Monday, 30 November 2015

One Love Gala 2016

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Youth Help Line

I had the pleasure  of being a guest of an organization  I was fortunate  to be an advisor for 10 years ago last eve at Liberty Grand. is the only youth hotline in NA and has processed  10000 calls from suicide  to drugs and everything  in between  that youths suffered  from.
Imam Khalid Latiff was phenomenal  when he related his own journey  as a youth and how listening and not judging has helped thousands  on  NYC campus as a Chaplain.
Imam Slimi announced  he has two counsellors at Sayyeda Khadeeja Centre to help  GTA!
CAMH doctors and counsellors were on hand to talk about the importance  of cultural competence in the growing  demand of mental health in the diverse communities.
One speaker pointed out that mental health was the key character  in a number of the most recent extremist attacks in Canada  and Europe.
Of course the media celibrity Nur Toughari expressed, as MC  9f the Gala, her own need for Naseeha  in school when she pulled of her hijab! is a labour of love and funds raised is to help pay for keeping the lines open- longer and broader.
Yaseen Poonah the man behind the movement  mentioned they were able to raise 40K in this first endeavor!

Friday, 20 November 2015

So adorable, Sasha!

It was  amazing. Dr Abdullah, originally from Nigeria, met her mother at Georgetown  hospital. She has a hole in her heart. There is a long terminology for it but for sure it's not asthma, which was the prognosis she lived with until recently.

Because she cannot get enough oxygen she becomes blue! This bottle lasts a month when used every few days.

She laughed with us today after a long time. He mother, Shelly, is a stay at home mom because of her- she too was ecstatic!

We fundraised the 500.00 CDN in a day before leaving Toronto to Panama, from family and friends, through emails and even from some kind associates at the  IDRF AGM.

I didn't  know she is a practising Hindu and so many adorable things of her: like she cannot go to school; had written poems before and dreams of becoming a doctor! She reads voraciously but cannot sit up for long!

I'm glad that we never ask about creed and color when the call to help is made and ever so often.

Sasha's smiles is so much the smiles of innocence or any little girl's smiles!
I feel the Prophetic presence of wiping the tears off Fatima's countenance fourteen hundred years ago in replay!

My friend Shamal who writes these mind boggling brochures organised the eFundraiser and the purchases, etc.

I presented our new angel and beautiful  princess my latest  book of poetry-  Five White  Roses and A Red- hoping she too will publish and soon!

It is indeed a blessing  to be Muslim,  given the reeking Islamophobia !

What a way to spend my day!

Georgetown Guyana

Habeeb Alli

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Rememberance Day With Jasmine

Poppy is so beautiful. I grew up loving the act of placing the bouquet  of red poppies on the wall of Queen's College auditorium in Guyana. However, I must admit I am now a fan of spreading  the lavender  looking Jasmine around the world as Syrian refugees  sprawl worldwide in escape of the land of fragrant flowers.

So here is the scoop. When we were planning  the Rememberance Day celebration in Edmonton some people  thought instead of the red poppy which at times is still not fully embraced by Muslims around the world, the artist should  ceremoniously placed an intricate Jasmine on the right lower corner.

We will not forget the millions of soldiers  who laid their lives down so we may love free from Nazi and neo Nazi racist genocides. We also vigorously remember the million Muslims who died as martyrs on the Flander fields of unmarked places globally. Their sacrifices  are with their Lord.

However,  the worse human crisis since World  War 11 warrants that we Remember Alan  Kurdi  and the millions who either  have died in watery homes or are brutally displaced into alien homes.

Rightfully, Dr Munir El-Kassem defended the importance  of supporting  the Syrian  refugees  last Saturday  night by sharing  his own story  of escaping  Lebanon  as a teen with his father at the helm of their large family. He didn't  minced words for those who wallow  in the literalist approach  to Faith and moreso those who view Islam in their own political  lens. Rememberance Day is filled with gratitude  that one War has ended and the bugle  and bagpipe reminds us that the many other wars must soon end.

When I was invited by Senator Rev  Don Meredith  with Toronto Mayor John Tory last Nov to  commemorate  for the first time Black soldiers who flew in Battalions in Europe, unsung  and never heard of,
I celebrated  my Caribbean  ancestry  and knew that an event  to mark  the Muslim  soldiers of India, Yugoslavia, Algeria, America and Turkey,  etc must one day be commerated.
Thats what I finally  did for my Indian if not my Muslim  heritage.

This week many of my comrades and friends  joined  us in not only pouring their genorosity  in saving refugees  who are victims of a senseless war but remembered quietly all of our ancestors  and pious predecessors  who fought one way or another to make the freedom  of religion  freedom from tyranny.

I wear my poppy proudly!

I await the bloom of Jasmines on shoulders accross  oceans!

Lest  We Forget!