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Record Number of Atlanta Muslims Registered for Upcoming Hunger Walk

Record Number of Atlanta Muslims Registered for Upcoming Hunger Walk

Author Edward Mitchell by

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Update: over 633 people from the Muslim community had registered for the hunger walk

Over 350 Muslims from at least 20 different Georgia mosques and Islamic organizations have registered for the upcoming Hunger Walk/Run, an annual event designed to raise funds for hunger relief. The Roswell Community Masjid topped the sign-up list as of late February, with 25 of its members planning to attend, according to information provided to

“What makes this a special event, is that it brings people from all different backgrounds, faith traditions, [and] cities…together to raise awareness and funds to fight a common problem—hunger,” said Amani Elghoroury, a member of the Islamic Speakers Bureau who has attended the Hunger Walk/Run for several years. “As Muslims, we are taught to take care of your family, friends and neighbors.”

This year’s Hunger Walk/Run is scheduled to begin at noon on Sunday, March 15 at Turner Field .

Hosted by the Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB), the event has been held every year since 1988. From 1984 to 1988, it was an independent, volunteer based 10-mile walk. Runners were eventually invited to join the movement. Over 15,000 Georgians participated in 2012, raising $563,000 for hunger relief, according to the ACFB.

Last year, about 50 Muslims from ten different Muslim organizations participated in the 5k, according to a participant. Muslim sign-ups for the 2015 event have therefore already outpaced the attendance in 2014.

“We've been participating as...a family in the Hunger Walk/Run since 2007, so this is our eighth year participating,” said Nicole Kopko, a member of the ICCA. “When we first started going, our children were young so (that) we took along the stroller to give their little tired legs a rest. It's a great family event, with lots of activities for all ages.”

If the rate of sign-ups is any indication, many more Muslim families may join Kopko’s family for the 2015 Hunger Walk/Run.

“We have experienced a great response from our partner organizations in the Muslim community,” said Soumaya Khalifa, founder and executive director of the Islamic Speakers Bureau. “We hope to see more people sign up and be involved.”

The ISB also engages in other efforts to eradicate hunger in Georgia. Its annual, ongoing Being Your Neighbors’ Keeper food drive has helped feed hundreds, if not thousands, of Georgians.

“It is an opportunity for Muslims to practice what the religion of Islam teaches about giving to the less fortunate in the wider community,” Khalifa said of such community service activities.

“Let's be out there and show how Muslims live their values of giving and compassion. This would be showing the true nature of Islam and Muslims.”

Indeed, organizers are strongly encouraging more members of Georgia’s Muslim community to participate this year.

“This is such a wonderful and easy way to get involved in community service for the young and old, everyone can participate,” Elghoroury said. “[It is a] fantastic way to meet others from around the city.”

Kopko echoed those sentiments, saying, “It's amazing to see some many people from all different backgrounds-community organizations, companies, religious organizations- coming together for the cause of helping those in need in the Atlanta community. When you're walking and look ahead and behind you, you see a huge wave of people all walking for the same cause.”

Other organizations represented on the sign-up list so far: Al Falah Academy, Al-Farooq Masjid of Atlanta, Atlanta Muslim Young Professionals, Community of Bosniak of Georgia, Hamzah Islamic Center, Georgia State University MSA, Georgia Tech MSA, Gwinnett Islamic Circle, Ilm Academy, Islamic Center of Marietta, Islamic Community Center of Atlanta, Islamic Society of South Atlanta, Madina Institute, Masjid Omar, Muslimah Consultation Group, Roswell Community Masjid, Sacred Services, and SHARE Atlanta.

“Hunger is not religion specific,” Elghoroury said. “It affects equally and through our interfaith work, we can help each other and learn from each other.”

Georgians interested in attending, or donating to, the Hunger Walk/Run can visit the event website .

Edward Ahmed Mitchell is an attorney based in Atlanta who serves as News Editor of Follow him on Twitter @edmovie.

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