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For Immediate Release
May 5, 2012
Post Event Press Release: Domestic Harmony Foundation 4th Annual Fundraiser
On Saturday, May 5th, 2012, the Domestic Harmony Foundation (DHF) held its 4th Annual Fundraiser at the Madison Theatre. The evening was introduced by the Master of Ceremonies, Zainab Nasser, and started off with a public service announcement created and enacted by DHF members. The PSA served as a reminder to all that domestic violence is not a private issue, and that anyone can take steps towards nonviolence. After the PSA, DHF Program Coordinator Jasia Mirza and DHF volunteer Bushra Hussain spoke about DHF’s work and new developments that had occurred over the past year.
After the presentations about DHF, comedians Maysoon Zayid and Sameer Nasseem gave lively performances. Maysoon Zayid had given a wonderfully received performance at DHF’s 1st Annual Fundraising Gala, and the audience was happy to see her again. Both performances were well-received by the audience.
During the intermission, audience members were directed towards an exhibition of art pieces created by domestic violence survivors. There were beautiful and touching pieces created on canvases of dupattas, and these pieces were arranged by DHF board member Amal Wahib. There was also an exhibit of photographs taken for DHF’s support group photography project, a project that was originally funded by the Long Island Fund for Women and Girls. These exhibits were wonderful reminders of the real people DHF works with, and the importance of their voices.
After the intermission, raffle tickets were drawn for a total of ten prizes. Following the raffle drawing DHF volunteer Yasmin Wasti read a poem to introduce the famed ghazal singer Tahira Syed. Tahira Syed spoke of her admiration for the kind of work DHF does. She pointed out that DHF is a group of strong women who are working outside of their comfort zone in order to help improve the community.
Tahira Syed’s performance was accompanied by a tabla player, a keyboard player, and a percussionist. She started off with classical songs, singing ghazals from the famous poets Faiz and Perveen Shakir. She also sang popular songs from her teenage years, as well as some famous Punjabi songs that the audience liked very much. Her singing was fascinating and engaging even for those who could not understand the language, as was obvious from the dancing and singing audience members. For the finale, she sang the famous song, “Abhi to Mein Jawan Huon.”
Overall, DHF’s 4th Annual Fundraiser, was a resounding success. Not only was DHF able to spread the message about their work to new attendees, but they were also able to bring the wonderful talents of Tahira Syed, Maysoon Zayid, and Sameer Naseem to their supporters and community.
For Immediate Release
April 15, 2011
Post Event Press Release: Domestic Harmony Foundation 3rd Annual Fundraiser
On Saturday April 9th 2011, the Swan Club in Roslyn, NY was alit with beautifully attired ladies and gentlemen, all supporting the dire cause of domestic violence victims. The Domestic Harmony Foundation (DHF) successfully hosted its 3rd Annual Fundraiser Dinner with the backdrop of the charming gardens of the country club.
The cocktail hour was held in a glass room overlooking manicured gardens littered with budding spring leaves and hyacinths. There were approximately 190 guests in attendance that night. Various stations of food were nestled in the corners of the cocktail reception area as supporters, organizers and guests mingled with each other. During the cocktail hour, DHF volunteers sold CDs and books by singer, author, and humanitarian, Salman Ahmad. An expectant buzz surrounded the guests in the reception area as anticipation built for the evening’s events to unfold.
The main event room was beautifully decorated with real carnations and hyacinths in clay pots as centerpieces, adorned by gifts from DHF for the guests. The evening’s program began with an introduction by DHF’s esteemed Executive Director Shaida Khan. Ms. Khan spoke of DHF’s inception and events that brought to light the need for organizations such as DHF to exist. She highlighted the activities of the organization and stressed upon the importance of community involvement in eradicating domestic violence. Ms. Khan’s speech reminded the listeners how essential it is for religious and community leaders to be fully educated on issues of domestic violence so they may be a guiding light to the victims who turn to them.
It was announced, regrettably, that two of the evening’s speakers, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice and Dr. Sujata Warrier, Director of the NYC Program of the Office for the Prevention of Domestic Abuse, were unable to attend. The District Attorney’s place was taken by Madeline Singas, Chief of the Special Victims Bureau at the Nassau County DA’s office, who illustrated the types of crimes the Bureau is faced with on a regular basis. The audience was given a glimpse into life at the Special Victims Bureau and the responsibilities Ms. Singas and her colleagues face each day in their battle against violence.
Following Ms. Singas, the celebrated Salman Ahmad took the stage and the audience’s hearts. Mr. Ahmad is the founder of the Pakistani rock band Junoon and the non-profit organization, the Salman and Samina Global Wellness Initiative (SSGWI), which works on interfaith dialogue, wellness awareness and music education, to name a few. He performed some of his famous songs with Mr. Pandit Samir Chatterjee accompanying on the tabla. Mr. Ahmad’s musical and vocal talents kept the audience captivated and by popular demand he returned a little later in the evening to perform a few more songs.
The musical part of the evening was followed by a brave woman who related to the audience her story and experiences dealing with domestic abuse. The survivor’s story brought home this issue for the awestruck audience. She spoke of the dilemmas she was faced with daily, the worries for herself and her children’s safety, and her ultimate path into the arms of the Domestic Harmony Foundation. The audience could clearly see the immense amount of strength of heart and mind the survivor has had to bring herself to seek help and continue with DHF’s weekly support group meetings. Because of this one person’s courage, the listeners were able to put a face to the term “domestic violence survivor,” and found themselves transported into her shoes, seeing the pain she has had to endure.
DHF member Yasmin Wasti shared an inspirational poem reflecting the emotions of a domestic violence victim. Long-time DHF member and counselor Dr. Kushalata Jayakar Ahmed skillfully sang a few songs during dinner to depict the feelings of uncertainty and strength survivors of domestic violence can encounter. Later, two young ladies representing the organization Khadijah’s Caravan, a spiritually based activist group, presented poems and pieces written by members of a young generation working to raise awareness on women’s issues. There also followed a slideshow introduced by DHF member and lawyer Mr. Omar Chaudhry, Esq. Aside from providing legal advice to victims of domestic violence at DHF, Mr. Chaudhry oversaw a summer law internship for two students from the New York Law School. The slideshow presented DHF’s activities over the past year, which included various presentations at numerous locations, events held at DHF locations to raise domestic violence awareness and increase dialogue.
The evening’s success was greatly due to the great amount of hard work and love that was put in by the organization’s members and volunteers. The work that went behind the scenes to create a night of such elegance and poignancy could have only come about through immense amounts of dedication and time. In addition, individual donors and organizations such as The South Asian Times, Weekly Pakistan Voice, and TVOne Global, our Media Partners, as well as Habib American Bank, the Islamic Center of Long Island, and the Mukhopadhyay Foundation, provide the community and institutional support necessary for the work we do. Undoubtedly, with this continued support, the following year will see another successful fundraiser.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 21, 2010
Post-Event Press Release: Domestic Harmony Foundation’s 2nd Annual Fundraising Gala
On Saturday, April 17th 2010, the Domestic Harmony Foundation held its 2nd Annual Fundraiser Dinner at the Greens at Half Hollow in Melville. The elegant evening featured esteemed speakers, an enticing comedian and talented musicians who were joined by approximately 200 glittering donors and supporters.
The pre-dinner cocktail hour was abuzz with people from all walks of life showing support of DHF’s cause against domestic violence in the South Asian, Muslim and Middle Eastern communities. The delicious appetizers fed the networking hour while guests learned about each other and the organization. A books sale and a raffle signup followed and then the guests were directed to the main program. A recapitulation of DHF’s history and purpose kicked off the event, including an overview of the activities for the year, presented by the Executive Director, Shaida Khan.
The guest speakers of the evening were scholar and author Laleh Bakhtiar and activist and author Shamita Das Dasgupta. Books by both authors were available for sale throughout the event. Dr. Bakhtiar, the first Iranian-American Muslim woman translator of the Quran, presented on a much-disputed verse of the Quran which has sadly been the center of many domestic violence issues within the Muslim community. Dr. Dasgupta brought the issue of domestic violence even closer to the audience by connecting with them on a universal level and making the guests feel the importance of their individual responsibilities in eradicating this heinous epidemic.
Perhaps the most touching and heart-rending part of the program was a survivor’s story of her ordeals, her emotions, the effect on her children, and the aftermath. The survivor was a singularly courageous and remarkable woman whose calmness of voice paired perfectly with the gravity of what she related. She narrated her story of two decades of abuse, fear and indelible patience. She shared one of her daughter’s journal entries, which featured heartwarming words of praise, worry and love for her mother when she herself could not find the words to talk about her situation. In the most deserved fashion, the survivor received a standing ovation from the audience following her brave and stirring speech. A beautiful song sung by one of DHF’s members put a final touch on the most heart-wrenching part of the entire evening.
Following dinner, the audience was treated to a special DHF film showing, created by independent filmmaker and producer Jennifer Maharajh. The film was shocking, moving, and altogether intensely real in its depiction of cycles in an abusive relationship. The stress remained on the availability of help in these situations – from organizations like DHF.
The evening took on a much more lighthearted tone after the film when the spectacular renowned comedian Maysoon Zayid took the stage. The Palestinian-American actress brightened up the room instantaneously with her outrageously humorous and even poignant jokes. A raffle drawing and musical entertainment by the talented Vishal Bhalla and his accompanying singers completed the evening’s festivities. Raffle prizes included a trip for two to Cairo, Egypt, tickets to US Open Men’s Final, tickets to the American Ballet Theatre, and many more. The musicians performed a variety of songs in different languages, putting their heart and soul into each and every one.
Given the resounding success of the Domestic Harmony Foundation’s 2nd Annual Fundraiser, it’s hoped that the upcoming years will provide even greater chances of improvement and lead the community into an age of greater awareness – and consequently, elimination – of domestic violence.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 18, 2009
DHF is invited to Washington DC to attend a Congressional Briefing:
Domestic Harmony Foundation was invited by National Network to End Domestic Violence to attend a congressional briefing on March 4, 2009 in Washington D.C. Homaira Mamoor representing DHF attended the congressional briefing, visited Members of Congress and attended a Congressional reception in the evening. She discussed the specific needs of Muslim and South Asian women in Long Island who are dealing with domestic violence. Mrs. Mamoor expressed the need for funding to serve Muslim and South Asian women with the culturally appropriate/specific services to meet their needs.
The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) is the only dedicated federal funding source for domestic violence shelters and services. The authorization of this act has expired and we are working to urge Congress to reauthorize the act. . One of the overarching policy goals in FVPSA is to open funding in a pilot project for such organizations, like Domestic Harmony who is serving undeserved and marginalize communities.
DHF’s attendance at a congressional briefing is a significant step for the recognition of the Foundation. Mrs. Mamoor is an active Board Member of DHF and was selected by the other Board Members for her oratory and presentation skills.
February, 16, 2009
Shaida Khan, Executive Director 516-884-7917
Homaira Mamoor, Board Member 631-741-3047
Domestic Harmony Foundation
Condemns the Horrific Murder of Aasiya Hassan, the wife of Bridges TV founder & CEO
Domestic Harmony Foundation is appalled and saddened by the tragic murder of Aasiya Hassan. Muzzammil Hassan, her husband has been taken into police custody and charged with second degree murder. Aasiya Hassan was found on the evening of Thursday February 12, 2009, following Muzzammil Hassan’s arrival at the police station indicating she could be found in his office at Bridges TV. Aasiya Hassan had recently filed for divorce, and had a protective order issued against Muzzammil Hassan on February 6, 2009. Police continue to search for the murder weapon.
As an organization that work towards bringing awareness, empowerment and support for Muslim women and children who are exposed to the epidemic of domestic violence, we strongly condemn and are outraged at this heinous act of beheading committed in Buffalo, NY on February 12, 2009.
Domestic violence is not from one’s religion or nationality, rather is an epidemic effecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, nationality or educational background. This is not an isolated story of a prominent, well statured man who has committed such an act. We have witnessed many others, such as police troopers, physicians, and judges who have killed or maimed their partners in acts of rage.
We send our heartfelt condolences to Aasiya’s family and pray, they find the strength to cope with this tragic loss. We hope the perpetrator of this shocking crime is prosecuted and punished to the fullest extent of the law. The beheading death of Aasiya Hassan underscores the urgent need for Muslim communities to step up and speak out against domestic violence, support and endorse the work of organizations who are working toward ending domestic violence from within the community.
Domestic Harmony Foundation is the one and only community based non-for profit organization located in Long Island, NY. DHF was created in response to the social, emotional and psychological needs of a growing South Asian and Muslim community. DHF is committed in promoting peace, safety and harmony within South Asian and Muslim families by providing support and guidance and working towards addressing and ending domestic abuse and violations of their basic human rights.
For more information about DHF please go to www.dhfny.org