Over the past several months, IMAN leaders have been hard at work on our very first backyard garden. The garden is located in the back of IMAN’s second Green Reentry home on Fairfield Avenue. Through the leadership of local farmer, Brother Kamal Rashid; IMAN Youth Board Member, Harun McGraw; and many of IMAN’s dedicated youth, the garden has come to flourish and provide families living at the Fairfield home with fresh greens and a peaceful space in the back of their home.
Recently, on the holy Day of Arafat, IMAN invited neighbors along the Fairfield block to familiarize them with the garden, reflect on the tradition and power of the day, and break fast together. Brother Kamal, and IMAN leader and nutritionist, Nefertiti Oji-Njideka, were on hand with cooking tips and information on the nutritional value of the produce grown in the garden–and at the end of the night, neighbors were given the opportunity to implement what they learned and walked away with bags of kale, Swiss chard, and beets straight from the garden. Father Tony Pizzo and Rami Nashashibi then offered reflections on the themes of sacrifice and collective action on a day sacred to both Muslim and Jewish communities observing Yom Kippur. Those attending broke fast in the basement of the Fairfield home, which has become a space for neighbors along the block to share and utilize for community events.
Similar to the goals of the Muslim Run campaign, the backyard garden has been an opportunity for IMAN to continue promoting health and wellness throughout the community by increasing access to healthier options and transforming sites into clean, safe, and shared spaces. This garden was made possible by donations from the Marguerite Casey Foundation and the efforts of Mohsin and Sawleh Waraich. Interested in getting involved with the garden or the Muslim Run campaign? Reach out to Organizers Shamar (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Sara (email@example.com) to find out how!