STONY BROOK, NY, August 15, 2012 – Sister Sanaa Nadim, the Muslim Chaplain for The Interfaith Center at Stony Brook University, attended the annual Iftar dinner hosted by President Barack Obama at the White House. Iftar is the meal when Muslim families and communities gather together after sunset to break a day of fasting during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
|President Barack Obama greets Sister Sanaa Nadim, Muslim Chaplain of The Interfaith Center at Stony Brook University, at an Iftar dinner held at the White House. (Official White House photo by Chuck Kennedy)|
During his remarks at the dinner, the President reflected on the importance of religious freedom and the important role Muslims have played throughout our country’s history. He talked about the extraordinary courage of Muslim and Muslim-American women, including Sister Sanaa.
“They are faith leaders like Sanaa Nadim, one of the first Muslim chaplains at an American college - a voice for interfaith dialogue who’s had the opportunity to meet with the Pope to discuss these issues. We’re very proud to have you here,” said President Obama, according to an official White House transcript.
“It was a real honor being recognized by President Barack Obama,” said Sister Sanaa. “He truly values the religious diversity that forms the fabric of our nation. Being at the White House where our founding fathers fought many years ago for the freedoms we enjoy today, reminded me of the importance of working to build bridges between groups divided by ethnic, cultural or religious differences. We are truly blessed to have a president who appreciates the beauty of interfaith collaboration, and I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to have spent time with him.”
Sister Sanaa established the Stony Brook Muslim Student Association and works toward its constructive growth, which was reflected by an American interfaith survey that noted Stony Brook has the largest Muslim Student Association in the nation. Her current agenda involves working with different religious and cultural organizations as well as private and public institutions to continue building bridges among different faith groups to positively enhance the image of Islam through unity and understanding.