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Passion Islam I September 2008 ORLD NEWSW I 13
Some twenty Christian and Muslim women
will meet together in Gothenburg, Sweden,
at the beginning of next month, as part of
an ongoing practical dialogue and conflict
transformation process called ‘Moving
towards peace through religion’.
Hosted by the Diocese of Gothenburg
of the Church of Sweden from 4-7
September 2008, the meeting follows one
held last year in Teheran. The initiative is
co-organised by the Iranian Institute for
Interreligious Dialogue (IID) and the World
Council of Churches (WCC).
“Christian and Muslim women are
peacemakers in many ways, be it at
the global level, in society and in the
community,” says Rima Barsoum,
Muslim and Christian
World Council of Churches’ programme
executive for inter-religious dialogue and
cooperation. women work for ‘peace
She adds: “This encounter aims to take
the existing dialogue between Christian
and Muslim women one step further.”
through religion
Bringing contributions from diverse
backgrounds including the arts, media, a constructive role of religion in our initiative that promotes peace and non-
education and theology, participants will societies, the role of women is put up for violent ways of living together.
wrestle, in critical solidarity with tradition, discussion. More information on WCC work on
with issues pertinent to a just society The meeting contributes to the Decade strengthening inter-religious trust and
of women and men. In order to ensure to Overcome Violence 2001-2010, a WCC respect:
American Muslim doctors
open free community clinic
Most of the crowd at last month grand we should help others,” said the clinic’s companies and blood work labs lower
opening of the Crescent Community Executive Director Alex Galvan, himself their prices for us. Spring Hill MRI,
Clinic appeared to be family members of a convert to Islam. especially, has been a total blessing,” he
some 40 primarily Islamic physicians who A patient’s only qualifications for said. In the clinic’s six weeks of seeing
are donating their professional services free medical care are a lack of health patients — 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each
to the needy and uninsured in Hernando insurance and living at the poverty level. Saturday with appointments and walk-
County in Brooksville. Patients have “We rely so far on their word,” said ins — Galvan said, “You name it; we’ve
been trickling in since early June, when Galvan, but the clinic intends to begin seen it.” He mentioned sutures sewed,
the clinic began opening its doors every financial screening. “We’re not here to growths removed, biopsies performed
Saturday. be police officers. If they need our help, and cancers diagnosed.
Martina Smith of Nobleton arrived with we’re here for them. We’re diligently The clinic hopes to expand its days
daughter, Leah, 11, and son, Steven, 8, doing our best to meet their need.” of operation in the near future. “The
to learn about the care available. Smith The clinic is outfitted and staffed by demand is already there,” Galvan said.
said she has a good job as a network volunteer physicians as a primary care Jean Rags, Hernando County director of
engineer in Kissimmee. Her husband has doctor’s office. health and human services, winding up
a job as a concrete worker in the slow Specialists also are on hand. Dr. a tour of the facility Saturday, said: “This
construction trades. Neither of the jobs Husan Abuzarad, affiliated with Oak Hill is great. It will be one of the stopgap
provide health insurance. “We’re not in Hospital, is the clinic’s medical chief of measures over the weekend. Hopefully,
medical need now,” said Smith, “but you staff. The physicians themselves paid for it will relieve emergency rooms. By being
never know when an infection will come. the clinic’s remodeling and equipment here to have clients get immediate care,
It’s $100 to walk into a walk-in clinic.” and will finance its maintenance. Of we get in on the front end.” Also there
She and her children were pleased his role, pre-med student Galvan, 25, a Saturday to check out the clinic were
with what they saw: welcoming Brooksville native, said with an engaging Allan and Virginia Male, owners of the
professionals, fresh and spotless smile, “Mostly, I’ll be saying (throughout Oaks Motel, a short distance east on
examination rooms and medical the community), ‘Give me money.’ Not Broad Street. “We have people who
instruments, easy access with plenty of all the caregivers are Muslim, he pointed could use it, poor people,” Virginia Male
parking in the strip mall at Broad Street out. “We have several doctors from the said. Will they refer guests in need of
and Ponce de Leon Boulevard. The tight- Florida Cancer Institute,” he said. care? “Oh, yes,” she declared. The
knit community of Muslim doctors has Not all the requests have been answered clinic’s presence has been purposefully
long considered opening such a facility positively. “A lot of doctors are afraid of low key, highlighting the doctors’ work
to give back to the community that has malpractice (suits),” Galvan said. But in the community. “We’re going to let
fostered them. “Charity is one of the five some generous surprises have been our actions speak louder than words,”
pillars of Islam. It’s an unwritten rule, added to the mix. “We’ve had imaging Galvan said.
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