POSTED: Saturday, September 19, 2009

First Islam Day Fest offers entertainment, activities

A Muslim comedian, a hip-hop band and a hot-dog lunch are on the program for the first Islam Day Festival on Thursday at Ala Moana Park.

The public, family-oriented celebration puts into action a controversial resolution passed by the state Legislature in May. The measure introduced by state Rep. Lyla Berg set Sept. 24 as Islam Day in Hawaii in recognition of the “;rich religious, scientific, cultural and artistic contributions”; of Muslims.

The Muslim Association of Hawaii is sponsoring the event, giving the community a sample of the lighter side of culture. The entertainment will include a 5:15 p.m. performance by Chicago comedian Azhar Usman, a Muslim of Indian extraction, who has toured the mainland and other countries with his “;Allah Made Me Funny”; show. Also performing, at 4:15 and 7:15 p.m., will be Native Deen, three Muslim musicians from Washington, D.C., whose music blends hip-hop and rhythm and blues with “;thought-provoking lyrics,”; according to the publicity flier.

The program at McCoy Pavilion begins at 3 p.m. with activities for children.

A 6:15 p.m. panel discussion on “;Co-Existence in a Pluralist Society”; will feature Leeward Community College history professor Karim Khan and University of Hawaii philosophy professor Tamara Albertini giving an academic viewpoint. Christian, Buddhist and Jewish perspectives will be discussed by Sister Joan Chatfield, the Rev. Richard Tennes and Roger Epstein.

Admittance to the festival is five cans of food or $5. An additional five cans of food or $5 will be charged for the comedy and musical show. All proceeds will go to the Hawaii Foodbank.


Christmas donations for disadvantaged kids wanted

Operation Christmas Child will kick off its annual collection of gift boxes for children in disadvantaged or disaster-torn countries next Saturday.

The event from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Faith Baptist Church, 1230 Kailua Road, will provide information on the project and a preview of the newest “;Veggie Tales”; video, “;Saint Nicholas, a Story of Joyful Giving.”;

Individuals, churches and other organizations may get information about participating by calling Rene Morgan, Oahu coordinator, at 561-4994, or e-mailing .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Volunteers will pack shoe boxes with school supplies, books, toys and hygiene items for delivery to children in several countries. Operation Christmas Child is a project of the international Christian relief and evangelizing organization Samaritan's Purse.


Take in music and dance at Day of Nonviolence

A program of music and dance from India and an interfaith panel of speakers will be featured at the annual International Day of Nonviolence celebrated on Mahatma Gandhi's birthday Oct. 2.

The 5:30 p.m. program on the lawn outside Honolulu Zoo will be sponsored by the Gandhi International Institute for Peace. Performances will include Indian dance from devotional, folk and Bollywood sources, demonstration of the Japanese tea ceremony and music by the Royal Hawaiian Band. Peace will be the theme of speakers from the Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Christian and native Hawaiian faiths.

The United Nations instituted the International Day of Peace to be celebrated on the birthday of Gandhi, whose nonviolent teaching inspired civil rights and freedom movements around the world. His campaign is credited with achieving Indian independence from British colonial rule in 1947. He was assassinated in 1948.


Scholarships of $1,000 available for choir singers

The Church of the Crossroads is offering scholarships for singing lessons for students willing to sing in the choir of the church at 1212 University Ave.

The $1,000 tuition awards are still available for one alto and for a bass or baritone vocalist. Soprano and tenor recipients were already selected.

Some musical sight reading experience is required. Applicants must be available to sing at Sunday services and special events through early June.

Auditions will be held by appointment. For application information, call the church office, 949-2220, or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) .com.

The church has awarded $90,000 to 90 musician students since 1980.