Aida and Jane

Blessed are the Piecemakers

Just before the first anniversary of 9/11, a group of volunteers from the Islamic Center and Muslim Public Affairs Council led the effort in creating and dedicating a quilt to honor the victims of 9/11. The handmade quilt is embroidered with the names of the 3,022 victims and was exhibited at various churches and interfaith gatherings across the country. Today it’s on permanent display at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York.

Hedab Tarifi and Jane El-Farra displaying the elaborate handmade quilt to honor the 911 victims.

If we believe that “Friends are threads of gold in the quilt of life,” then Jane and Aida are two of those valuable threads who volunteered their handiwork to produce the historic quilt. The quilt is not only a symbol of our unity, stitched one piece at a time, but also loyalty and service to the American Muslim community.

As one of the founding “moms” at the Center, Jane has always been a selfless volunteer who helped make the Center a warm and welcoming second home to many families. She served on the former Women’s Association which planned many of the community’s social and charitable activities.

“I was inspired to stay connected to the Muslim community to learn more about Islam, meet friends, support my children in their practice of Islam, and also to bring our family closer together through our faith,” she says.

Jane continues her service today by participating in several interfaith groups, including with All Saints Church in Pasadena, Pasadena Jewish Temple and Muslim-Catholic Women in Conversation.

Aida, who is as talented with a needle as she is with a pen, is a staunch supporter of the Islamic Center and an interfaith devotee who helps forge bonds between different faith communities.

“The interfaith experience is very enriching from the religious and human points of view and is instrumental to understanding and respecting each other’s faith,” she says.

She has dedicated many years of service to the Islamic Center through her educational contributions. such as developing the Islamic studies curriculum for New Horizon and also through various interfaith study groups and the Islamic Center’s Interfaith Council.

“What inspired me to get involved with the Muslim community was my love for education and passion for helping the new generation of Muslim children to form and keep their American Muslim identity,” says Aida.