‘Did you contribute today?’

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‘Did you contribute today?’

Youssef family follows Islam far from mosque
Nathan Youssef, left, is joined by two other interns and their mentor in splitting seeds to plant for the nursery at a new Elephant Nature Park in Cambodia. “They practice slash-and-burn agriculture, and here we were trying to plant trees in an area they had just cleared,” Nathan said of work he did while there on a six-week Loop Abroad program in 2010.
Dr. Jim Youssef is a spine surgeon and co-founder of Spine Colorado. He also is one of only a few Muslims following the path of Islam in Durango, which has both challenges and benefits, he said.
Dr. Jim Youssef, left, makes notes between visits with patients at Spine Colorado. At right is clinical coordinator Stacey Forsythe. Youssef considers helping people eliminate pain and regain mobility to be one of the ways he follows the Pillars of Islam, the faith he has followed his whole life.
The cover of Nathan Youssef’s book, 101 Ways to Contribute.
Nathan Youssef works with children at the Save Poor Children in Asia Organization school in Cambodia in 2011. “These students are fairly well-versed,” he said about their English studies. “I was helping to develop more advanced curriculum for these students and their peers.”
Working at the Elephant Nature Park in northern Thailand, where abused elephants find sanctuary, inspired Nathan Youssef. He spent six weeks at the park in 2010 and learned about the environmental and political challenges associated with the project.
To help

Nathan Youssef’s book, 101 Ways to Contribute, is available online at 101WaystoContribute.com and in e-book form at amazon.com for $2.99.

While Nathan is not charging for the book from his own website, he is asking those who are able to contribute at least $2, which will be donated to the Elephant Nature Park in northern Thailand where he volunteered for six weeks in 2010.

“This is a small way I can give to this great organization,” Nathan, 17, said. “I learned so much there about how service can overcome the boundaries of culture and unite people. I think that’s the calling for my generation.”

Islam 101

Islam was founded by the Prophet Muhammad, after he received the Quran and its teachings from God through the angel Gabriel during a 22-year period ending at his death in 632 A.D. It is the second-largest religion in the world after Christianity, and despite its beginnings in what now is Saudi Arabia, many of its adherents do not live in the Middle East. Twelve percent of the world’s Muslims live in Indonesia.

There is no central religious authority in Islam.

The religion has five pillars to guide the private lives of Muslims, who observe their day of worship on Friday. They are:



The Shahada, or profession of faith, that “there is no god but Allah.”

Salat, or the five daily prayers at prescribed times with a prescribed ritual.

Zakat, or charity for the poor.

Fasting during the holy month of Ramadan.

Hajj, or the pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca, which is required for every Muslim who is financially and physically able to make the journey at least once.



There are approximately 2.6 million Muslims in the United States, up from 1 million in the 2000 census, making it the fastest-growing religion in America. By the year 2030, one quarter of the world’s population is expected to follow Islam.



Source: Religion Writers Stylebook and U.S. Census of 2010

‘Did you contribute today?’

Nathan Youssef, left, is joined by two other interns and their mentor in splitting seeds to plant for the nursery at a new Elephant Nature Park in Cambodia. “They practice slash-and-burn agriculture, and here we were trying to plant trees in an area they had just cleared,” Nathan said of work he did while there on a six-week Loop Abroad program in 2010.
Dr. Jim Youssef is a spine surgeon and co-founder of Spine Colorado. He also is one of only a few Muslims following the path of Islam in Durango, which has both challenges and benefits, he said.
Dr. Jim Youssef, left, makes notes between visits with patients at Spine Colorado. At right is clinical coordinator Stacey Forsythe. Youssef considers helping people eliminate pain and regain mobility to be one of the ways he follows the Pillars of Islam, the faith he has followed his whole life.
The cover of Nathan Youssef’s book, 101 Ways to Contribute.
Nathan Youssef works with children at the Save Poor Children in Asia Organization school in Cambodia in 2011. “These students are fairly well-versed,” he said about their English studies. “I was helping to develop more advanced curriculum for these students and their peers.”
Working at the Elephant Nature Park in northern Thailand, where abused elephants find sanctuary, inspired Nathan Youssef. He spent six weeks at the park in 2010 and learned about the environmental and political challenges associated with the project.
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