SoFlo Profiles of Service to Humanity – Sofiya Deen

Khidma (Service)

SoFlo Profiles of Service to Humanity

The South Florida Muslim population is vibrant, diverse, and socially engaged.  We hope in this blog to bring you a number of different voices that make up the SoFlo Muslim community.  Each month we will be highlighting an individual that has decided to go above and beyond themselves. The common thread of all the individuals profiled is their dedication to serving the community at large, regardless of faith.  We also hope to inspire you to different pathways that one can get involved, big or small, in your own unique way.

Sofiya Deen

Internal Medicine Residency Program Administrator

Cleveland Clinic Florida – Weston

Mentor & Mentoring Committee

 Member Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine

Member Florida Chapter – American College of Physician

MJAM Pink Ladies Chair  

Coral Springs Multicultural Advisory Committee

Executive Board Member JAM & All Interfaith

2017 Group Photo

What type of community work do you do?

 I am a member of the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine, Mentoring Committee, Executive board member of JAM & ALL Interfaith Group, and member of the Coral Springs Multi-Cultural Advisory Committee, where I am an active lead and member of the Annual Worldfest, The Unity Thanksgiving Service and the National Day of Prayer activities. On each of these committees my role is individualized from planning events to chairing sub-committees.

For the past 25 years I have been actively involved as the MJAM Ladies Group Chairperson at the Margate Mosque, Masjid Jamaat Al-Mu’mineen. Our Ladies Group is instrumental in organizing and implementing endless fundraiser events, Family Field Trips and Annual Awareness programs for the Jamaat and neighboring community. Our MJAM Pink Ladies is actively involved with Making Strides against Breast Cancer and American Heart Association.

What brought you to South Florida?

I am a wife of 33 years and a mother of two boys ages 28 and 24. Originally from Westchester New York, my family and I relocated to South Florida 24 years ago searching for the opportunity of a better quality of life in an environment that would allow more time for family. My families join me in migrating to South Florida, and this has helped me to grow my relationship on both sides. Together we have annual family reunions, camping trips and holiday gatherings. My family has supported me on every adventure. It takes a village to raise a child and we have done this. I am blessed to have so many family members right here in Florida, many of us living at a walking distance of each other. Living close to the Margate Masjid has allowed me and my family to become more involved with Masjid and our community, eventually, I became an Administrator of the Sunday Madrassah, Youth Group and now Ladies Group.

2016 Pink Ladies Group Photo

What causes are you passionate about?

I offer my services to help and support the community in whichever way is possible for me. But I am especially glad to have been part of fundraising for community awareness programs and collecting and distributing rations to the homeless.

I am inspired by my father, who passed the baton of community service to me some 20 years ago when he fell ill. It wasn’t until he was gone that I realized how many people from differing lifestyles and communities he touched, many times in small ways, by reaching out and making people feel cared for and validated.

Can you give a piece of advice on how to get active in the community?

The advice I would give to those who wish to pursue a community outreach, in any capacity, would be to connect with a mentor and take advantage of the many resources available to you through the different communities, to make the most of your career, but more importantly, to always remember to live your best life and maintain balance. Continue to grow beyond your limits, taking the time to pursue interests and learn new things, and make time for family. You never know when your journey will be coming to an end. 

MCAC Group Photo

Can you give us a personal story that makes South Florida so unique?

A story that touches me is when our Masjid Youth group was invited to participate for the first time with Project Downtown.  We had no idea what to expect, our youth helped in preparing lunch bags for a drop-off at the Ft. Lauderdale Stranahan Park.  Everyone was excited as we loaded our mini-vans to travel as a group from Margate to Downtown Ft. Lauderdale. Upon arrival, there was a line of 75+ people waiting for us. They were homeless and needy individuals waiting for the only meal for the day.  My son asked if we had enough lunch bags for everyone, and we did.  As the afternoon ended we packed up our belongings my son was worried about where all those people would spend the night. I explained at the shelter or on the sidewalk.

Ever since our Masjid Pink Ladies and Youth Group has organized to help the Pompano Homeless Shelter on Blout Road. During the year between October to Christmas, we would collect and make Hope Totes filled with personal hygiene items, socks, washcloths, etc. to drop off at the shelter.  This successful project happens again in the Spring. It gives me great satisfaction and blessings to know we can give back to our community. 

Sana Saif
Author: Sana Saif

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