The Muslim Women's Association of Washington, D.C. began as a cultural exchange group. Since many different Muslim majority nations were represented in the Washington, DC area there was an opportunity for members to learn from each other about their respective cultures. Meetings were relatively informal and frequently held in members homes with those attending bringing food for a potluck lunch.
Over the years the luncheons became somewhat more formal. In addition to members' homes, meeting were also held at various Embassies. Such meetings were especially popular because it gave members a glimpse into other nations.
Each meeting features a speaker. The topics under consideration range from the serious to the more light hearted. In 2016, for example, we were honored to be given a private viewing of Ambassador Akbar Ahmed's documentary film Journey into Europe. The Ambassador was present to discuss his film and answer questions. On other occasions fashion shows or musical presentations have been the order of the day. Whatever the subject, however, we always learn something new about other cultures.
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Annual Bazaar and other activities
A major activity of the Muslim Women's Association of Washington DC is the Bazaar held annually on the Saturday before Mothers' Day at the Islamic Center of Washington, DC. The Bazaar is discussed in a separate section of the website. Suffice it to say here that the Bazaar plays an important role in building bridges between Islam and the local community. Many non-Muslims enjoy attending the Bazaar and sampling all its attractions, including the opportunity to visit the inside of the Islamic Center.
Frequently an Iftar dinner (the traditional breaking of the fast at the time of sunset) has been held during Ramadan. In recent years the end of fasting has been so late that holding an Iftar has been impractical. But as the month of Ramadan moves more into the spring we hope to resume our traditional Iftars.