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Day of Dignity celebrated in Phoenix

PHOENIX — The ninth annual celebration of Day of Dignity is happening on Saturday at 1125 W. Jackson Street in Phoenix.

The event, sponsored and coordinated by Virginia-based Islamic Relief USA, is an effort to provide assistance to “neighbors in need.”

According to Islamic Relief USA, “With growing religious tension around the world, local American Muslims look to build bridges to their local communities by serving Phoenix’s homeless with free hot meals, hygiene kits, school supplies, an open microphone session, karaoke, a youth art workshop, showers, face painting, children’s books, and additional supplies.”

Zarinah Awad, executive director of the Cultural Cup Food Bank and Medical Clinic, will be participating and is excited about the annual event.

She said many people don’t understand Islam and added Day of Dignity symbolizes her beliefs and represents what Islam is all about, “truthful, honest, helpful and decent people. It’s a religion of peace. We believe in helping everyone,” said Awad.

Day of Dignity is an annual nationwide campaign. Cities participating include Washington, Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlanta, Baltimore, Seattle, Detroit, Las Vegas, Brooklyn, N.Y., Dallas, Minneapolis and Portland, Ore.

Islamic Relief USA reported that in 2011, more than 17,500 people were assisted with medical and HIV/AIDS screenings, job training and GED information. They were also provided items such as personal hygiene products, school supplies and blankets.

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