Advocating for affordable housing in Ottawa, faith groups from the Jewish, Christian, Unitarian, and Muslim communities took on the pouring rain to participate in this year’s Tulipathon walk.
Hosted by the Multifaith Housing Initiative (MHI), a non-profit coalition in Ottawa, the Tulipathon brings people of all faiths together to walk among tulips and raise awareness and funds for affordable housing in Ottawa.
When Dr. Farook Tareen first came to Ottawa over forty years ago, the Muslim community was small. He joined the Ottawa Muslim Association and maintained the relationship until his death on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012. He worked tirelessly to both develop and nurture the Muslim community and to build bridges with the broader community of Ottawa. The following is compiled with excerpts from emails sent to Dr. Tareen's family by those who knew and loved him.
Looking around the Atrium at Ben Franklin Place on Apr. 10, Mashooda Lubna Syed was moved at seeing so many young women being honoured for showing leadership in their communities.
“It is wonderful to be able to connect with such amazing young women and to hear their inspiring stories! It really does encourage one to push forward and take out that extra bit of time to do a community service,” she said.
In Ottawa, spring is synonymous with renewal, rebirth and of course the awakening of thousands of colourful tulip bulbs from a long sleep during the freezing nights of fall and the long bitter and frigid days of winter.
In 1997, a diverse group of Ottawans led by Dr. Farook Tareen decided to celebrate the arrival of spring by doing something really special. Through the Ottawa Muslim Association, Dr. Tareen launched the Tulipathon, an annual charity walk that brings together people of every faith in an effort to raise awareness about the urgent need for affordable housing in our city.