NEW YORK—On a mission to bring much needed medicines and medical supplies to West Africa, Sharonne Salaam, a Harlem native and mother of Yusef Salaam, one of the Exonerated Five in the Central Park case, faced a profound task.
Her mission was to bring relief to the women, men, and children in the village of Conakry, Guinea. As a loving and caring mother, Ms. Salaam was concerned with the lack of medical supplies, medicines, and PPE that was reportedly needed in Guinea during the Covid-19 pandemic. She decided to collect the needed medical supplies. Ms. Salaam reached out to Muhammad Mosque No. 7 in New York and Student Regional M.G.T. Captain Johnna Muhammad to ask for help in gathering the supplies.
“We had the blessing to meet sister Sharonne Salaam when she came to the mosque and presented to me the idea of doing this,” said Johnna Muhammad. “There was just no hesitation on considering what we could do to assist her. Our work is worldwide. Our people are the original people and they are all over the planet earth. We had to come together as a community to bring this to fruition.”
Reflecting on the Teachings of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad that connects Blacks in America, Africa and throughout the Diaspora, she added, “Years ago, the vision of African unity was expressed on the cover of the weekly Muhammad Speaks newspaper, with Black hands stretched across the Atlantic.
And, as the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has noted, the idea of African unity did not start in Africa. It started in America from the Blacks of the Western Hemisphere, mainly the Caribbean and the United States. We are grateful to have the opportunity to stretch our hands across the Atlantic Coast to aid our people. This is a small gesture of what more is to come,” said Johnna Muhammad.
With the help of Muslim women from Mosque No. 7, they collected boxes of medical supplies such as bandages and ointments for cuts, sprains, and bruises. Tylenol, ibuprofen and aspirins for children suffering from fevers was added. Hydroxychloroquine was included as a Covid-19 treatment option. Johnna Muhammad thanked Student Fruit of Islam Captain Richard Muhammad for supplying boxes of hand sanitizer, N95 face masks and gloves to be shipped along with the medical supplies.
“We gave Sister Sharonne the Covid-19 information and treatment options book with the reference guide. This is a book that was approved by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan that was put together by our student National M.G.T. & G.C.C. Captain Naeemah Muhammad and her staff.
It is a book that helps to teach us how to strengthen our immune systems in our communities because many of our people are dying from covid because of poor health and eating poorly. This book really helps to give you some insight as to what we can do to strengthen our bodies,” said Johnna Muhammad.
“I am extremely happy and All Praise is Due to Allah for the mosque and the Nation of Islam for their efforts. They have done a yeoman’s job in helping me achieve my goals,” said Ms. Salaam. She went on to joyously declare, “Oh my God, just to see the doctors there to be able to put on gloves when they treat their patients now. They can protect themselves and protect their patients too. Also, to be able to give their patients Tylenol or aspirin and the other various items to take care of the people who need it just to stay alive. All praise is due to Allah!”
Ms. Salaam added, “This will be a humanitarian trip to deliver these needed supplies and to assist the doctors wherever I can. Gathering all of these essentials was a community effort and the community stood up. This is an endeavor that I thought of to bring aid to our suffering people in Africa. I will come home to Harlem … to report back to the community. I’ll have pictures and interviews with the doctors and the villagers receiving the supplies to show the works that we have accomplished.”
Student Assistant Minister Arthur Muhammad of Mosque No. 7 recalled the long history of mosque support of the Salaam family since the 1990s. “To have an opportunity to reciprocate that support to Sharonne Salaam and on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Africa, we cheerfully obliged,” he said.
“We are a community and a Nation at large to help in not only the repair but in the resurrection of our people no matter where they are all over the planet Earth, but especially in Africa where our brothers and sisters are in need of medical supplies. We are taught to pool our resources and what better way to pool our resources then to contribute to a humanitarian mission to aid and to help heal our people.”
—Daleel Jabir Muhammad