On July 11, 2023, the El-Hibri Foundation collaborated with the Office of the Vice President to host the first-ever Eid al-Adha celebration at the Vice President's residence. The following is a transcript of EHF President, Farhan Latif's remarks from the event.
"Asalaam alaykum and good evening. Eid mubarak, and hajj mabroor!
Thank you Second Gentleman Emhoff. It’s an honor to be with you again this evening. The last time we met was at the Islamophobia roundtable meeting at the White House. I know that the American Muslim community, and our coalition are grateful for your leadership on tackling both antisemitism and Islamophobia. And we look forward to your continued engagement on this very important project.
And Vice President Harris, tonight would not have been possible, without your leadership and commitment. Thank you for being the first on many accounts, but also the first to welcome us to mark Eid at this residence. As you can see, we’ve made ourselves at home–kinda taking over your living room, dining room, kitchen, front porch, and having Reem redecorate. But on a serious note, your hospitality and allyship to host this historic celebration of Eid is greatly appreciated by us all; including the nearly 2 Billion Muslims around the world who are watching our democratic values in action.
When we first started this collaboration, I remember sitting at the dining table, sharing the news with my wife. And my 9-year old daughter Dalia, who is a fan of yours, immediately chimed in excitedly saying, “Baba, Kamala Auntie cares about Eid?” To which I responded, “Yes Dalia, Vice President Harris does care.” So, as we gather tonight for this historic celebration, we know that its significance will also be felt by the millions outside of this living room.
This administration has made significant progress on engaging American Muslims, and many historic firsts have happened–specifically senior level appointments, many of whom are present tonight. As well as the appointment of the first two Muslim Article III federal judges to the bench. Unfortunately, as too many of us in this room can attest to, there is still continued prejudice, discrimination and hostility towards Muslims, and it must be addressed both domestically and abroad. However, we appreciate this administration's commitment to countering all forms of hate and bigotry–a goal that aligns with our Foundation’s vision of a society where everyone can achieve the American Dream in a diverse and inclusive society.
As a community convener and capacity builder, our foundation is constantly working to ensure that American Muslims are no longer viewed through a very narrow lens in the public square. But, in reality, our communities look very much like this room does–artists, truth tellers, COVID first responders, job creators, philanthropists, community organizers, climate change experts, active duty military and dedicated public servants, all making unique contributions to this country; a country that we love and are striving to constantly improve.
But, before I introduce the next speaker, I wanted to thank everyone who were collaborators on tonight’s event. Special thanks to Deputy Counsel to the Vice President Nasrina Bargzie, and Senior Advisor and Liaison to Muslim Communities, Mazen Basrawi; the Vice President’s Residence team, Storm and Amanda; and of course Chef Asif and Qahwa House, Reem for her beautiful design, and Ustad Salar for your tabla performance. Inshallah this is the first of many Eids at this house.
It's now my distinct pleasure to invite a mentor, Dr. Ingrid Mattson, a scholar, interfaith leader, and the first woman to serve as President of the Islamic Society of North America, to share an Eid reflection.