By Fatema Biviji
Special Contributor to NDG
The Dawoodi Bohra community of Dallas is engaging in a number of volunteer initiatives to provide relief to those members of society that have been most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and to support local medical professionals and emergency services personnel.
The Dawoodi Bohras of Dallas aspire to live up to the teachings of their spiritual leader, His Holiness Dr. Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, who states that patriotism to the country in which one resides is essential to the faith.
In these trying times, the Bohra community has acted according to this principle with the following efforts:
• donating food to their neighbors in the Yemeni and Somali refugee community,
• designing and sewing cloth face-masks with filter inserts for healthcare professionals,
• tying white ribbons to trees surrounding their community complex in a show of solidarity for healthcare professionals, first responders, and other essential personnel,
• and partnering with the Irving Schools Foundation’s Food for Thought program to provide 2 weeks of dinner meals to over 400 Irving ISD students in need.
Ms. Ashley Edwards of the Irving Schools Foundation kindly expressed gratitude for their contributions, noting, “We are so grateful for the generosity of the Dawoodi Bohra Community for their support and partnership. They came together as a community to support the Irving Schools Foundation’s Food for Thought program during our greatest time of need. As a result of their support, we were able to ensure that our children continued to receive the meals that they needed during these unprecedented times.” The Foundation continues to collect funds to provide meals to students in need at their website: https://irvingschoolsfoundation.org/.
In addition, the Bohra community has repeatedly given importance to its members’ maintenance of social distancing, including the suspension of public spiritual gatherings in the holy month of Ramadan, according to the guidelines and rules disseminated by local, state, and national governments and health authorities, to protect both themselves and others from the spread of COVID-19. In all of its efforts, the Bohra community has followed all advisories from government and health authorities regarding social distancing and the safe handling of food and other items.
The Bohra community of Dallas acts in conjunction with the worldwide effort of the global Dawoodi Bohra community. The global community has engaged in activities such as making philanthropic contributions in Mississauga, Canada; packaging meals for healthcare workers in Leicester, UK; donating food rations in Australia; and providing meals in Dubai. Along with their brethren around the world, the Dawoodi Bohra community of Dallas intends to continue its efforts until the ongoing crisis is over and its neighbors are safe.
These acts of appreciating the medical and emergency services personnel and of aiding others in the spirit of good citizenship conform to the principles of the Dawoodi Bohra faith, which urges its followers to engage in good deeds that range from avoiding food wastage and picking up trash, to planting trees and being peaceful, law-abiding citizens.
The Dawoodi Bohra community is formed of hundreds of local communities across the world. Following the guidance of their spiritual leader His Holiness Dr. Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, the Dawoodi Bohras believe that peaceful engagement with other faiths, the empowerment of women, good citizenship, and the thoughtful pursuit of education are important aspects of living a good life. The global Dawoodi Bohra community engages in a number of volunteer efforts which are encapsulated by the Project Rise initiative. For more information, please visit www.USA.TheDawoodiBohras.com.