"When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy." ~ Rumi
Such has been my AMPD experience and so much more. When taking a look back over the past 3 years to see how the American Muslim Professionals of Dallas has added value to our community, I see how AMPD members have given both "Southern" and "Muslim" hospitality a whole new meaning as the catalysts to creating friends out of strangers, opportunities out of conversations, organization out of fragmented social-circles, and leaders out of volunteers.
When looking further back across the evolution of time and space, Islam has inspired billions of people from diverse communities inhabiting different corners of this one planet we all call home. So it is only fitting that AMPD was born out of this rooted realization of community that we feel as a new generation of American Muslims who maintain their religious identities and choose to practice Islam day-in and day-out, despite the challenges they face.
AMPD's mission was not a novel one, but we started with what we didn't want to do and our direction came forth. Three years ago, when a young girl in Pakistan was fighting for her life for pursuing her God-given right to education, there were many young women in America with the best of education fighting for equal pay for equal work. When today we hear of the sectarian Sunni/Shia violence and political struggles that have plagued the Middle East since the early days of Islam, the fact that the American justice-system is also in dire need of reform reminds us that we face very real civil rights violations at home, as well. And while AMPD is not the solution to these global problems, we recognize that we have the ability to ground our organizational mission in North Texas and shape our sphere of influence to create a wave of positive change through even the most seemingly insignificant acts of professional development and community service.
Our first goal was defined in our mission: to provide a platform for professionals in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to network, advance professionally, and serve our communities. Unlike other organizations which created exclusivity of membership by virtue of gender, socio-economic status, or corporate affiliations, and unlike the feudal and nepotistic characteristics of Islamic organizations abroad, AMPD's inclusive model would stay true to our values of professionalism set forth in AMPD's Code of Conduct through Collaboration, Humility, Accountability, Integrity, and Respect. With the guidance and mentorship provided by community leaders, we learned that the key to innovation and professional development is not only in the tasks we set out to accomplish as a team, but more so in how we treat each other while doing so. Professionalism, as the means to achieving AMPD's mission, is equally important as the end goal itself.
What naturally followed was our vision: to elevate the professional experience for Muslims in DFW. This refreshing commitment to raising the bar for American Muslim professionals so we may better serve our local community is reflected in one of the most beautiful and driving aspects of our faith - the motivation to seek success in this life and in the Hereafter. As we transform our individual American dreams into reality and pursue our journey of life, liberty and happiness, let us not forget that all faiths ask that we seek success for our fellow neighbor, as well.
In the words of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), given in his Last Sermon, "all those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly." I pray that the American Muslim Professionals of Dallas rises to the challenge set forth by this prophecy from the best of teachers in the years to come as we aspire to amplify the true spirit of our timeless faith, insha'Allah. Driven by a strong sense of professional responsibility and upholding ourpassion for our mission, perseverance in our vision, and commitment to action, AMPD plans to reach new heights in the next two years through our quarterly programs and projects.
It has been a great honor serving as AMPD President and an absolute pleasure working with such a dedicated team of leaders who I have learned so much from.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve and best wishes for the future! #GetAMPD
Aisha U-Kiu, AMPD President 2013-15
with inspiration from AMPD Elevation Gala 2015 speakers:
Dr. Mohamed Lazzouni, Yasmeen Tadia, Omar Usman, Mir Hadi Ali, & Dr. Shahid Shafi.