Dear Community Members, Asalaamu’alaykum

I hope and pray that all of you are safe and taking great precautions amid this recent the ongoing COVID-19 crisis in Austin. The new COVID cases in Austin dropped a bit from 80 cases per day to about 74 cases. The 7-day moving average of patients occupying hospital beds is stable around 80 as well. However, new admits have trended slightly up from 12 to 15. Overall, the rate is stable but high and we need to continue to keep our guard up and implement all the safety precautions to keep ourselves, our families and our communities safe.

This past week we had, for the first time in six months, On-Campus Majalis. The On-Campus events were held to commemorate Arbaeen. It was nice to be back at the Center and attend the majlis in person with others. I would like to congratulate the program committee and the security team and other volunteers who made the events possible. The events were very professionally managed. The people to attended also strictly observed the SoPs. The response from the community and the professionalism of the security and program committee has encouraged us to hold the Friday prayer for this coming Friday on Campus as well. The event will be outdoors, and the SoP would be strictly followed. We plan to offer Friday prayer on Campus unless we feel that the SoPs are either not being followed or the rate of infections in Austin has increased. I have attached pictures from the Arbaeen event for you perusal.

I would also like to thank the food committee and the volunteers who supported the event, for organizing the Drive-Through meal.

We achieved another milestone this week – the foundation of the building was poured this week! We have updated the website to include pictures of the pouring of the foundation at the following link. Your duas and generosity at work!!

https://iaba-austin.org/new-building-update-oct-13-2020/

While our prime objective is to finish the building as quickly as possible, the building is not our only child so to speak. We have other projects to finish as well. Those include the furnishing the building, dinning pavilions, playgrounds for our children, Ghusal Khana and renovate the kitchen. The EC is very cognizant of these projects and will make decisions to contain the building cost to below $2.3M while raising funds to finish these other projects in and around the same time the building is done.  We look forward to generous donations from you. The fundraising team will be approaching you for your pledges.

The Social Committee has sent out a couple of reminders for the donations for the Giving Back Event they are organizing. Please donate generously and participate in their donation drive. It is to help the needy in and around Austin.

I hope you also responded to the School survey that was sent out. Your response will help us assess the need within the community.

Be mindful that the 2020 general election is right around the corner with early voting has started.  We should all endeavor to exercise our right to vote. It is extremely important that we participate in this process and make our voices heard. This is our country and the country of our children. We should work hard to make this country a better place for all.

For any questions, please contact Zain Kazmi or Kumail Hasan.

I would like to thank all those who contributed to our Muharram Fundraising campaign. May Allah reward you all. We achieved our fundraising target of $21000!

As I have mentioned before, while we work to help outside organizations and movements that support racial equality, we cannot but be introspective about our own community. We all need to take a moment and reflect on our own biases, and prejudices and work towards eliminating them. Let us all work towards building a community that our Prophet (s.a.w) and the Ahlul Bait (a.s) wanted us to have, where piety and taqwa were valued over race, color of the skin and wealth.

As always, please provide your feedback at [email protected]. I am sure there are areas where we can do better.

Free public testing is now available in Austin. Please visit the following website for more information:

https://austintexas.gov/department/covid-19-information-0

Please be mindful of your neighbors and extend a helping hand to them when you can.

As always, I pray and hope that you are all doing fine and taking advantage to this time to remember Allah and to spend quality time with your family. Please pray for all, that Allah protects us from this serious illness.

If you need any non-medical help, please do not hesitate to call the following number. Our volunteers are here to help.

Help Line: 512-436-3595

Visit the IABA website for links to CDC resources and local testing information.

Regards,

Syed Ijlal Shah

President IABA