Media Advisory: Wednesday, Last Day of “Building Bridges to Islam: A Day of Discovery 2006”

May 9, 2006

Elderhostel Sample Photos – Click Here

The Chicago Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations announced today that it is wrapping up its successful 2006 Building Bridges to Islam Day of Discovery tomorrow.

Since 2005, over 1200 Americans have graduated from CAIR-Chicago’s “Building Bridges to Islam” lecture series, sponsored by Elderhostel.

The all day program which takes place a few times each year has drawn rave reviews as a tool of understanding regarding some of the most intriguing issues related to Islam in today’s news. See testimonies below.

Join us tomorrow for the last of this year’s all day programs as a new group of 80 Americans spends a full day of discovery with CAIR Chicago at the beautiful Mosque of Des Plaines. They will be sure to bring their questions and comments to which we hope to provide insightful answers.

Members of the media are welcome any time between 10am to 2:45pm and are welcome to join participants for the catered Egyptian lunch.

Click here to view itinerary of tomorrow’s program:

Click here to view photos of last week’s program:

Click her to read the Chicago Tribune’s coverage of last year’s Building Bridges to Islam campaign:

Is the image of Muslims we see in the media the true face of Islam? What is it like to be a Muslim in the United States today? We answer these questions and more as we gain an introduction to Islam and examine the faith, cultures and traditions it has created.

After lunch, take an interpretive tour of the masjid (mosque) and observe the Muslim noontime prayer. An afternoon discussion on Islam today dispels myths and clarifies misunderstandings about Islam and questions relating to women in Islam, jihad, democracy in Islam, human rights and Muslims in America. The program concludes with a question-and-answer dialogue.

What: A full day of Discovery – Building Bridges to Islam. 80 Americans will be hosted at a Chicago area Mosque for a full day of interaction and learning.
When: Wednesday, May 10, 2006 10:00 AM to 2:45PM
Where: Islamic Community Center of Des Plaines located at 480 Potter Rd. Des Plaines IL


“Thank you for an excellent program. I learned so much about your faith that was new to me – especially the history and also the revering of Mary. Congratulations on your work to establish bridges of understanding. It is the only way to bring PEACE to our world”.
– B. Moody

“Quite informative – great way to spend this day!”
– Sonya Hirschberg

“Very informative and worthwhile. I am so glad I came and hope to follow up by continuing to study more. I feel inspired and hopeful. Lunch was great!”
– Ethel Draper

“Very meaningful – many wrong ideas were corrected – serious moments and enjoyable moments (light hearted) were nicely balanced. Presentations were terrific. I certainly well recommend this program”.
– Ted Zelewsky

“Many thanks for a truly excellent educational offering. You managed to keep it very neutral – but responded with care and intelligence to all questions. I learned a lot today and intend to spread the word on the good work CAIR is doing”.
– Marianne Zelewsky

“Speaker was very good, very knowledgeable. Great session with excellent food.
CAIR sounds like a great organization of hope and it is very successful”.
– Richard S.

“Great overview. Excellent spokesperson. Open to all questions. Thank you”.
– Roy Lundin

“I greatly enjoyed this opportunity to learn about the Islam religion and the historical context. P.S. The lunch was delicious. P.P.S. This reinforces my belief mankind is more similar than different”.
– Beverly Nelson

“Efficient use of time. Welcome atmosphere. Delicious meal. Well presented information. Given time restrictions, it was an excellent day”.
– Corinne Lyon

“Ahmed Rehab is a really effective and knowledgeable leader for this event! The openness to all questions of interest was much appreciated. I was interested in the fact that my problems with some of the Muslim beliefs are very similar to the questions I have about my own Christian faith”.
– Eugene Krell

“This event met – exceeded actually – my expectation for informative, comprehensive (as opposed to simplistic) presentations. Thank you for the openness of attitude + the respectful way you handled all the questions! Very well done – I am glad”.
– Anonymous

“I learned so much! I was not informed on Islam and I feel now I will be more understanding and intend to read more. I was surprised that Islam grew out of Judaism and Christianity, and as a Catholic, so pleased with your admiration of Mary. Loved this day!”
– Suzanne Kadlec

“This program was very well planned and the speakers were excellent”.
– Anonymous

“Most informative day. I learned so much. Ahmed Rehab is so articulate and informative. The entire panel added insights. Thank you”.
– Dolores Hannan

“Very informative on Islam basic beliefs and lifestyles”.
– Daniel Jenny

“This presentation has been very informative. I enjoyed learning so many things about Islam that I had not known previously. Good question and answer period. The lunch from Nefertiti was delicious”.
– Patricia Chapman

“Very informative, excellent speakers. Thank you for the opportunity to broaden my knowledge of Islam. You are providing a valuable service”.
– Anonymous

“Food was very good. Speakers interesting.Eye-opener”.
– Anonymous

“Excellent program! Thank you for the open dialogue and method the material was presented”.
– Anonymous

“The speakers were excellent! It was informative – educational in every way – very open and encouraging of participation”.
– Janis O’Neill

“Excellent presentations which provided better understanding of Islam”.
– Anonymous

“The program had great information. The instructor was very interesting and able to answer all questions”.
– Anonymous

”Thank you for a very informing and interesting day. I learned a lot. The panel markers + speakers were very knowledgeable”.
– Anonymous

“I loved the Q + A sessions. [T]his was a very informational program.”
– Debbie Schaerper

“A wonderful program. I have a much better understanding of the Muslim world. Keep up the good work”.
– Anonymous

“The content of the program was excellent, and the program’s application to the wider world more helpful. The length of the program, its perspective and the events (lecture, lunch, morning prayer) was complete and right amount of time”.
– Kate Kaltenbach

“Informative – SERVED its purpose. Well organized. Excellent moderator”.
– Al Geller

“This was an excellent presentation which disseminated great deal pertinent information about Islam and Muslims”.
– Anonymous

“I thought the program was very organized and informative. It reinforced what I already knew about Islam and also increased my knowledge”.
– Sandra Detraz

“Very informational. Glad I came and learned a lot”.
– Anonymous

“Thanks for an informative day”.
– Mary Spyers-Duvan

“Lunch was terrific! Panelists were, too!”
– Anonymous

“This has been very helpful in doing what the title names – building bridges of understanding. The day has been very worthwhile”.
– Anonymous

“I thought the program was excellent and I appreciate what I have learned about Islam”.
– Jeanne Berry

“Keep doing what you’re doing. Really informative. Thank you”.
– Barbara Zeller

“Very good presentation. Good information”.
– Anonymous

“You deserve great credit for educating people about Islam and opening all of us to dialogue. Thank you”.
– Elaine M. Stenzel

“Thank you for doing this program. I learned a lot”.
– Marjorie Susa

“Very informative day. Excellent presenters. I hope you are reaching young people in Chicago”.
– Anonymous

“This was very informative – Ahmed Rehab is an excellent presenter. Questions were fielded well!”
– Anonymous

“This was a wonderful supply of information. I appreciated seeing the mosque and boys’ class and prayer and translation. The food was delicious. Especially appreciated the questions and thoughtful honest answers.”
– Anonymous

“A day like this through Elderhostel or any other organization is an excellent way to build understanding of the Muslims.”
– Anonymous

“Very good program. Very complete for time allocated.”
– Anonymous

“Thank you for the wonderful talks and insights on Islam. I’m positive you are doing the right thing in helping the people to have a much better understanding of Islam. I thought it was an excellent presentation. I can’t think of anything to improve on it. It has given me a much better understanding of Islam along with the books recommended for reading. Thanks again.”
– Anonymous

”The program was very well presented – the schedule went right along and nothing was boring. The lunch was very good also.”
– Anonymous

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