BALTIMORE – A leading American Muslim organization hosted on Saturday an open day in the park to offer students preparing to get back to school on Monday new supplies, the event planned to break barriers and stereotypes.
“We don’t want to be judged by what is being portrayed in the media,” Sabah Muktar, a staff member with the Islamic Circle of North America’s ICNA Relief organization that helped put on the Warwick Park event, told Baltimore Sun on Saturday, August 27.
The event was organized by ICNA relief group along with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Baltimore Teachers Union and local health organizations KEYS Development and BACHS Healthcare.
The groups gave out hundreds of backpacks and books and even free haircuts to students.
Many families who visited the park Saturday had never met Muslims but left expressing a positive impression.
“It’s been really amazing getting that kind of feedback,” Muktar said.
The teachers union gave out books for all ages.
“We’re struggling to get what we can get,” said Tarrell Windman, whose 3-year-old daughter entering pre-kindergarten, Latasha Thomas, left with a new purple backpack.
Attending the event on Saturday, many students said they were ready to get back to school on Monday.
“I can’t wait to go back to school,” soon-to-be fourth-grader Keshawn Gross said as a volunteer barber put the finishing touches on his haircut at Warwick Park.
“It looks fresh,” his aunt, Summer Randall, told him.