U.S. Muslim Women Organize to Provide Quake Relief

October 20, 2005

Source: Women's eNews


On October 20, 2005 Women's eNews reported, "The massive earthquake that hit South Asia two weeks ago moved Shazia Nawaz, a Pakistani American woman in Tempe, Ariz., into action.

Nawaz learned of the 7.6-magnitude temblor while hosting a weekly informal discussion club for a handful of women in her living room.

As usual, they were talking about cultural matters such as Islamic etiquette, breaking down negative U.S. stereotypes of Muslims and how Muslims adapt to life in a predominantly Christian society.

News of the quake, however, quickly shifted attention to what the women could do to help the victims of the earthquake, which rocked northeastern Pakistan on Oct. 8 and sent tremors through parts of India and Afghanistan. An estimated 40,000 people were killed by the disaster, 65,000 are injured and some 3.3 million are homeless... Nawaz and her friends began thinking about collecting supplies and raising disaster relief funds. They started recruiting new members to their group--which has no name as of yet--at local mosques, in their neighborhoods and during iftar, the communal meal at nightfall in which Muslims break their sacred fast.

In the past two weeks, the group--whose core was made up of friends in the neighborhood--has since swelled to 36 women and now includes homemakers, students, teachers, doctors and other professionals.

The women have raised about $14,000 in all."