Zainab Al-Suwaij, the executive director of the American Islamic Congress, is scheduled to speak at a program in Binghamton this weekend.

Al-Suwaij will be a guest speaker at a presentation called "Multi-Religious America: Challenges and Hope." It's to be held Sunday afternoon at Temple Concord at 9 Riverside Drive.

Al-Suwaij is a co-founder of the American Islamic Congress. She was born in Iraq. She fled to the United States about two decades ago after an unsuccessful internal uprising against Saddam Hussein.

Speaking on WNBF Radio's Binghamton Now program, Al-Suwaij said it's unfortunate that much of the violence that erupts in parts of the world can be tied to religious beliefs. She noted the irony as most religious call for peace and understanding, as well as acceptance of others.

Al-Suwaij expressed optimism and hope that multi-faith groups can help reduce the misunderstandings that sometimes lead to intolerance of those with different beliefs.

Sunday's program in Binghamton is made possible through a grant from The Richard Antoun Memorial Fund, which was established to honor the memory and life of the late Binghamton University professor.

Program organizers say they hope area residents will attend the event and hear the presentation of Zainab Al-Suwaij to expand interfaith dialogue and multiculturalism.

Doors at Temple Concord are to open at 1:30 p.m. Sunday. The program is to start at 2:00 p.m.

Organizers say there'll be a suggested donation of five dollars to help cover the program's cost.