The second Open House for Ilm Academy and Masjid Zakaria was held on Saturday, October 7, 2017. The Open House was attended by over a thousand people that included the parents of students, the students, and elected officials of Fremont city. Organized by Br. Saleem Mastan, invitations and advertising for the Open House-Lunch was started well in advance. Starting with an introduction from Shaikh Hassan, the Ilm Academy School’s Vice Principal, the Fremont city Vice Mayor, Rick Jones, Br. Saleem Mastan, and later the Principal, Khala Bokharey addressed the audience.
The students from several grades of Ilm Academy had prepared speeches especially for the event that were well received by the huge number of attendees. The speeches started with Marwa Alamkhel and Wali Hakeem from Khala Uzma’s First Grade, Sahlah Danish and Hafsa Anwar from Khala Shazia’s Third Grade, Asha Abdi and Behzad Mujahid from Khala Firdoes’s Fifth Grade, Maha Durrani and Aiham Amari of Khala Nahaya’s Seventh Grade, and Hamza Bandarkar and Ayshsa Shaghasi of Khala Irum’s Eighth Grade. The students spoke about the importance of education for them in general and the significance of Ilm Academy specifically. Understanding the fact that the project was made possible by the cooperation of the Fremont city, older students thanked the officials of the city for their collaboration with the ICF Board members for making the project possible.
In the words of Hamza Bandarkar of Eighth Grade,
‘School is a place where one spends most of the day. At school I learn to differentiate between right and wrong. My school is Ilm Academy and here I learn to read and enjoy what I read, the skill to manage my conflicts, the ability to modify my behavior, respect my elders and friends, be kind, compassionate, forgiving, and good. I learn this from my teachers.’
The numerous invited officials toured the school building and visited all the classrooms. They were most impressed by the well-organized facility and were charmed to read the work of students displayed on the class notice boards. The invited officials included Rick Jones (Vice-Mayor, Fremont), Lily Mei (Mayor, Fremont), Erica M. Trask (Supervisor’s Assistant, First District, Alameda County), Venessa Carr (Field Representative, U.S. House of Representatives, 17th District of California), Tim Sbranti (Deputy Chief of Staff, District Director, 15th District, California), Abdelmoula Haboub, Ph.D. (Associate Principal Scientist, Nikon), Joy T. Baritz (Niles Discovery Church), Anne Crosbie (Fremont Unified School District), and Dana Jones (SAVE Board Member).
Alhamdullillah, a big round of applause for the entire organizing team, volunteers, and sponsors for making the grand event possible.