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Friends Helping to Reshape the World

Ramon Flanigan, left, and Sameer Ahmed, are friends with NFL great Eric Dickerson
Ramon Flanigan, left, and Sameer Ahmed, are friends with NFL great Eric Dickerson

Special to Texas Metro News

Ramon Flanigan and Sameer Ahmed have bridged racial and cultural gaps that consume so many others. Both are graduates of Southern Methodist University. Ramon, whose ancestral roots are in America, and Ahmed whose family came to America from India have dedicated their lives to community wellness, healthcare, and inclusion. And as much as possible they pursue those goals together.

Among the most significant social change voyages in which the two are involved is a primary health care, mental health care, and social service non-profit named the Muslim Community Center for Human Services, which has become a welcomed haven and, safety net for multitudes of people from various parts of the world. Services provided at the Center are (low-cost or free for the uninsured and under-insured.)

“We believe that wellness is a fundamental right in today’s society,” said Sameer, who practices law and serves as the organization’s board chairperson. “People who do not have to concern themselves with the costs of treating sickness and disease are able to make contributions in our society that potentially benefit all people.”

The non-profit, founded by Sameer’s father, Dr. Basheer Ahmed, about 25 years ago, helped refugees who came to America from war-torn Bosnia 25 years ago. Now its clientele includes people of many faiths. Its 24 -member board of directors includes Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Its principal office is in Richland Hills, Texas.

 “Sameer introduced me to our work,” said Ramon who is also a member of the Center’s board of directors. “It is especially important to me to work with a group of people who are making fundamental change in our society. The work that the Center performs is a beacon of light for people that are underserved and marginalized. We give people hope, and that is a good thing.

Ramon said that he and Sameer share many core values. “My friendship with him has led me to the work that the Center does. I am grateful that Sameer is in my life, and immensely proud of the work that the organization does for others.”

“In any given year more than 25 physicians, dentists and professional counselors volunteer, giving the Center their time and their services because they are concerned about people,” said Dr. Sheeza Moshen, the executive director and chief operating office of the Center.

“We touch the lives of approximately 120 families each month,” Dr. Moshen said. The clientele is about six percent white, 15 percent Hispanic, 12 percent Black, and 30 percent South Asian. Our staff and our board are multi-racial, and interns from local colleges and universities, including UT Arlington, UT Dallas, Texas Women’s University, the University of North Texas, and Texas Christian University perform especially important tasks at the Center.

Dr. Moshen said that the need for institutions such as the Center was exhaustive. “We are in this for the long-haul.” she said. (“The Pandemic and immigration have increased the need for the work that we do.”)

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