WASHINGTON (FinalCall.com)–Forty-two cities throughout the mid-Atlantic region of the United States and over a dozen more in the southern region excitedly report brisk ticket sales as they prepare to welcome live, via satellite, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s Feb. 23 Saviours’ Day address.
The Nation of Islam will host full-scale Saviours’ Day weekend extravaganzas in over 100 cities across the United States and locations abroad. Prayer services, town hall meetings, banquets, workshops, health expos and programming for children are just some of the activities that will occur. The day will culminate with a live keynote address from Min. Farrakhan, “America at the Crossroads: War is not the answer.”
“I believe that it’s going to help us nationwide to help the cities increase our ranks in those cities,” Mid-Atlantic Regional Minister Abdul Khadir Muhammad told The Final Call. “Tickets are moving at a nice rapid pace and in the smaller cities hosting 1,000, 1,500 and 2,000 people, tickets are moving so fast amongst them, we will be sold out before mid-February,” he said.
“We want to really make sure that what the Believers normally enjoy in Chicago, we want to replicate that here in our city,” said Muhammad Mosque No. 6 secretary Mark Muhammad in an interview with The Final Call. “The believers are happy, excited and gaining a wealth of experience as to what goes into planning an event of this magnitude.”
In Baltimore, Min. Farrakhan’s address will be heard at the 2,500-seat Walbrook High School on Edgewood Avenue. Along with a citywide Jumu’ah prayer service to be conducted on that Friday before the Minister’s address, the city will enjoy a plethora of workshops, seminars and banquet.
“We have a 1,200-seat venue and our goal is to sell out of tickets by February 15,” Columbia, S.C., Minister Earl Muhammad said. “Ticket sales are moving good. We promised the Minister that we would help him and we plan to make our word bond,” he said.
The festivities, including an appreciation dinner for the Believers, workshops on reconciliation and atonement and a children’s Saviours’ Day program, are all a part of a weekend that comes on the heels of the opening of the city’s new mosque.
When asked to what he attributes the success thus far of the preparedness in the mid-Atlantic region, Min. Khadir attributes it all to focus.
“We have righteous competition in our mosques and study groups around the region between the F.O.I. and M.G.T. to see each week who has sold the most tickets. In D.C., the brothers won this week,” he smiled.
“We keep our focus on Farrakhan, what he means to our community, and to us” he said. “As long as we keep the faith (focus) and our eye on Min. Farrakhan, we can’t go wrong.”
In the nation’s capitol, home for Saviours’ Day 2003 will be the Washington D.C. Armory, 2001 E. Capitol Street, SE.
The South rises again
Sixteen cities will host the Nation of Islam within the Southern region with Atlanta, the regional headquarters, working feverishly not to be outdone.
As war looms, and on the heels of an overwhelming Dr. Martin Luther King birthday celebration held this past Jan. 20, Min. Ray Muhammad, southern regional representative, told The Final Call that tremendous parallels exist today between Minister Farrakhan’s efforts in America and the history of Dr. King.
“Dr. King’s anti-war stance, as that of Min. Farrakhan’s, is universally understood and supported,” Min. Ray said. “Minister Farrakhan, in my opinion, represents today’s Martin Luther King.”
Some of the Atlanta activities include a citywide Jumu’ah prayer service on Saviours’ Day Friday; an evening talent show with celebrity judges; Saturday workshops on prison sentencing guidelines, raising and guiding Black youth and a town hall speak- out at the Atlanta University Center against the war. Saturday night will also include a “retro-party” as the Atlanta community dresses up in 1970 apparel and reflects on the music, politics and attitudes of the time.
“With Min. Farrakhan giving us dominion to represent him by hosting this year’s Saviours’ Day, it allows us throughout the country to more intimately involve our cities with the experiences that we enjoy in our efforts to support his service of the people,” he said.
“We are very excited over the opportunity to bring the Hon. Min. Louis Farrakhan to the city of Savannah, Ga.,” said Study Group coordinator Min. Jamie Muhammad. Muhammad Study Group has several community programs in Savannah coinciding with the Saviours’ Day festivities that will take place at AE Beach High School, 3001 Hopkins St. They include a prayer breakfast, an interfaith dialogue as well as a youth talent showcase.
Using the school’s auditorium, as well as an adjoining multi-purpose room, Saviours’ Day in Savannah will accommodate more than 1,000 people. All of the cities will sponsor a near hour-long local program before receiving the Minister.
“In Birmingham, there are 99 neighborhoods,” said Minister William Muhammad of Muhammad Mosque No. 69. “We want the Believers to go to every neighborhood meeting to talk about Saviours’ Day,” he said.
Birmingham has embarked on an aggressive advertising campaign consisting of billboards, bus stops, radio spots and city council hearing appearances broadcast locally on public access television heralding the return of Min. Farrakhan to their city.
Saviours’ Day in Birmingham will be held at the 5,000-seat Boutwell Auditorium, 1930 8th Avenue North. On Feb. 21, Birmingham’s Saviours’ Day focus will be youth oriented, featuring Martial Art exhibitions, face-painting, cultural story telling, a focus on Africa and talent show. Feb. 22 will consist of seminars on the digital divide and Black female-male relationships.
Huntsville, Ala. is equally as excited as Min. Phillip Muhammad explained their efforts to bring the leader of the Nation of Islam to the 2,100-seat Von Braun Civic Center.
“University presidents of two of the three Black colleges in the area–Alabama A&M, Drake Technical College–and the Hispanic community have pledged support of Saviours’ Day coming to Huntsville. By Allah’s grace we hope to announce a truce between the so-called gangs in the city of Huntsville,” he said.