Reaching out: Muslim Bar Association extends helping hand to hospital workers

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Kicking off April in a positive way, the Michigan Muslim Bar Association made a special delivery of face masks to Beaumont Hospital in Wayne last Wednesday. Pictured are (left to right) Yasmeen Hafeez, Tariq Hafeez, several members of the Beaumont Hospital staff, and (far right) Dr. Muzammil Ahmad, chief of the medical staff at Beaumont Wayne. To help fund the outreach effort, the Muslim Bar has established a Venmo account to speed the donation process and also may create a “Go Fund Me” page to aid the cause.

By Tom Kirvan
Legal News

The adage, “If you want something done, ask a busy person,” certainly applies to Tariq Hafeez, a key member of the Michigan Muslim Bar Association.

An attorney with the Northville firm of Fausone Bohn, where he specializes in business and health care law, Hafeez also is the co-founder of LegalEase Solutions, a company launched in 2006 that provides legal support services to law firms, in-house counsels, and corporations across a broad range of industries.

A University of Michigan alum and graduate of the U-M Law School, Hafeez and his wife, Mona Youssef, a juvenile court referee in Wayne County, add to their busy professional schedules by parenting four children, ranging in age from 6 to 19, across an educational spectrum from kindergarten to a first year college student at Wayne State.

“My hands are full, but in a good way,” said Hafeez.

And yet, the Detroit area native must have figured that there’s always room for more work, particularly in a time of a pandemic.

Last month, as the coronavirus outbreak was ramping up across Michigan, Hafeez and his colleagues at the Michigan Muslim Bar Association launched “Lawyers Supporting Healthcare Providers,” an initiative with a lofty goal in mind.

“We have lots of friends and family who are doctors, nurses, and health care workers,” said Hafeez. “We kept hearing from them about the shortage of protective supplies to keep them safe while responding to the pandemic. We tried to figure the best way to help out.”

After exploring overseas markets for face masks, where cost and timely delivery became instant obstacles, Hafeez began to consider local options.

“I reached out to some of my networks in Detroit in hopes that we could find a local supplier,” Hafeez said.

Within days, Hafeez met with officials from Detroit Denim, a company founded in 2010 that makes high quality jeans and related fashion gear from its headquarters in the Rivertown Warehouse District of Detroit.

Soon thereafter, the York Project in Detroit climbed on board as another supplier of face masks, according to Hafeez. The York Project, founded in 2012 in Detroit, bills itself as a “Social Streetwear” company that makes tees, sweatshirts, and headwear, while staying true to its mission of helping the homeless.

“We are fortunate to have found two community-minded companies that are helping us out,” Hafeez said.

“They responded to the need by designing and manufacturing face masks for health care providers,” said Hafeez of the company. “They pitched right in to make it happen, right here from Detroit.”

Earlier last week, the fruits of their labors began to show up at Beaumont Hospital in Wayne, where the “first batch of 300 Detroit-made masks” was delivered, according to Hafeez.

The $1,000 cost was covered through a series of donations from members of the Muslim Bar and “friends and family,” Hafeez indicated.

They have placed an additional order for 500 masks and are currently raising money to fund the initiative.

“Special mention needs to be made to the president of the Muslim Bar Association, Dewnya Bazzi. She has been instrumental in making this initiative happen,” Hafeez said of the personal injury attorney with the At Law Group in Dearborn. “She gets things done.”

Now, Hafeez and Bazzi are hopeful that other bar associations across Michigan will join forces with them in the “Lawyers Supporting Healthcare Providers” project.

“We are trying to get other bar associations involved as well,” he said. “We would love any help we can get to spread the word and encourage other bar associations in Michigan to participate.”

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