Many woke up on Saturday morning to a cold, cloudy morning. A bit of hesitation hit people's minds as people prepared to attend the walk-a-thon. Yet, the weather took a turn for the better and it became a warm, sunny afternoon. Hundreds of men, women, and children gathered in the scenic Liberty State Park to attend the first ever MKA USA sponsored walk. Downtown NYC and the Statue of Liberty were amazing sights to see. The day started with tilawat, a few short speeches by the organizers, and silent prayer led by Naib Ameer Imam Daud Hanif sahib. We were also graced with Sadr MKA USA's presence at our site. The call for the walkathon to begin rang out through the speakers and the men assembled and were on their way. Then, the ladies began walking. Everybody was talking and having a great time. Kids ran around with balloons emblazoned with "Walk for Humanity". The Why Hunger staff was on hand to answer questions and gave out prizes, like t-shirts and necklaces. As people finished the walk (some even ran it!), they headed to the food area where some delicious burgers and kulfis were available. The walkathon ended with salat. A lot of people then teamed up to clean up the site, which all happened very quickly. Over the course of the walk, an additional $7,000 was donated from this specific effort. It was remarkable to see, and amazing to be a part of.
On Sept 29th 2012 something special happened in the small city of Zion, IL. Under the shadow of violence and protests waged in response to insults aimed at the character of the Holy Prophet(sas) and the religion of Islam, hundreds of Muslims gathered in the original city center of the Historic City of Zion. Their goal was to uphold the honor of their religion and its prophet; not by hurling insults or threatening violence but instead through service and compassion for the entire human family. Led by MKA USA, about 250 Ahmadis gathered from as far off as Detroit and Iowa to express to anyone in Zion and beyond that Islam supports humanitarianism. In one warm and sunny afternoon the group walked over 3miles and collected over 8000 dollars to add to the national campaign. The walk was attended by Cheri Ditzig the Zion Township Supervisor, Shantal Taylor Zion City Commisioner, Munum Naeem Naib Amir and Exective Director and Chairman of Humanity First and Mike Gonzalez Program Manager of Lake County, IL Boys and Girls Club. The Zion Jamaat sponsored a carnival with bounce houses and BBQ to provide entertainment for the families who've traveled so far to support the walk. The walk started at the Dowie Church and traveled through the surrounding neighborhoods led by a police escort and community service patrol. All who attended expressed that the day was one which they would remember for years to come.