Marwa, Muslim American

A lover of humanity, Marwa Abdelghani has been dedicated to the welfare of others for much of her young life. Marwa, currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Literary Journalism at the University of California – Irvine, advocates for numerous issues, such as women’s rights and Muslims in the media, and has been published in various publications, such as Coming of Faith, Patheos and Jewish Journal. She currently serves as the Outreach Fellow for the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). Marwa believes that the use of writing as a platform of expression is one of the most powerful ways to create change. We recently spoke with Marwa to learn more about the passions that drive her, including writing and giving back.

CAAP: Can you give us an example of the kind of causes you support? What do you look for when you decide to get involved in a cause?

Marwa Abdelghani: I look for anything that stems from the themes of my faith: justice, mercy and human dignity. Any cause that helps to alleviate this world from injustice pulls at my heartstrings. One of the reasons why I’m studying journalism is because I believe journalists are the most caring individuals about certain issues. Spending years researching and writing in order to expose an issue is extremely admirable.

CAAP: Who are your giving inspirations? Family? Friends?

MA: My inspirations are my coworkers at MPAC, especially my boss and mentor Salam Al-Marayati. It never ceases to amaze me how he has spent the majority of his life working to improve Muslim relations in America. I’m only 21, and whenever I complain about this type of work being difficult, I quickly check myself after realizing that he and many others have been doing this work for decades. What he has given to humanity in creating a better Islam in America is priceless.

CAAP: What does the word “philanthropist” mean to you? Do you think of yourself as a philanthropist?

MA: To me, a philanthropist is someone who collects resources for the greater good. I consider the work done at MPACas a form of philanthropy because the service directly impacts the voice of American Muslims. MPAC raises money to create programs that will better integrate Muslim Americans into influential parts of American society. It is a slow but much-needed process. Gaining the trust and respect of America is a crucial element to developing an equitable place for Muslims to prosper.

CAAP: What do you see as your biggest achievement in your giving history?

MA: I see my biggest achievement in my giving history to be my sacrifice as a full-time student. For the last two years of my college career, I have given more to the cause of amplifying the American Muslim voice and working with Muslims to become more engaged than I have given to my education. I’ve never regretted it one bit. Nothing really compares to the bigger picture of why we are here on this Earth, which is to make the world a better place. That kind of passion was instilled in me from a young age.

CAAP: Do you identify as Arab American? Does this influence your giving?

MA: I identify as several things, one of which is Arab American. It doesn’t influence my giving so much as being a human being does. The core of my upbringing was to care about the world and those who are in need.

CAAP: Do you have any advice for other Arab Americans new to philanthropy and giving?

MA: It’s a slow process, but very rewarding at the same time. No matter what cause you are trying to raise funds for, if it is for the betterment of society, the amounts you raise won’t matter. Money won’t do the work – it’s the people that will. The number of committed individuals you are able to encourage to work for that cause is what will matter in the end. Passion, community organizing and outreach is crucial.

We want to thank Marwa for her thoughts, and encourage you to read about more Arab Americans Who Care.

One comment on “Marwa Abdelghani and the passions that drive her to give back”

  1. 1
    Rashid Tifrit on July 21, 2016

    Thank you Marwa for your care and concern.
    My regards to your boss Salam Al-Marayati and associates.

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