Multicultural Mosaic Foundation Commemorates the 25th Anniversary of the Genocide in Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina

July 11th, 2020 PHONE: 720 608 1907

AURORA, COLORADO July 11th, 2020. Multicultural Mosaic Foundation Commemorates the 25th Anniversary of the Genocide in Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Srebrenica genocide was the worst atrocity crime on European soil since the Second World War. More than 8,372 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed after the Bosnian Serb Army attacked Srebrenica, a designated UN “safe area”, on 10-11 July 1995, despite the presence of UN peacekeepers.

We share the grief of their families, including those whose family members are still missing (more than 1,000 people). And we re-affirm our solidarity with the survivors.

Confronting that past is a vital step towards rebuilding trust. Reconciliation must be underpinned by mutual empathy and understanding. Reconciliation means rejecting denial of genocide and war crimes and of any effort to glorify convicted war criminals. It also means recognizing the suffering of all victims and not attributing collective guilt.

Srebrenica is a reminder that no society is immune to the gravest of crimes. Genocide does not happen overnight. Years of hateful populism exploiting divisions in society, supported by campaigns of misinformation and propaganda, usually precede violence. To learn lessons from Srebrenica and make true the pledge of ‘never again’, we must begin by confronting hate speech and discrimination in all forms.

All communities, all leaders and all organizations — including the media — must make this pledge.

Every human is created with dignity by God and every human life is equally valuable.

We hope and pray that humanity can come together to marginalize and eventually root out all totalitarian ideologies that use violence as a weapon.

We extend our heartfelt condolences to families and relatives of victims of the Srebrenica Genocide.

Multicultural Mosaic Foundation

Campaign Update: COVID-19 Immigrant and Refugee Community – Relief Fund

May 17, 2020 – Multicultural Mosaic Foundation has established its COVID-19 Immigrant and Refugee Community Relief Fund and received 175 applications in one week starting on
Monday April 20. So far, as part of this project, we have spent $10,000 from our funds. In addition, we have done fundraising and raised
$6,900 from our community. We were also granted $25,000 from the State of Colorado for this project, as part of the second round of funding for Covid-19 relief to non-profits.
We have approved a total of $37,373 as one-time emergency cash assistance to 65 families or individuals from the Denver metro area, an average of $600 per
household. Currently, we ran out of funds.

May 5, 2020 – Since April 20, Mosaic was able to extend 55 households emergency cash assistance thanks to your support, and the grant we have received from the state of Colorado. The average assistance was $605 per household and the total approved relief was $33,273. We are still processing the rest of the 175 applications we received. We will run out of funds for this campaign soon. We are asking for your support to help the most vulnerable immigrant and refugee families in Colorado impacted by COVID-19.

April 25, 2020 – Multicultural Mosaic Foundation has received 175 applications since Monday April 20. Mosaic has so far awarded 17 families an average of $625, totaling $10,000 from its funds for emergency relief. We are about to run out of funds for this campaign.

We are asking for your support to address the immediate needs of the most vulnerable immigrants and refugees within Denver metro area impacted by COVID-19.

We will get through this crisis by supporting each other.

If you would like to contribute to Mosaic’s COVID-19 Immigrant and Refugee Community Relief Fund, please donate by using one of the methods below:

Send a check to Multicultural Mosaic Foundation at
14232 E. Evans Ave. Aurora CO 80014
On the check, please mention COVID-19 Immigrant and Refugee Community Relief Fund


Transfer funds by Zelle to

Please mention COVID-19 Immigrant and Refugee Community Relief Fund


Donate using paypal via this link:

Colorado Muslim community Stands in Solidarity with Members of Temple Emanuel in Pueblo, the Jewish Community and the Latinx Community in Pueblo.


CONTACT: Iman Jodeh, Spokeswoman, Colorado Muslim Society
Voice/Text Phone Number:
Iman Jodeh: 720-608-1882

Colorado Muslim community Stands in Solidarity with Members of Temple Emanuel in Pueblo, the
Jewish Community and the Latinx Community in Pueblo.

Denver, CO, November 6th. On November 1st, 2019, FBI agents arrested white supremacist Richard
Holzer for allegedly plotting to bomb Temple Emanuel, a Jewish house of worship in Pueblo, Colorado.
Holzer also encouraged acts of violence against Jews and the Latinx community.

The Colorado Muslim Leadership Council commends local law enforcement and the FBI for tracking
down and arresting Richard Holzer.

The Muslim community throughout Colorado stands in solidarity with members of Temple Emanuel in
Pueblo, the Jewish community and the Latinx community. Muslims in Colorado stand steadfast with our
fellow Jewish and Latinx brothers and sisters in condemning any and all forms of violence regardless of
religion, color, race, ethnicity, or nationality.

This hate driven plan, which is an assault on the sanctity of human life shatter our hearts but should
strengthen our eagerness in serving the goal of living together peacefully.

The fact that Holzer is in his twenties is both upsetting and cautionary. We should do a serious
examination of why a young man, who should have been hopeful about his life, would both plan to ruin
his own life and take away other people’s lives in a state of hatred and insanity.

This incident shows that there is a need for a greater effort to remedy the illnesses of racism, hatred and resorting to violence.

May Allah, the Most Compassionate, protect us from acts of violence and increase the number of islands
of peace in which people embrace each other with respect all around the world.

Colorado Imam Council
Colorado Muslim Society – Masjid Abu Bakr
Colorado Muslim Community Center – Dar Al Tawheed
Colorado Muslim Speaker’s Bureau
Council on American Islamic Relations – Colorado
Colorado Islamic Center – Masjid Salaam
Colorado Muslim Connection
Colorado Oromo Muslim Community Center
Denver Islamic Society – Masjid Al Nur
Downtown Denver Islamic Center
Islamic Center of Boulder
Islamic Center of Fort Collins
Islamic Society of Colorado Springs
Islamic Circle of North America – Colorado
Metropolitan Denver North Islamic Center – Masjid Ikhlas
Mile High Islamic Center
Muslim Family Services of Colorado
Multicultural Mosaic Foundation
Muslim Intent on Learning & Activism
Muslim American Society – Colorado
Northeast Denver Islamic Center
Rocky Mountain Islamic Center
Southeast Aurora Islamic Center
South Denver Islamic Center – Masjid Khadeejah
Press Release as PDF.

From John Alabilikian to El Paso to Mehmet

By Ismail Akbulut

On August 3, a hate-driven heinous mass shooting targeting immigrants in El Paso, Texas left 22 people dead and added another chapter to the saddest of American stories.

The tragedy made me reflect on the lives lost. They came to the US in search of a better future. Their deaths reminded me of the stories and tragedies of so many who look for the same thing.

I came to America over a decade ago with my young family. Both my wife’s and my family had emigrated from Turkey to Germany in the 1970s. The US meant opportunity for us. We were young and idealistic.

The history of the US is well-known. This country has traditionally been a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge for the persecuted, and a land of hope for people fleeing tragedies that range from discrimination to famine.

From 1892 to 1954, Ellis Island was the gateway for about 12 million of these people. They all went through a tough vetting process that included a myriad of tests and examinations, but about 98 percent of them were allowed in.

A few weeks back, my family and I decided to visit Ellis Island as part of our first road trip to the East Coast. We are an immigrant family and we wanted to learn about those who entered the US a century ago.

We talked about how difficult it must have been back then to leave the only place you know by ship and travel for weeks under cruel conditions to a new land, hoping desperately that you’d finally find peace, freedom and prosperity upon arrival.

Our tour included audio stories from these men and women who took a chance on America so many years ago. To my delight, I saw that one of those stories belonged to a person from Turkey. His name was John Alabilikian. The surname gave away his Armenian background.

I was instantly curious about why Alabilikian came to the US in 1922.

As It turns out, Alabilikian’s story is heart wrenching. He was born in Yozgat, today’s Turkey, then part of the Ottoman Empire.

In 1915, when Alabilikian was 7, most Armenian men in Yozgat were rounded up by the Ottoman army and disappeared; that’s what happened to Alabilikian’s father. Then the same thing happened to his mother and sister. He lost his family because they were Armenian.

In order to survive, his aunt married a Turkish man. They adopted Alabilikian and raised him as a Muslim. Since his step-father’s family was well off, they could afford to immigrate to the US in 1922.

Alabilikian was able to celebrate his Armenian identity and heritage when he arrived in the US. In the Ottoman Empire, it was this very identity and heritage that got his parents killed.

That tragedy never left him, but he always carried gratitude in his heart for what the US gave him.

John Alabilikan’s story reminded me about a dear friend who also came from Turkey to the US. Let’s call him Mehmet. Of Turkish descent, Mehmet lived in Western Turkey until he was 15. He’s the third youngest of four children. His family enjoyed a comfortable life in Turkey. Mehmet moved at the age of 18 to pursue his education in the US.

But the good times didn’t last.

What started as the American Dream turned into a nightmare for Mehmet and his family on the night of July 15, 2016.

On that day, a faction within Turkish military tried unsuccessfully to overthrow the government, headed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Much like Hitler’s reaction after the Reichstag fire, Erdogan called for a press conference while the coup attempt was still happening. He used the occasion to call this attempted coup “a gift from God” and, with no evidence, readily designated the perpetrators behind the failed coup as Fethullah Gulen and the famed Gulen Movement.

The Gulen Movement (GM) identifies itself as a peace movement that started in the 1960s in Turkey. it focuses on charity, education and dialog activities. The group initially supported the Erdogan government until he turned into an autocrat and shut down a corruption probe involving him, his family and his government.

Erdogan used the failed coup to target his political opponents. He’d already hollowed out much of Turkish civil society, including academia and the news media — incidents that have been thoroughly documented by international human rights groups and think tanks. Now he had the GM in his cross-hairs.

Like millions of other Turks, Mehmet and his family anxiously followed the coup attempt on TV and social media. Afterwards, a neighbor reported Mehmet’s father as a Gulen follower. This resulted in him doing five months in a concrete cell.

Then his father learned that the Turkish government had a search warrant out for him. He was accused of being part of a terrorist organization that tried to overthrow the Turkish government. He’d get 16.5 years in prison for that.

They gave zero evidence. But they didn’t have to since they ran the country.

Mehmet’s father didn’t give in. He knew that the police were torturing GM members as well as those accused of being participants or supporters. So he and his family went into hiding in a rural area, eventually becoming farmers.

Last October, Mehmet was driving on the highway when his mother called him and asked him to start FaceTime. He felt that something was wrong but kept his composure. He FaceTimed and smiled.

Then, in tears, Mehmet’s mother gave her 22-year-old son the awful news: his father just died in a tractor accident. He was just 56 years old.

His mother found out later that Erdogan’s government now had a search warrant out for her. They used the same baseless accusations. This forced her into perpetual hiding. First at a friend’s house, then to another friend’s house…and on and on…

Mehmet’s older brother and sister finally decided to flee Turkey because search warrants were issued for them as well.

His older siblings and their families, which included a three months old baby, fled to Greece by boat. To get there, they swam across the Evros River where they almost drowned. From Greece, his siblings managed to travel to Germany and the Netherlands where they filed for political asylum.

Mehmet prays every day that he’ll be able to rescue his mother and younger brother from Erdogan’s tyranny. They’re still hiding from authorities, on the run.

Mehmet is the only one in the family who has a decent job. He works as an IT specialist by day and drives a Lyft by night in order to provide for all his family members.

I’m grateful to be in the United States, to enjoy its privileges. The challenges we face today, including mass violence, makes me think about how we got here. I don’t have all the answers, but I know one thing: as a privileged member of society and a successful settler of this country, I am responsible for welcoming and assisting those who reach our shore in search of a better life.

They may be our friends. They might even have been our ancestors. We can never forget about them.

Published on August 22nd,

Religions Come Together To Celebrate Unity Amid Tragedy

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – It’s the first day of Islam’s biggest holiday. Coloradans from different religions came together on Sunday to celebrate as one and learn from one another.

(credit: CBS)

At an office park in Aurora, Muslim and Jewish people got together to celebrate Eid Al-Adah.

“Today is the highest Islamic holiday,” said Ismail Akbulut for the Multicultural Mosaic Foundation. “We are commemorating the story of Prophet Abraham when he was going to sacrifice his oldest son.”

(credit: CBS)

At their center in Aurora, the day began with a prayer. A feast soon followed, and as any host can tell you feasts are a lot of work. So, it’s a good thing there was a lot of help.

“Right now we are just doing odds and ends,” said Josh Klasco.

He and his friends belong to the group Judaism Your Way. They are an organization whose goal is to share Judaism with the community and embrace other religions like Islam. They also organize multi-faith volunteer events.

(credit: CBS)

Initially they focused their volunteer work around mass shootings. Following the shooting at the mosque in Christchurch, they grieved and comforted the Muslim community. Then when a shooting at a synagogue happened, Muslims returned the favor.

“And at a certain point one of the Rabbis from our organization started saying, we have to stop meeting like this,” Josh said.

(credit: CBS)

They decided to start coming together in times of celebration and Eid Al-Adha was their first opportunity. Jewish people and a few Christians come out to pray with the Muslim community at Multicultural Mosaic on their holiday.

They then helped prepare the feast and ate alongside each other.

“It is heartwarming. It is beautiful. It is encouraging,” said Akbulut.

If you took a look at the people eating and having fun you would never know they are any different and maybe they aren’t so different after all.

“Today we are getting together as cousins and celebrating this festival,” Akbulut said. “We have a future in this country together.”

Published on August 11, 2019,

Group Fills Backpacks For Immigrant Students: ‘It Is Love Inside’

DENVER (CBS4) – The Multicultural Mosaic Foundation is coming together to help immigrant students in Colorado have what they need to succeed in the classroom before the new school year. Starting off at a new school is tough enough for most kids, but imagine if you were starting a new school in a totally different country.

(credit: CBS)

Gulsum Katner knows what that is like.

“The biggest challenge with the newcomers, the immigrants is to be accepted in an environment,” she said.

Gulsum Katner (credit: CBS)

Katner emigrated from Turkey to go to college and says the biggest struggle was wondering if she belonged. Once she felt accepted, she was able to focus on the things every student should be worried about like her school work.

“If they feel loved and cared (for) and like they are part of it, it will work for them,” she said.

(credit: CBS)

Now she’s the CEO of Multicultural Mosaic Foundation in Aurora. They’ve created an annual fundraising program for immigrant and refugee students at South High School in Denver.

They collect donations to give freshmen backpacks full of school supplies.

(credit: CBS)

“We want to give a chance to society to welcome those refugee kids and immigrant kids, and also to show those refugee and immigrant kids that society is willing to accept you.”

(credit: CBS)

Katner says if students have the basics they don’t have to worry so much about fitting in, and that encourages them to stay in school. She says it’s not much, but it’s a huge first step and each backpack is more than just paper and pens.

“As soon as they have the backpack they realized it is not just help. It is love inside.”

Published on August 9, 2019,

Multicultural Mosaic Foundation condemns all crimes committed against humanity.

April 24th, 2019, Aurora, Colorado – Multicultural Mosaic Foundation condemns all crimes committed against humanity.

On this day, we remember the victims, families, communities and people who are and were victims of crimes against humanity such as systematic mass killings and genocides.

Every human is created with dignity by God and every human life is equally valuable.

We hope and pray that humanity can come together to marginalize and eventually root out all totalitarian ideologies that use violence as a weapon.

We extend our heartfelt condolences to families and relatives of all victims of crimes committed against humanity.

Multicultural Mosaic Foundation

The Other Side of Home by Ismail Akbulut

Hayko Bagdat
Hayko Bagdat

In a tweet fired off earlier this month, Turkish sociologist Yahya Mustafa Keskin from Abant Izzet Baysal University took aim at journalist Hayko Bagdat — who has Armenian roots — by mockingly referring to him as the “remains of the sword.” This might seem cryptic for the average English speaker, but Keskin was insulting Bagdat’s family as the lucky ones who managed to survive the 1915 Armenian Genocide carried out by the Ottoman Turks. Keskin then drove his point home by saying that Turks have never committed any genocides.

Author Jason Stanley argues in his recent book How Fascism Works that fascist regimes, especially ones with a history of atrocities, always emphasize a mythical narrative that portrays its own past as morally pure and free of tarnish. Today’s Turkey not only denies its role in the Armenian Genocide, but is in the midst of carrying out atrocities against its own citizens, according to many academics and politicians. Today’s victims are Turkey’s marginalized dissidents: liberals, leftists, Kurds and, most notably, participants of the Gulen Movement (GM), or Hizmet.

Members of Hizmet were once accepted as legitimate players in Turkey’s complex body politic until the movement ran afoul of current Turkish President Erdogan, who now refers to them as terrorists. Hizmet members are publicly demonized, have their assets and wealth confiscated, and their passports revoked. Many have been and are tortured, abducted and even murdered.

While participants of the GM are enduring these heinous atrocities in Turkey, GM participants active at the Colorado-based non-profit Multicultural Mosaic Foundation made a historically meaningful and courageous gesture last month by screening the film “The Other Side of Home.”

Made by the award-winning filmmaker Naré Mkrtchyan, the movie center on a Turkish woman named Maya, who discovers that her great-grandmother was a survivor of the Armenian Genocide. As the film unfolds, it becomes clear that Maya embodies the conflict. Her turbulent, mixed emotions represent opposite poles of the debate in Turkey regarding the crime: one that suffers and the other that denies. She goes to Armenia to participate in the 100th year commemoration of the genocide and to explore her conflicted identity. Aside from being a universal story involving identity and conflict, and the film explores how the genocide’s effects ripple down the generations for both Armenians and Turks.

Historically, Hizmet participants would either support the Turkish state’s narrative of denial or stay quiet about the topic. Discussing the issue publicly was taboo. But Erdogan’s brutal witch-hunt against the movement in Turkey has led many participants to question state narratives on various issues, including the Armenian Genocide. A growing number of participants now fully recognize that the crime did actually happen. Many are even courageous enough to say so out loud in public.

Back to the film screening…

More than 80 people, including many Turkish-Americans, packed the film screening at the Multicultural Mosaic Foundation. One could observe in the audience many surprised faces and expressions. Other even teared up as the film moved them.

Mkrtchyan herself was also in the audience and stayed for a Q&A following the screening. The noted filmmaker was nervous at first about showing such a film to an audience with many Turkish-Americans, but was welcomed on stage with immense applause. She acknowledged that despite many screenings of the film across many countries, this was the first time it’s been shown to an audience with so many Turks. Many questions were directed to Mkrtchyan about her feelings when she landed in Turkey and how she was treated there.

She said she was puzzled and uncertain when she arrived there for the first time. She felt as if she had, “I am Armenian” labelled on her forehead. She was especially surprised when someone referred to her in Turkish as “yavrum,” or honey, the same way her grandmother would call her.

One highlight of the evening was when a woman in the audience who identified herself as Turkish admitted that she recently discovered that her ancestors were Armenian. Her parents made her believe growing up that she was either Turkish and Kurdish.

The audience also noted that the film promoted understanding for the narratives and realities on both sides. It shows the levels of denial on the Turkish side, borne out of ignorance, convenience, or fear of retaliation by the Turkish government. On the Armenian side, the film illustrates the pain and trauma that Armenians are still suffering through today as a nation.

The heinous witch-hunt in Turkey against participants of the Gulen Movement are experiencing the pains of murder and oppression first-hand. The film screening was simply a first step in trying to heal very old wounds. It’s a symbolical gesture, statement, and opening by participants of Hizmet.

There’s a lot more work to be done by members of the movement and beyond.

This article was published in the Armenian Mirror-Spectator on December 20th, 2018.

Ismail Akbulut: Greece – a cradle of Western civilization

Greece – a cradle of Western civilization, home of the first democracy, and birthplace of Socrates, one of the founders of Western Philosophy.

I’d always wanted to visit Greece, but as someone with Turkish heritage, the word “Greek” contained a bitter aftertaste. First of all, the Greeks and Turks have had a long and often bloody historical rivalry going back several centuries. Adding the invasion of Cyprus in 1974 by Turkish troops and the current political rift between the two nations; a lot of bad blood has yet to be wiped away.
According to a recent report by the Hrant Dink Foundation in Turkey, Greeks rank among the top three ethnic groups targeted for hate speech by the Turkish media.

In spite of all this, in July 2018, my beloved wife Miya and I – a couple of Turkish descent who grew up in Germany and live in the US – decided to travel to Athens, Greece. The following is a collection of our expectations, observations, experiences, and surprises.

Arrival in Athens:
I had travelled before to many European metropolises, including London, Paris, Berlin, Munich, Vienna, Gdansk, Bratislava and Istanbul. Based on my travel experiences, I was imagining and dreaming of a rather stereotypical Athens full of ancient Greek ruins and monuments embedded in a modern context. But we found so much more than that…

We arrived late in the evening at the Athens International Airport, the “Eleftherios Venizelos,” and took a taxi to our hotel in the center of Athens. Our driver, a very kind family man in his 50s named Dmitris, was very curious about our background and purpose in Greece. Dimitris’ father was born in a city in South Western Turkey called Alikarnassós during Ottoman times, known today as Bodrum, As part of the Lausanne Peace Treaty, signed in 1923, a compulsory population exchange between Turkey and Greece took place. Dimitris’ father had to leave his home to settle in Athens. About 1.2 million Greek Christians were sent from Turkey to Greece and about 350.000 Muslims were sent from Greece to Turkey in the early 1920s.

I told Dimitris that my great-grandparents belonged to the Muslim minority that lived in the city of Parga in Northwestern Greece, and had to leave for Turkey because of the same agreement between the two nation states. This mutual history of uprootedness and exile filled the beginning of our trip with a faint sense of irony.
As we drove through the dark, narrow alleys of Athens, Dmitris and I agreed that the past was filled with unfortunate episodes for the land our ancestors dwelt on.

An early surprise: the Ekklisia Kimisi Theotokou Chrisospileotissis – Greek Orthodox Church.
We made sure to rise early the next morning. As I opened the window of our hotel room, we were amazed to see the dome of the beautiful and spectacular Ekklisia Kimisi Theotokou Chrisospileotissis – Greek Orthodox Church.
Walking through the alleys and streets of Athens, we made sure to stop to observe the buildings, churches, architectures, and monuments we passed by. We talked to people from all walks of life over cups of Greek coffee.

A quick flashback
A few years ago, I travelled with my Greek-American friend John to Turkey. I took him to the Mausoleum of the founder of the republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, in Ankara. I later realized that this decision was a particularly insensitive faux pas toward John.
Along with our guide, John and I walked through the halls of the nationalist Anitkabir museum, learning about how the heroic Turks fought against the dastardly Greeks in several wars. Greeks were portrayed in the museum as aggressive oppressors and occupiers of Turkish lands. About half-way through the museum, John couldn’t take it anymore and asked me to leave the museum. He added that he could take me to Greece where I could listen to the same stories about Turks who committed barbaric and shameful acts against the Greeks. I respected John’s reaction but wasn’t sure what he was talking about exactly until my recent trip to Athens.

The politics of victimhood
Miya and I hopped on a fancy double-decker bus to tour some of Greece’s most significant sites: the Roman Agora, Areopagus, Acropolis, Monastiraki Square, Rizari Park, Academy of Athens, National Archeological Museum, etc… We learned about the historical importance of the sites we visited and why they mattered. By the Greek Parliament across the Syntagma Square, which is the central point of Athens, our guide explained the meaning of the Presidential Guards that looked over the tomb of the Unknown Soldier–a tomb dedicated to the memory of Greek soldiers who perished during war.
The guards’ uniforms resembling those worn by Greek fighters who fought during the Greek Independence War (1821–32) against the Ottoman Turks. Part of the uniform is the fustanella, a skirt-like garment with 400 pleats symbolizing each year under Ottoman rule, an era remembered in the official Greek narrative as a time of great suffering, occupation and oppression. I realized that Greeks and Turks tell very similar stories about their victimhood (and of their enemies) in order to justify their own heroism in wars fought between the two sides.

As Muslims, we also wanted to see Muslims monuments. We found two: the Fethiye and Tzistarakis mosques. Both Ottoman era mosques are located in the heart of Athens and function today as museums. We were able to go inside the Fethiye mosque and were only allowed to see the niche of the Imam. The Islamic art on the walls were all covered with paint.

City on a hill
A must see in Athens is, of course, the Acropolis, the ancient citadel on a hill above the city of Athens with a history that stretches back to the 5th century BC. We bit the bullet and hiked in 35C heat and high humidity up to the hill, and it was absolutely worth the labor. As Miya and I gazed like little kids at the Acropolis, an astonishingly beautiful monument built thousands of years ago, I couldn’t help but wonder what the builders would’ve have said if they were told that, one day, millions of tourists would travel from all around the world to admire their structure. History, as it turns out, is all about unanswered questions.

Our short trip to Athens gave us a glimpse into the beauty and richness of Greece. We were able to breathe in the culture, taste the food, interact with locals, and gaze upon the remnants of a proud history.

We could also observe the familiar tricks of nationalism being used (in a very similar way among Turks) to create cohesion in a society that has gone through hard economic times. Even though Greece is still recovering from its recent economic crisis, we were able to witness the open heart of Greeks for refugees. Greece welcomed thousands of refugees from Syria, Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan in recent years. We were also very sad to learn about the wildfires around Athens.
Overall, we loved visiting Greece, we send our love and prayers to the people and are planning to go back soon…

This article appeared in the The Circle on August 16, 2018

PRESS RELEASE: Response to threatening messages.

AURORA, COLORADO August 30th 2018. Multicultural Mosaic Foundation (MMF) is a Colorado based non-profit, dedicated to understanding, dialog and peace. Since 2016 our foundation has received several direct or indirect threatening messages. An example can be seen in the attached postcard written in Turkish which translates, “We are watching you inglorious” signed by an anonymous person referring to himself as M. Kemal’s soldier. We received this one in August 2018. The purpose of this press release is to outline our perspective on this incident and other such similar incidents.

First, MMF abides by the laws of the U.S. and we are in close cooperation with federal and local law enforcement. Therefore, we pass these threats to them immediately and consult with them on this, as well as other issues that may be relevant to our community.

Secondly, we are open to people from all walks of life. Everybody is free to join us in our events and programs. We organize programs and events to foster better understanding, respect and dialog among all cultures and faith traditions. One of our principles is to accept every human being regardless of their color, background, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, culture, political views or language. We are open to sitting down with everyone to discuss matters that will foster peaceful coexistence. We prefer open communication regardless of whether it is critical or constructive. Therefore, we love to be watched, we appreciate being watched, and we invite everyone to watch us.

Messages similar to the one on the post card demonstrate that there is still a lot of work to be done. This message motivates us to be more engaged and active in the areas in which we are already active.

We will continue our work with our allies as we believe that it contributes to mutual respect and peaceful coexistence. We invite all to our upcoming events. Please visit our web site ( for a listing of events.

Please click here for PDF version of press release.

Multicultural Mosaic Foundation

Name: Ismail Akbulut
Phone: 720-608-1907