Volume 7, Issue 1 Acting Editors: Megan A. Gall Denver, CO Special thanks to Catherine Rashid, Alfred J. Rashid, Jim Hendricks & Steven Rashid for helping me get my first newsletter rolling.Chairman’s Letter
Dear Family and Friends,
We will be gathering soon in Washington, D.C. for our 77th Rashid Family Reunion. I look forward to seeing you there. If you haven’t attended a reunion recently, we hope you will this year.
Although the purpose of the reunions has remained the same, i.e., to renew old and dear acquaintances, dance, eat great Lebanese food, talk all night and see the sights, much has changed! Beginning with the Detroit Reunion (75th), followed by last year’s reunion, Charleston (76th), this year’s gathering in Washington, D.C. (77th), New Orleans in 2006 (78th) and, then, Peoria in 2007 (79th), all have or will have been hosted by what we “more experienced” members refer to as the “next generation”. The question we once posed: “Will the next generation step forward?” has been answered. They have, “big time”, and we could not be prouder of them. It bodes well for the future of the Rashid Club.
During recent years, the changes have extended even further. Thanks to the fund raising success of the Peoria Rashids and at their suggestion, children, ages twelve and under, now attend the reunions free of charge. Additionally, a full-length video has been produced that chronicles our family’s history in the United States and includes nearly one thousand photos (see insert for orders). Annually, each of our high school graduates receives an honorarium, as well as a copy of the family video.
Other areas, however, still require attention. Our mentoring program needs volunteers and our website (www.rashidclub.com) input and updating, especially to maximize its capacity as a tool for mentoring. If you would be willing to help, please contact me at home: 952-473-0412, office: 612-347-8601, or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last year, my proposal to bring a student (age 14 to16) from Marjayoun, Lebanon, to the United States for two months this summer (2005) was approved at the Club’s business meeting. As of this writing, two families, Dr. Paul and Kim Fortin (MI) and John and Teal Bardi (PA), have generously offered to host our guest student who will arrive in Detroit, from Beirut, on June 13th, attend the reunion in our nation’s capital and, then, will leave for a month in Philadelphia. The selected student, Sara al Hajj, is fourteen years old and speaks English, French and Arabic, as do most of the students in her school. She is related to Uncle Fred Rashid from Detroit (Inez’s father) and is very, very excited about coming to America and meeting her cousins.
The process has been long but very rewarding and the channels have been opened through Sara’s high school and the U.S. Embassy. It is my fervent hope that the Club
will consider sponsoring a student each year. This means that those of you who have children in Sara’s age group will need to step forward and volunteer as host families and you who have a few extra dollars may need to help offset some of the costs. This is a worthwhile endeavor that impacts bright, talented students from Lebanon and introduces them to bright, talented young people and adults whose families came to our country and have reaped the benefits of a free and open society.
In closing, after four years as Chairman and eight years as Vice-Chair and Treasurer, my term will come to an end this July. It has been both an honor and a privilege to serve. To those with a vision for the Club’s future and a willingness to share your time, I’d ask that you give strong consideration to serving in some capacity as a board member or on a committee. I look forward to seeing all of you in D.C.!
Best Regards, Alfred J. Rashid II