Seeing the Human Family in the Heart of Detroit // Zaman International

November 12, 2020

Najah Bazzy is a nurse who was doing transcultural work at a local hospital after the Gulf War when she met a refugee family living in extreme poverty.

Mitch: How did the poverty that you’ve seen motivate you?

Najah: A baby in a laundry basket

Mitch: Really

Najah: That was dying in a laundry basket.  I wasn’t prepared to see that so after I caught my breath and had a good cry I was determined to do something about it.

Mitch: So what was the first step you took to do something about it?

Najah: Basic needs.  Food, Clothing, Shelter.  

The building blocks to breaking the cycle of poverty.  Zaman International began out of the back of Najah’s van in 1996 and has grown to a 40,000 square foot facility in Inkster.  Through a voucher program, women have access to free basic needs like food and clothing.  They also offer job-ready skill training and language literacy classes.

Najah: I see the human family you know the totality of the human family and if God made somebody the way he made them skin color you know shape gender whatever it may be I relish in it because I love diversity so for me it is the highest form of faith without this being a religious organization. We started with about 400 families the first year we are up to 285,000 people served.  There is something beautiful about not knowing what you don’t know

Mitch: Right.

Najah: And the impact that you never even know about brings me to tears.

Mitch: That says it all. 

Zaman means “time” and Najah Bazzy is spending her time in the stewardship of others, right here in the Heart of Detroit.