Asiya and Basheer Shakir are a married couple in Oklahoma City, both doctors, and are behind a local initiative called “Totes of Love” which aims to shed light on the issue of domestic violence in the state. Last Saturday, a group of volunteers from different religious groups joined the American Muslim Association of Oklahoma City to fill hundreds of tote bags, packing them up with hygiene products, baby formula and other items earmarked for women and children staying in the YWCA shelter.
The project was created in response to a State Rep. John Bennett who, during “Muslim Day at the Capitol”, had handed out a questionnaire to several participating Muslims with a question pertaining to views on domestic violence which many deemed offensive. After learning of this, the Shakirs said they wanted to “combat hate with love and education.”
On Saturday they did just that by raising $10,597 for the local YWCA. “It was amazing,” declared Asiya Shakir who is a local pediatrician. Basheer, who is chief of neurosurgery at the VA Hospital in Oklahoma City, concurred saying, “We weren’t surprised because we were already impressed with the support we had already received to help the women and children.”
“Clients and their children often arrive at our shelter with nothing but the clothes on their back,” said Jan Peery, chief executive officer of YWCA Oklahoma City. “‘Totes of Love’ from the American Muslim Association of Oklahoma City will go a long way in helping provide an immediate sense of comfort through basic necessities.”