The program recognizes veterans for service to their communities, and Zafar is being honored for his work to foster a better understanding of the Muslim community.
In addition to teaching a health and wellness class to Somalis in Eden Prairie, he is creating a worldwide running event: “Running 30 Miles in Ramadan.”
He hopes to motivate Muslims to run one mile each day during the 30 days of Ramadan.
Zafar also serves and interacts daily with returning veterans, assisting them with the Minnesota GI bill through his job at Metro State.
“More than 60,000 Minnesotans have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, and there are more than 381,000 veterans of all wars residing in Minnesota,” reads a release from the Minnesota Humanities Center. “Adding their voices to public discussions is crucial to the democracy they have fought to preserve. The Humanities Center recognizes and is committed to the contributions of Minnesota veterans and will create new opportunities for veterans to speak in their own voice and connect with other Minnesotans.”
The Sept. 11 ceremony will be held at the group’s headquarters in St. Paul. The event launches a long-term, statewide program, Veterans’ Voices, which “uses the power of the humanities to bring the voices of veterans out of the shadows into the light. The Humanities Center focuses on bringing into public life the stories and experiences of people and communities that have been missing.”