Those of us from Pennsylvania know of Freshman Senator Robert P. Casey
, one of the two Senators representing the Keystone State on Capitol Hill. He has been a champion of all the right causes, backing measures that have a positive impact not only on his constituents, but also America as a whole. As a freshman Senator, he has taken on key leadership roles in Congress. He is a member of the Comittee on Foreign Relations - chairing the Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs. He is also a member of the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry - chairing the Subcommittee on Nutrition, Specialty Crops, Food and Agricultural Research. In addition to those responsibilities, he sits on the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions; Special Committee on Aging; and the Joint Economic Committee. We here in Western Pennsylvania hold him in high regard as one of the good guys.
Few of us have had the opportunity to meet and spend time with the Senator in a small gathering. Those of us who have had this pleasure can attest to his warm and genuine nature. He truly listens to people's concerns and responds with more than the usual rote speaking points. So it was a great pleasure and honor this past Monday when Senator Casey joined us for Iftar at the Muslim Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh (MCCGP) in Monroeville, PA.
It was a short visit in which the Senator partook in the traditional snack to break the fast, observed the evening prayers and then participated in the dinner that followed. All of this was followed by a welcome address by the President of MCCGP and a short presentation by a member of the MCCGP youth group who described the meaning of Ramadan and the purpose behind fasting; the key tenets being patience, tolerance and mercy.
The Senator spoke about the need for and importance of tolerance and mercy in today's world. He then jokingly invited the young presenter to Washington DC to give the same presentation to members of Congress. After his brief talk, the Senator hosted some questions from the community. To the issue of regulating gas drilling, he stated that he has introduced legislation to create a set of guidelines at a national level. While he does not have the votes to get the measure passed, he is working on it.
At the end of his visit, Senator Casey was presented with a copy of the Qur'an as a token of appreciation for his visit. This copy contains both the Arabic script and an English translation. The Senator graciously accepted the gift.
So all in all, it was a nice visit with a remarkable man. Following are some pictures from that evening. Enjoy.
You can catch the whole set Here
Thank you for reading!