From the Executive Committee: Samir Kakli, President
PRESIDENT, EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
SOUTH FLORIDA MUSLIM FEDERATION
‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I have an engineering education background, but I have been working in the IT industry for 20 years now. I grew up in West Palm Beach area, lived in Michigan for around 11 years, and now I have been back in South Florida (Coral Springs) for 15 years.
What sort of community service work have you participated in/ undertaken? What inspired you the most and why do you think there is a need to give back to the community?
Prior to the Federation, I had the honor to serve on the boards of two Masajid: Islamic Center of Greater Miami and Islamic Foundation of South Florida. I also served on the board for Youth Coalition of South Florida.
Someone once said “Be the change that you want to see in the world“. I believe in this, and it especially holds true for Muslim Americans. We have tremendous opportunity to thrive as a religious community here in America, and in South Florida. We can and should be role models for humanity that Islam teaches us to be. All of us have a responsibility to learn our Deen (religion), put it in practice for ourselves first, and then work for the community and society at large. I so wanted to come back to South Florida, which has always been my home, and make the Muslim community here stronger and better. This will benefit not only ourselves but all South Floridians.
Which aspect(s) of the local Muslim community do you feel has the maximum potential to grow and develop? How can SFMF help achieve it?
I strongly believe that working together can help solve common problems.
A recent example in which (Alhamdulillah) the federation was able to assist is the Imams Council collectively discussing the impact of COVID, understanding and learning about it, and jointly making recommendations to the community on how to best handle it. I pray and hope to see more and more of this, as sky is the limit – joint programming between multiple Imams/Masajid (like ICBR and ICOSF have done very well), joint training programs which has started for the leadership, united Eid celebrations, and so on. The latter was a very exciting project in full swing for this year but got postponed obviously due to COVID. Allah is the best of planners.
How can a person who is not a federation member or part of any other organisation, contribute to betterment of community?
There are so many opportunities; each person should decide what area interests him/her, what they are good at, and go from there. Get involved by going to one of the mosques, meeting and talking to the leadership/Imam, volunteers, etc. There are also great social service organizations, women’s organizations, youth groups, and more that people can try approaching directly.
Start with www.soflomuslims.com and find your organization to try out. Whether it’s masjid programming, social service work, PR/communications, graphic design, food preparation, etc., find what you are good at, and Bismillah. Contact us at SoFloMuslims if you need guidance.
Lastly, always remember patience and ‘Adab’ (good character) are key. Hence, learning the Deen should be first priority in my opinion. May Allah give us all good character and patience.