IMANA Reaches New Heights at the 49th Annual Convention in Denver, Colorado

From July 23rd – 27th, 2016, over 100 IMANA members and their families flew in from a dozen different states into Denver, Colorado for a 4-day getaway at IMANA’s 49th Annual Convention and Scientific Assembly. Attendees received Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits, enjoyed three essential Colorado tours, the annual IMANA Banquet, a silent art auction by our generous artist Lubna Zahid, the presence of and speeches by Azhar Azeez and Ryan Harris and the pleasantness of The Inverness, a 5-star private resort and hotel.

The convention began bright and early with a CME conference and 40 people in attendance. With eight presentations and four panels over the span of two days, the presentations explored various subjects and health matters that led to deep conversation and questions by both the audience and other presenters. Often, a healthy controversial debate came into conversation which kept everybody on their feet. Dr. Ayaz Samadani and Dr. Khalid Qazi introduced presenters with a warm welcome and added humor to brighten the day. Dr. Ayaz Samadani is vividly remembered endorsing IMR with a hat and saying “IMR is for Instant Mental Relief.” The audience fell in laughter, which made it feel like a true IMANA family learning environment. CME presenters included Dr. Aasim Padela, Dr. Aizaz Shaikh, Dr. Umbereen Nehal, Dr. Nabile Safdar, Dr. Naeem Rehman, Dr. Najeeb Rahman and Dr. Samadani. We thank them for their hard work and for actively engaging us during their presentations. We pray they are rewarded by the graciousness of Allah swt for all their efforts.

After enjoying a tour of the Mile High City, IMANA families returned for dinner and brought their joyful spirits and colorful attire to the IMANA Banquet at the Inverness. Emcee, Dr. Nabile Safdar from Georgia swept the room’s attention and opened the night’s event. The room was brought to peace and hearts were moved as an invited IMANA member went up to address the audience. Ryan Harris, is not only the first Muslim Superbowl Champion and an exemplary socially responsible Muslim in the NFL, but a valuable member to IMANA as he financially supported our SaveSmile Mission initiatives as a donor and stood publicly with the Muslim community. He spoke of the beauty IMANA does for the domestic and international community and the role that Muslims need to play today. Signed footballs were auctioned towards fundraising. We are grateful for Harris and that which drives him to believe in the efforts of IMANA.

The audience was moved as the ElKadi award was awarded to none other than Dr. Abdul Rauf Mir, who personified and commanded the respect of IMANA board and members. The IMR Humanitarian Award honoree was Dr. Mohammad Nadeemullah from Michigan, which was not a surprise considering his sincerity, passion, and dedication to the IMR cause.

As the night advanced, Dr. Safdar introduced our final and paramount speaker of the night, ISNA President Azhar Azeez. He spoke of mentorship and leadership. “Having good mentors and great friends are important in life because they act as mirrors and shadows. Mirrors don’t lie, and shadows don’t leave,” he said.

Without the excellent chemistry between ISNA and IMANA, there would not be the sprouting young, second generation of Muslim leadership at the helm in both, and other such organizations. Azeez spoke of how the first generation laid down the foundations and how the new generation is bringing its own unique American Muslim vision to the forefront. The strong foundations have ensured stability, while the energy of the current crop has enabled a successful take off. The results are there for everyone to see; IMR activities in the last decade are an apt example. The evening was well spent and became a wonderful opportunity to spend time with family and friends from all over the USA.

The following day was spent completing CME sessions and later touring the historic Georgetown Loop Railroad. The railroad was completed in 1884 and follows a corkscrew route that slowly gains 600 feet in elevation connecting Georgetown and Silver Plume. The trip was gorgeous; a conductor illustrated the history and making of the railroad. The trip was especially enjoyable to families with younger children, who couldn’t help but gaze out at the serene mountain views.

Our last and final day in Colorado was one of the most memorable. IMANA families were able to taste a full day tour of Rocky Mountain National Park – a whopping 12,005 feet above sea level in the alpine tundra of Rainbow Curve. Views were spectacular as elk climbed over a passing, a few hundred feet away from IMANA families who made it to the peak. That night, back at the Inverness, families were able to enjoy dinner and relax while silent-art bids were finalized. Imam Jihad Turk, an actively engaged community member with the Muslim community in Southern California, presented on the establishment of Bayan Claremont. Bayan Claremont is an institution in California aimed towards educating Muslim Scholars to better their community impact. Imam Jihad Turk left an impression on the hearts of many.

As the convention came to its finale, our attendees felt a true sense of family. We look forward to continuing these relationships with your families as you join us to celebrate our 50th Anniversary on a Mediterranean Cruise from July 23rd-30th, 2017.