Arab American Community receives face mask donation from Willie Wilson Foundation
Dr. Willie Wilson and the Willie Wilson Foundation on Monday June 15, 2020 donated thousands of face masks and gloves to members of the Chicagoland Arab American and Muslim Community on Monday during a meeting at the Palestine Club Center in Bridgeview. Wilson has been supporting all of the ethnic communities and the Chicagoland area helping them protect themselves from infection by the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
By Ray Hanania
Businessman and political activists Dr. Willie Wilson on Monday donated thousands of face masks to the Arab American and Muslim community on Monday June 15, 2020 “to help protect the community” against the coronavirus COVID-10 pandemic.
Wilson was joined by leaders of the community including Hassan Nijem, the president of Chicago’s American Arab Chamber of Commerce, and Mazen Dola, president of the Palestinian American Club at the Palestine Club offices at 7701 W 87th Street in Bridgeview.
Nijem, who helped arrange the donation from Dr. Wilson and the Willie Wilson Foundation, said the event represented more than just one effort to help the Arab American and Muslim community.
“Dr. Wilson is here because he wants to work with the Arab American and Muslim community in the long term, and help us address our needs,” Nijem said.
“For too long, our communities have been ignored, marginalized and forgotten by our elected officials. We are excluded from the U.S. Census, and we are even excluded from local governments. Dr. Wilson is telling us that as he engages community leadership he will work closely with us to support us.”
Dola also welcomed Wilson to the Palestine Club which serves the entire community of Arabs and Muslims throughout the Chicagoland area.
“We thank Dr. Wilson for the generous donation to our community,” Dola said.
Wilson expressed his gratitude for the distinguished and effective role played by the many Arab American and Muslim community institutions at all levels including in the youth, culture, sports and other fields.
Calling the needs of Arab Americans and Muslim important, Wilson promised that the community’s needs will be addressed, especially as he continues his own involvement in local government and politics.
“What we try to do is throughout Chicago and throughout the state to support all of the community including the different religious communities and the people,” Wilson said.
“I am proud to be here. We have to make sure that all of our brothers and sisters know that we support inclusion and that we must continue to work together and build more of a relationship. We have to get out more and we will get out more. God Bless all of you.”
Wilson delivered several medical protective supplies including gloves and face masks provided by the Willie Wilson Foundation.
He stressed that this activity will be the beginning of activities aimed at helping the children of Arab American community in light of the Corona pandemic and that he would do more.
Among the many community leaders and activists attending was Mazen Barakat and staff members of his publication Hyatt Magazine, and also officials of the online Palestine news service Al-Watan News, including publisher Ibrahim Haniyeh. Hyatt Magazine and Al-Watan are among the only two major Arab media covering the Chicagoland community.
Nijem and Dola said the masks and gloves will be distributed to the community through their organizations and also in cooperation through Chicagoland’s Arab Churches and Arab Mosques.