Friday, May 13, 2011

Daughters of Abaraham

Daughters of Abraham, in the DFW area is branching out and looking for new members!

A dear friend of mine, Alia Salem, has been talking about this amazing interfaith group she is a part of, Daughters of Abraham.  She's always talking about their amazing meetings and get-togethers and community service projects, so when she said that they were expanding and looking for new members, I really wanted to learn more about what exactly it is that makes this group so special and unique.

"About 7 or 8 years ago a Christian woman started the organization after her son came home from serving overseas in the military.  She is the wife of a preacher in Arlington and she really felt like we have got to open these chains of dialog.  Her son had really created relationships with Muslims while serving in Iraq and realized it wasn't Muslims who were causing the problems there and it was more politics and government", says Alia about how DOA first began.  She goes on to describe that it was sparked by the woman's son, and she joined along with some other Christian and Jewish ladies to begin this interfaith organization.  Alia was first approached at a Central Market by a sweet little elderly woman. "I was dressed in my full black abaya and hijab when she approached me", Alia says. The woman then asked Alia if she had ever heard of The Daughters of Abraham. Alia was excited and told her she had heard about the group and would be interested in being part of it. "Now all we need to find is a Jewish woman!", the elderly Christian lady replied excitedly.  Shortly after, the DOA Fort Worth group was spawned!

"The point of this, Alia says, is to reach out to people and really show that we are all so similar, we are all just human beings with the same beliefs!  We don't get together and talk about politics or things that would offend someone.  We love getting together and talking about how we interpret each others faith. We have the opportunity to dispel or confirm stereotypes about each others faith."  Alia describes that most of the members have never actually met a Muslim and really enjoy learning about the belief structure of Islam.  

Members of DOA enjoying a discussion
DOA takes part in so many events and are regularly invited to speak for universities and organizations.  "Whenever we are all there speaking together, it really opens my eyes. I feel stronger about my faith during these times of sharing, we realize how common our beliefs really are.  We always do a Q&A after we speak at an event and we all laugh because most of the questions are referred to me, as a Muslim, because of all the current events", Alia says.

Member Keisha discovers something new at DOA meeting

Two DOA members at the DOA garage sale

So how can I become a member of DOA?

There are different DOA groups that you can join, depending on which location your nearest to.  There is a brand new East Dallas group that they are busily gathering new members for.  There are three groups already established. One in Colleyville, the Fort Worth group, and the Arlington group.  The groups get together at preset times and dates and they rotate their meetings between the different places of worship. Sometimes at a church, a temple, or a mosque.

The East Dallas group is being started by Adel Wallace and she is looking forward to finding some great Muslim Sisters who are eager to get involved in this interfaith dialog experience.  The groups are usually intimate in size, some topics gather a large crowd, more than others.  The target size is having 8 Jewish members, 8 Christian, and 8 Muslims.  There is plenty of room for growth though!  There is no cost involved whatsoever. The groups engage in social activism, like helping at a food bank, or gathering school supplies for children.  Often the groups obtain grants for their activist events.  "Our goal is really to show people out there that all these women of faith gather together with common loves of their families and children and hoping the best for society" Alia says.  "The ideal member is a woman who is open to breaking down barriers, keeping our minds open to learning about others and respectful of each others beliefs", she says.

Smiling Daughters of Abraham

No matter what your faith, you can contact Alia Salem below to sign up or learn more about DOA!