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VIProfile: Abdou Kittih

Pharmacist | Director and Founder of Murfreesboro Muslim Youth

By Lee Rennick

A pharmacist by trade, Abdou Kattih initially worked for Rite Aid and Eckerd as a District Manager and then a State Manager. Currently, he works for Walgreens as a pharmacist, where he also coordinates COVID-19 training for all pharmacists and techs in their area stores. He loves serving in the community of Murfreesboro that he has grown to love and support.

Kittih is also the Executive Director and Founder of the nonprofit organization Murfreesboro Muslim Youth (MMY), where he works with young people who do good things in the community. The nonprofit organization is all about promoting understanding. Completely managed by volunteers, MMY is run by the youth involved. Each of the programs run by the organization are coordinated by the kids who come up with the idea.

It is part of the group’s chosen mission to feed the hungry. Feeding the hungry is one of their most successful programs. In 2021, they distributed more than 5,000 meals. These meals included food boxes to families in need, 500 Thanksgiving meals and bi-weekly meals to whomever comes by their new drive-through meal distribution window. The drive-through meal distribution program was created by and is run by a 19-year-old.

Another of MMY’s programs is a food box, called a “Blessing Box,” that sits on the outside of the group’s office space. Anyone who is in need can stop by and take what they need, no questions asked. Or those wishing to help the cause may drop off canned food and dry goods. It is coordinated by a 13-year-old and 16-year-old, who built it, check it twice a week and when supplies run low, it is up to them to find new supplies to replenish it.

A 21-year-old member runs their crisis intervention program, supplying families in need with rent money, transportation, bill payment and whatever else is needed. Roots for Refugees helps to welcome new refugees to the community.

Another one of their successes is developing interfaith understanding. More than 200 youth lead activities took place in 2021, including their bi-annual Love Your Neighbor community potluck picnics. The first picnic took place in 2015 in Barfield Park, and a second now takes place each year on Murfreesboro City Square. Other events include “A Seat at the Table,” which enables members of the community and MMY members to have all kinds of powerful conversations over the course of a year.

While Kittih has always been committed to community service, MMY has allowed him to share his love of service with kids who are 12 or 13 all the way up to 27. Once youth become involved, they never want to leave.

Kids get a lot out of the organization. They build new friendships with people not necessarily like them. Kittih tells all of the youth members to “be proud of their click, but know how to inter-click.”

The organization is built to not just get the kids involved in the community, but to also help them become strong and caring leaders within the community. To complete their mission, the youth members work with a number of other nonprofit organizations, including Snow Patrol, Nourish, Journey Home, Domestic Violence Center and others.

“Murfreesboro Muslim Youth has provided me with opportunities to grow and give back to my community in many ways,” said a young participant named Samer. “I feel like I am a better person because of my time with the MMY.”

Another student, Asma, said, “The program has opened so many new doors for me. I discovered that I am capable of accomplishing so many things I did not know I was capable [of] through MMY.”

When Kittih started the nonprofit, he wanted to get kids connected with other organizations, support their ideas for helping these other organizations, then help them shape these ideas and bring them to life. He also wanted to provide youth interactions, like through twice weekly tutoring sessions and lots of fun activities.

Abdou Kittih was born in Syria. He spent time in the United States off and on beginning in 1995, before settling in Chicago in 1997. He then spent time in Corpus Christi, Texas, and Chattanooga, Tennessee, for 10 years before settling in Murfreesboro about 16 years ago. Since moving to Murfreesboro, Kittih has enjoyed working with both those who share his faith and those who do not.

“I encourage people, even if they do not want to be involved with us, to get involved with the community in some way,” said Kittih.

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