The Story – Phase 1

PHASE 1 (SEPT. 2021 – APRIL 2022):

Council on American-Islamic Relations, Oklahoma Chapter (CAIR-OK) is a local chapter of a national nonprofit that strives to be a leading advocate for justice and mutual understanding. Our mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims, regardless of how long they’ve lived in Oklahoma.

Beginning in September 2021, CAIR-OK joined the efforts of two refugee agencies (Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City and The Spero Project), nonprofits, social service organizations, faith-based groups, community organizations, individuals, and many others to offer support to Afghan neighbors.

Spero project logo   Catholic charities logo

We mobilized the Muslim community for donations to provide warm halal meals from ZamZam Mediterranean Grill, a local Muslim-owned restaurant, to every family upon their arrival in Oklahoma City. CAIR-OK also gave each Afghan household a welcome basket containing a Quran, prayer rug, hygiene items, and toys for the kids. Okie Muslims also donated Desi clothing from a variety of Southeast Asian cultural traditions that would provide another sign of welcome to Oklahoma.

Read the following in-depth article from Oklahoma Watch:

How Oklahoma is Preparing for Arrival of Afghan Refugees.

ZamZam Mediterranean restaurant logo

The generosity of all Oklahomans was such that by the winter of 2021, the CAIR-OK offices were filled to the brim with donations. LaGree Associates, our building manager, gave us an additional room for free to create a clothing closet, and Raindrop Turkish House allowed us to store household items at their building.

boxes of donations in tall stacks

The CAIR Oklahoma Office

room full of donations

Raindrop Turkish House

LaGree Associates logo

CAIR Oklahoma also identified a need for supplemental halal food sources for these large families. Partnering with Mercy Food Pantry, our volunteers delivered snack boxes to hotels and pantry boxes to apartments.

By the end of February 2022, all 1000+ new Afghan Oklahomans had arrived, and they were still in great need of many things. As CAIR-OK volunteers continued to collect, sort, and distribute an abundance of donations, we also began to plan special ways to connect these new neighbors with ways to celebrate Ramadan as well as Eid ul-Fitr, a celebration that closes the holy month. CAIR-OK distributed Ramadan gift bags (filled with a tea thermos, candy, Ramadan coloring book, and Ramadan stickers) as well as food boxes from Islamic Relief USA containing essentials like rice, flour, sugar, oil, and tea. We also hosted a Ramadan Clothing Bazaar, so families could find new outfits to celebrate the holiday season.

stacks of boxes with food in them

Afghan households who attended CAIR-OK’s 2022 Ramadan Clothing Bazaar



If you would like to partner with CAIR Oklahoma, please email Jen Hund (Refugee Services Director;