-Staff Writer-

For 80-year-old Mary Muhammad coming to Saviours’ Day meant learning how to use a computer.

“I couldn’t wait to get here. I was very happy because I knew I could learn how to do e-mail. I want to communicate with my grandchildren and they are on the computer all The time. They’ve told me to get an email address but I didn’t know how,” she told The Final Call.

“I need to learn how to do this. I really need a day long training.”


For the second year Saviours’ Day workshops offered computer training for seniors.

“The one thing participants were most excited about getting was an email address,” explained workshop coordinator Theresa X. “Some that came had an e-mail address but wanted to know more. They basically want to surf the Internet and correspond.

“This year we introduced the application Skype with the use of a Web cam. We showed how they could communicate with someone and see them like the Jetsons. We also showed them how to turn off the camera and just hear the person.”

One Feb. 27 session question: Can I just send one e-mail and “cc” my other daughters?

“I showed how to put all of her daughters names together so one wouldn’t feel slighted by getting a ‘cc.’ We also talked about ‘bcc’ which is a blind carbon copy. They were very impressed with the technology. I told them that I would help them even after they returned home,” Theresa Muhammad said.

“I also talked to them about the impact of the Internet on the post office, people are mailing less, how people pay bills more on the internet and how people shop. I cautioned them not to give their credit card information to anyone on the Internet unless they were with someone who uses a computer everyday.”

For Louis Muhammad from Little Rock, Ark., learning how to use the computer was essential.

“This is a very good idea. I bought a computer but don’t know how to use it. I came here looking for this workshop. I want to spend a lot of time here learning.”

Helping Theresa Muhammad was Abraham Muhammad from Chicago and Kasima Muhammad from Chicago.

“We taught them the basic parts of the computer, common terms like what ‘www’ stands for, the differences between a laptop and a desktop as well as terms like Facebook and Twitter,” said Kasima Muhammad.

“They’ve heard of Facebook and Twitter but didn’t know what they were. We want them to leave here with an e-mail address and knowing the terms to be up to date with what’s going on.”

Patricia Muhammad has been in the Nation of Islam since 1959. “This is wonderful. I enjoy coming to this workshop. I want to learn how to use the computer so I can buy things on the Internet.”

As helpful as the class was for the seniors it was also educational for the teachers.

“I came to help the seniors but the seniors are teaching me. They’re teaching me about life while I’m teaching them about computers,” said Abraham Muhammad from Buffalo.