Iraq.

The team also visited various Islamic Centres and Foundations in Michigan, which is home to one of the largest Muslim and Middle-Eastern communities in the US. Further visits were organised to New York, Washington and other cities to raise awareness of the Foundations projects and future initiatives.

Alsalam Foundation’s next step would be to encourage the youth in the community to join them on their next possible visit to Camp Taha, in the near future, to build bridges and strengthen community ties on a global level.