In November, 2005, the Muslim Support Network (MSN) was established to improve the health and well-being of their elders. The organization was founded upon a realization within the Muslim community that elders’ needs were not being met by the community at large.
This group realized that many Muslim elders were homebound, encountered language and cultural barriers, lacked transportation or finances and were suffering from both physical and mental health issues.
Immediate action was taken by MSN in November, 2006 to partner with the City of Fremont’s Human Services Department (HSD). They created a program where the seniors could come out of their homes, and established a social and educational program to improve their lives. MSN held its first community meeting late in November of 2006.
Moina Shaiq is the founder and has served as President of the MSN since its inception in November 2005. She and her husband Mohammad have been Fremont residents for the past 27 years and are the parents of four children. She has Bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Psychology. Moina was a small business owner from 1991 to 1999. After the birth of her daughter Samah she decided to stay home and become more involved in community affairs. Moina’s current positions include:
- Commissioner, Human Relations Commission for the City of Fremont
- Board of Directors, Tri City Elder Coalition
- Board of Directors, Center for Civic Education
- Founder, Muslim Support Network
- Founder, Muslim Spiritual Care Program, Kaiser Permanente
- Board Member, Washington Hospital Foundation
- Volunteer driver, American Cancer Society
- Coordinator, Community Ambassadors Program for Seniors
- Member, Citizens Advisory Committee Palo Alto Medical Foundation
- Member, Tri City Interfaith Council
- Member, Fremont Alliance for a Hate Free Community
- Member, Tri City Democratic Club
- 2008 Woman of the Year for State Senator Ellen Corbett, selected from over 1 Million constituents
Zeya Mohsin lives in Milpitas with husband and two daughters. Zeya has always had a passion to serve her community, and holds a strong compassion for the seniors of our community. As part of MSN’s leadership team, she volunteers with the monthly senior luncheons, organizes and chaperones senior field trips, writes grants and manages accounting. She advocates and promotes a healthy lifestyle along with providing fun recreational events for the seniors. Zeya’s past and current community involvement roles include:
- Vice Chair, Bicycle Transportation Commission
- Vice Chair, Park and Recreations Commission
- Member, Economic Development Commission.
- Member, Energy Task Force, which explored ways of fulfilling the energy needs of the city in relation to the limited supply of natural fuel and resources.
- Member, Planning Commission of the City of Milpitas, which oversees new developments, including the new library and senior center plans.
Zeya has been a key member and leader of the Sunnyhills Neighborhood Association for over six years. Her projects included organizing annual astronomy nights, tree planting projects, working closely with the youth to help them write grants and host their annual “Become an Artist” Day, international nights and Music in the Park.
Mary Lou Johnson
Mary Lou Johnson was born in Buffalo, New York and raised in a very Italian household! Her parents were the first generation to be born in America, moving to California in 1960 to find a better life and to escape the cold winters that Buffalo is known for. Her first home was in Castro Valley and in 1963 she moved to Fremont, California. She attended Washington High School and then attended Brooks College in Long Beach where she received her AA degree in Merchandising.
Mary Lou is married with two grown children and two grandchildren. Presently, she works for the City of Fremont in the Human Services Department. While growing up in Buffalo, New York, she remembers listening to her parents and other elders in the family discuss how hard it was to assimilate into the American culture. She recalls stories of discrimination just because they were of Italian descent. Because of this, Mary Lou decided that she wanted to find an organization that she could help in some small way, to make the transition from one country to another an easier one. In becoming a Board Member for MSN, she hopes to achieve this goal.