Safaa Zarzour, president of the Islamic Society of North America, speaks at a news conference on Tuesday at the Downtown Islamic Center, where the group announced details of its 59th annual convention, being held next month in Rosemont. Jordan Perkins/Sun-Times
After a hiatus due to COVID-19, the Islamic Society of North America’s annual convention is back in person for the Labor Day weekend.
The 59th annual convention, sponsored by the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, was announced Tuesday at the Downtown Islamic Center, 231 S. State St.
“The pandemic is over somewhat, and we can come together in person,” said Abdullah Mitchell, the council’s executive director. “This is a unique opportunity where we extend the invitation to all Muslims — both here, in Chicago, and across the nation — to come join this convention for an exciting time.”
It runs from Sept. 2-5, returning to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River Rd., in Rosemont. The convention’s theme is Resilience, Hope and Faith: With Hardship, Comes Ease, which comes from the Quran and symbolizes the in-person return.
Convention activities will include youth programming, a bazaar, film screenings and featured speaker sessions.
The Chicago area is the perfect fit for the convention, given how well the location has drawn over the years, said Safaa Zarzour, president of the Islamic Society.
Hamzah Latif, co-chair of media relations for ISNA, said the organization anticipates pre-pandemic numbers for this year’s convention, with more than 50,000 attendees predicted on each day.