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Religious Leaders to Commemorate Fifth Anniversary of 9/11 with Interfaith Prayer

Contact: Natasha Tynes, Arab American Institute, 202-429-9210


WASHINGTON, Aug. 31 /Christian Newswire/ -- Arab Americans will commemorate the fifth anniversary of Sept. 11 with an interfaith prayer luncheon featuring leaders of the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths.


The luncheon will be part of a National Leadership Conference organized by the Arab American Institute (AAI). Entitled “Healing the Nation: An Arab American Agenda for Security, Liberty and Peace”, the conference will take place on Sep 10-12. It will feature interfaith prayers by Imam Mohamed Majid, from the All Dulles Areas Muslim Society, Rev. George Rados from Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church, Rabbi David Saperstein, from the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and Bishop Jane Holmes Dixon, of The Interfaith Alliance.


Imam Majid, who was born in Sudan, is the director of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society Center, which serves over 1,700 families in the DC area. He is a graduate of the prestigious Al-Azhar University.


Rabbi David Saperstein has been heading the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism for 30 years. During his tenure as a director, Rabbi Saperstein has headed a number of national religious coalitions. In 1999, he was elected as the first Chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom created by a unanimous vote of Congress.


Rev. George Rados is the pastor of Saints Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church in Potomac, Maryland. He also acts as Chairman of the Department of Charities and director of the Children's Relief Fund of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese, which helps sponsor children in Lebanon and Syria.


Bishop Jane Holmes Dixon is a senior advisor for Inter-religious Relations at the Interfaith Alliance. She was ordained as priest in 1982 and was only the second female named bishop by the Episcopal Church. She was named Washingtonian of the Year in 2001 by Washingtonian Magazine for promoting “tolerance and togetherness” following the September 11 terrorist attacks.


The luncheon prayer will take place on Monday, Sep 11, at the Capitol Hilton Hotel at Noon.


The National Leadership Conference will also feature a number of plenary sessions on the humanitarian crises in Lebanon and Palestine and the November 2006 Congressional elections. Confirmed speakers at the two-day event include Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) Sen. John E. Sununu (R-NH) Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA), Rep Darrell E. Issa (R - CA), and Rep. Ray LaHood (R-IL).


A number of Americans who were evacuated from Lebanon during the conflict last month also will attend and participate, offering eyewitness accounts of the devastation of Lebanon and their evacuations.


Arab Americans in federal government will receive a special tribute during a luncheon on Capitol Hill to honor their dedication to serving their country. The luncheon will also feature addresses by Arab American Members of Congress.


Journalists wishing to cover the event must RSVP by sending an e-mail to saltaf@aaiusa.org


Founded in 1985, the Arab American Institute (AAI) is a nonprofit organization committed to the civic and political empowerment of Americans of Arab descent. AAI provides policy, research and public affairs services to support a broad range of community activities.