State senator names Moina Shaiq Woman of the Year
By Matthew Artz, STAFF WRITER
Fremont Argus, March 17, 2008
FREMONT — It’s not easy keeping up with Moina Shaiq.
One day after state Sen. Ellen Corbett named the 49-year-old Fremont resident Woman of the Year, she was up at the crack of dawn, attending a fundraising breakfast for the Tri-City Homeless Coalition, which she serves as vice president. [at right, the Press Release from Senator Corbett’s office]
From there, it was off to a volunteer event at the Fremont Senior Center, followed by a visit to Kaiser hospital, where she has started a program to make sure hospital workers are meeting the spiritual and material needs of Muslim patients.
And finally, she escorted her daughter’s Girl Scout troop to a local animal hospital to help them earn a pet-care badge.
“I’m so totally booked,” Shaiq said. “I have to look at my planner every morning — and again twice a day — so I don’t forget anything.”
Shaiq has received most of her accolades for her work with the Muslim Support Network, an elder support group, which she co-founded, but Shaiq also has ties to several other local nonprofits: She is a board member of the Washington Hospital Foundation and the Fremont Alliance for a Hate Free Community. She also chairs Fremont’s Human Relations Commission and is a volunteer driver for the American Cancer Society.
“Moina is an incredible woman who has dedicated her life to her family and community,” Corbett said in a prepared statement. “She is an inspiration to so many people.” [below, Moina with Senator Ellen Corbett]
Shaiq said she was humbled by the award, and especially pleased that, to her knowledge, it’s the first time a Muslim has received it.
Shaiq grew up in Pakistan, and came to the United States with her husband, Mohammad, as a 19-year-old. After five years in Florida, the couple moved to Fremont, and eventually started a computer sales business.
She left the family business in 1998 to care for her four children, but soon began making time for community groups as well.
She started the Muslim Support Network after seeing how her mother suffered from isolation and depression living in Atlanta. The nonprofit helps Muslim seniors access social services and socialize with their peers.
All volunteer work and no income has dented the family’s pocketbook from time to time, but Shaiq said she can’t give it up.
“I feel so much satisfaction doing this work,” she said. “I can’t just drop the ball on everything, because it’s so worthwhile.” [below, Moina with Lt. Governor Garamendi]
Fremont reporter Matthew Artz can be reached at 510-353-7002 or firstname.lastname@example.org.