There is just something about Hamza Haqqi that is quite simply impossible not to love. I have seen it happen so many times now that he has been working with UNeTech on a grant to create a co-working space in our Blackstone neighborhood location. He smiles. Or he laughs. Or he nods and says, “I know exactly what you mean, friend.” And suddenly the people in the room are drawn in. Haqqi is a snappy dresser, usually in a suit with short socks and fancy shoes. He’s charming, with expensive accessories — designer sunglasses or a laptop bag — and he always looks like he could be off to a cool rooftop party I would never be invited to; and yet, he is one of the kindest and most approachable humans I have met in recent years. And there is a sense of calm and ease about him.
It is no wonder that he spent his COVID time writing and publishing a book about mindfulness practice, affirmations, and meditation. And it is no wonder that the American Muslim Institute, part of the Tri-Faith Initiative, wants to feature Haqqi and his book as a part of a series of events in August for the Tri-Faith Community.
AMI board member Abdul Mackie said Haqqi will be part of three events, including a Livestream interview that Mackie will hold on August 4 at 6pm that will provide the community the opportunity to learn more about Haqqi’s life experiences and his book: Daily Habits to Learnza: a book on 365 daily habits for mindfulness, meditation, and success. “We will do this quarterly or every other month,” Mackie said. “We will pick members of the congregation who have unique stories, positive and negative to share, to introduce and promote our people across the Tri-Faith landscape and Omaha in general.”
Haqqi will be the first featured guest for the interview series. Mackie said Haqqi, who is a practicing Muslim, is an ideal choice because “we are his congregation and his roots; that is where he and his family go to services when he is in town. It is good to have a story like that, a home-grown kid who made it great, coming back home to talk about his book and his work.”
Other events in August include: August 20 book reading and signing titled MINDFULNESS COMMUNICATION, A COMMUNITY COVERSATION: How to start your own journey with author Hamza Haqqi from 7pm to 10pm; and August 21 Camp Learnza Peer Mentoring Day and Book Talk with Hamza Haqqi from 2pm to 5pm. All events will be held at the American Muslim Institute at 13140 Faith Plaza. Details about all three events can be found here.
“Hamza’s work promotes awareness, education about Islam, and he does that by being who he is,” Mackie said. “He practices and he is tolerant and he lives in the society that is Islamic and non-Islamic. He knows how to walk the line. He is a role model for our youth and his generation. And we hope to kickstart that entrepreneurial idea in spirit, that ‘I can do this’ spirit by featuring him. He is a living breathing example of reaching your potential and shooting for the stars.”
Haqqi echoed what Mackie had to say. “Every day is a fresh opportunity to learn,” Haqqi said. “Never give up and never question yourself. When you can envision the final objective, you will be motivated to do great things. Recent studies suggest that tackling stressful events might offer you more serenity and insight. If you stick to the routine suggested in this book, you will begin to get a deeper knowledge of your mind as well as a deeper regard for your body.”