Muslim Bar Association extends a helping hand to hospital workers

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The Michigan Muslim Bar Association recently delivered face masks to Beaumont Hospital in Wayne. Pictured (l-r) Yasmeen Hafeez, Tariq Hafeez,  Beaumont Hospital staff members, and Dr. Muzammil Ahmad, chief of medical staff.

Photo courtesy of Tariq Hafeez

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.

“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.”

The fruits of their labors began to show up in early April 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 donations from members of the Muslim Bar and “friends and family,” Hafeez indicated. They have placed an additional order for 500 masks and are 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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