SoFlo Profiles of Service to Humanity - Yasir Billoo
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.
Business, Real Estate, and Non-Profit Lawyer
Chair of EMGAGE-PAC, South Florida
Secretary of Coalition of South Florida Muslim Organizations (COSMOS)
What type of community work do you do?
I am the Secretary of COSMOS, the Coalition of South Florida Muslim Organizations, which does inter-faith and outreach work. I am the Chair of Emgage-PAC in Florida, a community political engagement organization. I am a founder and past President of the Florida Muslim Bar Association, a group of Muslim lawyers in Florida. I also serve as an attorney (without charge) to some South Florida mosques and charities.
What brought you to South Florida?
I moved here with my family when I was still in high school.
What causes are you passionate about?
Anything that can further empower the Muslim community.
Can you give a piece of advice on how to get active in the community?
It’s not very hard to get involved. Organizations are short on young people willing to take action, thinking roles. We look for fresh voices. My recommendation would be to make an effort to take time out of your busy schedule – 5 minutes or 60 minutes – to dedicate yourself to doing something to help an organization of your choice in a meaningful way. And, be consistent with it. You will see consistency goes a longer way than doing one big thing once a year.
Can you give us a personal story that makes South Florida so unique?
I spoke in front of a group of older people in Boca about religion and politics. On the panel with me was a Rabbi and we spoke from our respective positions. The vast majority of the audience was Jewish. They were very nice during the session and during the question/answer period. The next day, I received a call from one of the organizers thanking me for speaking to the group, and he said, “Most of us were just glad to see you don’t have horns.” It was honest, funny and also strange to hear. But that makes South Florida unique – I don’t think that statement can be made in any other major city so easily.