Monday, 11 September 2017

Eid by the Lake 150 takes on racism in Durham

Last year, on a day like today, Sep 11th, we celebrated for the first time Eid by the Lake in Ajax Toronto.

To commemorate 2017 Eid-al-Adha, we embarked on an Interfaith prayer remembering the victims of 9/11 and praying for world peace!  This year's theme was "Unity". We also thought that having this event in an open space welcoming neighbours and friends during our celebration will return the feelings of being in the “home country’! This year we remember the victims of the recurring Hurricanes in the U.S. and throughout the Caribbean and the stateless people of Rohyinga during a minute of silence.

With our great Canadian flag and Canada150 banners gracing the hall, the day began with the amazing MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes of Whitby bringing greetings from the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, added with her own energy and diversity experience followed by the Canadian National Anthem. Later, with a message from the Premiere of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne brought by MPP for Whitby/Oshawa, Granville Anderson whose personal diversity and engagement was refreshing, the Festival kicked off.  Habeeb Alli welcomed all and reminding attendees that the Prophet Abraham thought us to love all.

The event was soon abuzz with people flowing through the beautiful Abilities Centre in Whitby ON, a stone's throw from Lake Ontario. People heard about the free event meant to bring people together against hate and racism in Durham from a wide variety of media including Durham news and flyers left in the mosques and stores. Some found out about it from family and friends and of course from DJ Riyad Sangeet TV!

The food vendors and volunteers were amazing, creating the feel of a Festival.  The added attraction was the fabulous musical talents of Soma Kissoon, Raza Rizvi, Nazroon Khan, Munir Mohamed, Nazim Mohamed and Qudsia Hussian adding joy and at times sweet nostalgia with their Indian golden melodies! People travelled from as far as Peterborough and Cambridge and throughout the GTA to be there!

Outside the atrium, the patio was smoking with bar-b-que burgers and hotdogs, supplied by Crescent Fine Foods and the fish was a rush, made tasty by Shawn Baksh, who had turned his fans into a frenzy for the fresh Guyana fish! The food included chowmein, biryani, roti wrap, phoulourie, kebab, pani puri, cotton candy, fresh smoothies, samosas, etc.  Feroze Hack and Janet Ferouz did an excellent job with their team to keep the bellies happy and tongues sweet this Eid by the Lake 150 celebration!

Inside the atrium things warmed up as MC Anela Jadunandan, Community Advocate and Waqqar Raees of Friends Indeed, shared the floor by unveiling the Canada Post Eid Mubarak stamp plaque and later had a cake cutting ceremony where all participants were invited to join! Rafeek Baksh the official photographer took perhaps the largest selfie yet!

The last day of summer was perfect as people hang outside and families were treated to face painting thanks to Anisah Mobin from Muslim Water Fund and henna thanks to Eklas Merchant from Abraham Festival in Peterborough. The Interfaith segment, however, was indeed a significant contribution to end the growing racism and Islamophobhia in Durham. Pundit Basil Maharaj, Rev Christopher White, Rabbi Karen Goodis, Imam Shakir Pandor and Reverend Earl Smith brought messages of unity from their respective traditions. Tahmeena Bokhari, the popular MC for this segment, has been an fierce advocate fighting  anti-Black racism and promoting equity, she shared her journey of being a Woman of Influence awardee from the Muslim Canadian Council of Women (MCCM) by standing up to bullies since she was a child!

Altogether the many sponsors including Mark Itwaru from Peeks App, Somalia Relief, Human Concern, Brampton Islamic Centre, One Parent, Canadian Pakistani Association, Alif Canada and others were duly recognised.

Funds raised from the event are for helping single mothers and orphans in Toronto through the new non profit One Parent Muslim Foundation - oneparent.ca


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Monday, 29 May 2017

Good story

I saw him in Halifax on the walkway
Throwing rocks thinking of Somalia
A people that once served the Middle East with abundance
Now millions suffer from famine and no water

I heard his words quiver through pain
Like the thunder had hit his heart a thousand volts
Who will take care of the girls of Africa?
While so much we have and cannot fight hunger

A man committed suicide he said in a village far away
A place known for no suicides like there is no snow in a desert
But lost his honor to be a breadwinner
He strung himself on a tree while the little ones cry at his feet

Such is the hardship we fail to comprehend
We are just one click away to make it happen
Don't make color or organisation make you feel complacent
It's not about tribe or religion but where you heart is when Azan is called.



Ramadan gift to nations

Travelling through nations
They seek a threat to destroy
Innocent girls and boys singing
They have no right to miss their family waiting

In seeking their madness
They destroy themselves and their faith
In seeking revenge against the beast who gets hurt but you
For Goliath stands tall growing while David is alone hurting

Don't you see oh youth of madness
No one can change the injustices of Pharaoh
Even Moses escaped and lived in exile
Even the most merciful migrated to Medina with His beloved

So stop taking your life and the lives of others
Make your faith pure and clean by reciting
I will worship God without heeding to the fanatical
I will be like Muhammad on the Day of Mecca-so forgive them!



Confinement


Alone in the dark
Dreams raced for the goal post
Deafening silence spilled beans
The likes of Samosn and Delila can't make it


I heard they talk my name
Through the grapevine and walls beyond Babylon
I walked the pastures for seven moons
In the twist of tragedy my walls confined me

I later made it to Jericho
Where hope and faith are the salt of the earth
People say depression is madness
I say it's divine because it's by Faith you make it

I gathered my grapes
Fit for pigs and not wine
This drunken lover can't find a tavern
The heart was filled way before dawn




Monday, 1 May 2017

Habeeb Alli Bio

Habeeb Alli Bio

Habeeb Alli studied at Queen's College Guyana before he graduated with a Masters in Islamic Theology and Arabic Language from the famous Deoband Seminary, India. He also holds a Diploma in Journalism from Delhi.

Habeeb is the author of eighteen books on Canadian Muslims and Contemporary Islam including Red Coconut- bridging the racial divide.

He is a member of the Canadian Council of Imams and served as Secretary for six years. Mr Alli serves as director at the Abraham Festival in Peterborough.

Imam Alli has presented on Islam in many conferences over the past nine years and was a regular contributor on Allexperts.com. He was recognised by the Junctian Network for Community Service in April 2017.

He presently serves as Development Director at One Parent Muslim Foundation- dedicated towards single mothers and as a Federal Chaplain with Correctional Services Canada.

The Poet is the founder of the annual One Love Gala- in recognition of successful reintegration of inmates. He sits on a number of community boards and speaks several languages.

Habeeb blogs at www.whispersofkaieteur.com




Friday, 28 April 2017

Abraham Festival Peterborough 2017

Abraham Festival
Known for visiting places of worship
And for the fourteenth anniversary
We have three amigos from the South doing comedy
 An Imam, A Rabbi and A Priest

It just goes to show
We are not only inspiring Canadians
Only this week
I reminded someone
That the mosque was rebuilt
With Jews and Christians donating
While the Muslims were laughing all the way to the bank

Like the river of Babylon
Today First Nations join us
To celebrate our water crisis
That our Canada isn't 150 years
But 150 plus of rich history 

So while we laugh tonite
With the Interfaith Amigos
We must remember

Abraham opened his tent to every stranger 
And First Nations welcomed us from around the world
We will always sing Shalom, Salam and Megwich!

MEGWICH!

Friday, 14 April 2017

Poem on Lac La Biche- Romance of Lebanese and Cree

Up North
Where Borealis and deers kiss
The white blanket of Arctic light
Enchants a Cree woman Mcredi and Ali of Beirut

After one century and three Decades
A town filled of families
A life filled with accomplishments
A nation joined by two cultures

The first mosque furthest north for a while
Success in business and politics
A mayor who is proud to attend Juma
A fur trader who opened Hudson river

The romance that catches the eye
The man who was a friend of her brother
Hanging out together in a party
An suddenly like the moon had entered the room

How about some fresh air outside my fair lady?
Lac la Biche is the lake of the deer
Like the panting deer yearns for water so their hearts
The rest is a beautiful history!