On September 11, 2013 the city of Atlanta will commence its first ever “Compassion Games, Survival of the Kindest” at the Atlanta Friend’s Meeting House in Decatur. The credit for bringing this amazing initiative to Atlanta goes to Faith Alliance of Metro Atlanta (FAMA) along with Neshama Interfaith Center (NIC) and the Interfaith Community Initiatives (ICI). The idea offers Atlantans the opportunity to increase their level of compassion so that this city could become more tolerant, kind, safe, just and peaceful place to live.
Compassion Games is a program of the Compassionate Action Network International, a worldwide network founded on the Charter of Compassion that “transcends religious, ideological and national differences”.
Although, differences in the human race are meant to create uniqueness, beauty and versatility, sometimes they lead to hate, intolerance and unkind attitudes. Therefore, in a world where chaos, destruction, unrest and war are on the rise, there would be no better time to promote compassion, kindness and goodness.
Unlike what some say, time does not heal. The fact is that Americans still seem to be in need of healing even after more than a decade after 9/11 has passed. Thus, the theme selected for Compassion Games Atlanta “Beyond 9/11, Building the Beloved World Community” seems appropriate. Although, this tragedy brought a lot of pain but, it also prompted something good- an increase in interfaith dialogue. In fact, according to a survey by Hartford Seminary’s Institute for Religion Research in Connecticut, the number of congregations involved in interfaith community service activities has almost tripled from 8% to 21% in the decade after 9/11.
While various faith communities are working towards building the bridges of understanding, it has also invoked an awakening in the American Muslims. After the 9/11 attacks, many started showing unfavorable views towards Islam that is also depicted as an increase in hate crimes against Muslims.
So, it is not surprising that many American Muslims becoming more active to create awareness among general public about the real teachings of Islam that revolve around peace, compassion, tolerance and kindness. “Muslims for Life” campaign is a nationwide blood drive campaign initially launched on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. As the organizer, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community U.S.A has held 645 blood drives in the last couple of years and have collected 22,973 pints of blood to promote sanctity of life as prescribed in Islam and to honor victims of 9/11. This year the target is set for 12,000 pints from August 11 till October 11 to save 36,000 lives.
Multiple blood drives have been scheduled across the nation and here in Atlanta for this task and so far Georgia Chapter has collected more than 700 units. The Ahmadi Muslims of Georgia are also very excited for “Muslims for Life” blood drives to be offered as one of the activities presented to the Compassion Games Atlanta participants.
At the September 11 Compassion Games Atlanta kickoff event, the Georgia Chapter President Mr. Hazeem Phudipura will officially introduce the “Muslims for Life” campaign to the attendees from various local faith communities. Those interested in donating blood as an act of compassion will be required to sign up and donate for “Muslims for Life” at any of the local Red Cross Blood donor centers around the Atlanta metro area any time between September 11 and September 21. This would also qualify them for a weekly raffle of $25 offered to the donors of “Muslims for Life” campaign 2013.
Come on Atlanta, are you ready to lead in Compassion?