The Washington Times - September 2, 2009, 12:49PM

For those of you who wondered exactly who showed up at the president’s Ramadan dinner Tuesday night, here is the official guest list from the White House. And below that is the president’s remarks:




Secretary Robert Gates, Department of Defense

Attorney General Eric Holder, Department of Justice

Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Health and Human Services



Deputy Secretary Dennis Hightower, Department of Commerce

Deputy Secretary Tony Miller, Department of Education



Congressman Andre Carson (Indiana 7th)

Congressman John Conyers (Michigan 14th)

Congressman Keith Ellison (Minnesota 5th)

Congressman Rush Holt (New Jersey 12th)

Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN)



Ambassador Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al Hussein, Jordan

Ambassador Adel A.M. Al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabia

Ambassador Husain Haqqani, Pakistan

Ambassador Erlan A. Idrissov, Kazakhstan

Ambassador His Excellency Said Tayeb Jawad, Afghanistan

Ambassador Aziz Mekouar, Morocco

Ambassador Peter N.R.O. Ogego, Kenya

Ambassador Roble Olhaye, D’jibouti

Ambassador Michael Oren, Israel

Ambassador Sudjadnan Parnohadiningrat, Indonesia

Ambassador Klaus Scharioth, Germany

Ambassador Meera Shankar, India

Ambassador Nabi Sensoy, Turkey

Ambassador Sir Nigel Elton Sheinwald, United Kingdom

Ambassador Sameh Hassan Shoukry, Egypt

Ambassador Samir Shakir Mahmood Sumaida’ie, Iraq

Ambassador Pierre Nicolas Vimont, France

Chargé d’Affaires Sheikh Mohammed Belal, Bangladesh

Chargé d’Affaires Ilango Karuppanan, Malaysia

Chargé d’Affaires Mohamed O Maiga, Mali

Chargé d’Affaires Angela Oi Foong Shim, Brunei

Chargé d’Affaires Baba Gana Wakil, Nigeria

Mr. Maen Areikat, Chief of Mission, PLO



Ms. Bilquis Abdul-Qaadir, University of Memphis

Professor Azizah Al-Hibri, University of Richmond School of Law

Ms. Reema Ali, Karamah: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights

Mr. Hasan Chandoo, Oppenheimer & Co.

Mr. Nathan Diament, Director, Institute for Public Affairs, Orthodox Union*

Imam Plemon El-Amin, Atlanta Masjid al-Islam

Mr. Wahid Hamid, PepsiCo

Ms. Dina Hammad

Mr. Lutfi Hassan

Ms. Nashala Hearn

Ms. Rosalind Hearn

Imam Yahya Hendi, Chaplain, Georgetown University

Pastor Joel Hunter, Northland Church*

Mr. Nooman Husain

Mr. Imad Hussain

Mr. Sanford Ibrahim, CEO, Radian Group

Mr. Jameel Jaffer, Staff Attorney, ACLU

Mrs. Elsheba Khan

Dr. Mansur Khan, UMMA Community Clinic

Ms. Farhana Khera, Muslim Advocates

Lt. Commander Abuhena Saifulislam, U.S. Marine Corps

Mr. Kareem Salama

Imam Yusuf Saleem, Masjid Muhammad

Dr. Ingrid Mattson, President, Islamic Society of North America

Mr. Farooq Mitha

Ms. Dalia Mogahed, Director, Gallup Center for Muslim Studies*

Ms. Hutham Olayan, Olayan America Corp.

Mr. Eboo Patel, Interfaith Youth Corps*

Imam Yusuf Saleem, Masjid Muhammad

Rabbi David Saperstein, Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism*

Ms. Mina Trudeau, Executive Director, El Fatiha Foundation

Mr. J. Saleh Williams, Congressional Muslim Staffers Association

Mr. Mohamed Zakariya, Zakariya Calligraphy


*denotes members of the President’s Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships

    September 1, 2009






State Dining Room



8:08 P.M. EDT



THE PRESIDENT:  Please, everybody have a seat.  Thank you.  Well, it is my great pleasure to host all of you here at the White House to mark this special occasion — Ramadan Kareem. 

I want to say that I’m deeply honored to welcome so many members of the diplomatic corps, as well as several members of my administration and distinguished members of Congress, including the first two Muslims to serve in Congress — Keith Ellison and Andre Carson.  Where are they?  (Applause.) 

Just a few other acknowledgements I want to make.  We have Senator Richard Lugar here, who’s our Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee.  Where is Dick Lugar?  There he is.  (Applause.)  Representative John Conyers, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee.  (Applause.)  Representative Rush Holt is here.  Thank you, Rush.  (Applause.)  Have we found you a seat, Rush?  (Laughter.)

REPRESENTATIVE HOLT:  I’m on my way to the train.  (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT:  I got you.

We also have here — Secretary of Defense Gates is here.  Secretary Gates.  (Applause.)  Our Attorney General, Eric Holder.  (Applause.)  And Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius is here.  (Applause.)

And most of all, I want to welcome all the American Muslims from many walks of life who are here.  This is just one part of our effort to celebrate Ramadan, and continues a long tradition of hosting iftars here at the White House.  

For well over a billion Muslims, Ramadan is a time of intense devotion and reflection.  It’s a time of service and support for those in need.  And it is also a time for family and friends to come together in a celebration of their faith, their communities, and the common humanity that all of us share.  It is in that spirit that I welcome each and every one of you to the White House.

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