Successful iftar event uplifts and motivates university students in OttawaWritten by Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan
“Only by working together constructively will the Muslim community be able to uplift itself and serve the country effectively,” Mohammed Zakaria Khan told an iftar (evening meal to break the fast) gathering of students of Carleton University and the University of Ottawa.
The president of the Muslim Coordinating Council spoke at an iftar of Muslim students of the two universities, which was hosted by Human Concern International (HCI) and the Muslim Coordinating Council of the National Capital Region (MCC-NCR). HCI is one of MCC-NCR's member organizations and has previously hosted such iftars. MCC-NCR co-hosted the iftar for the first time.
The iftar was a huge success, with about 200 brothers and sisters from the two universities turning up at the event. Sister Asma Khan of Carleton University's Muslim Students Association managed the function. She informed HCI and MCC-NCR in a letter, that the event was “ a successful and blessed gathering. We were so pleased and honoured to have MCC-NCR and HCI join us, as well as with the turn-out of brothers and sisters from Ottawa U. We look forward to working with both the parties again insha Allah (God willing), and hope the opportunity presents itself soon.”
...“Asma Khan of Carleton University's Muslim Students Association...informed HCI and MCC-NCR in a letter, that the event was ”˜a successful and blessed gathering. We were so pleased and honoured to have MCC-NCR and HCI join us, as well as with the turn-out of brothers and sisters from Ottawa U.'...”
One student stated that this was his first Ramadan away from home and he was very happy to have iftar with lots of brothers and sisters. Another student said that he is alone in Ottawa and two of his cousins have been martyred in Libya, while others have been detained by security, leaving him quite worried. Breaking his fast with his brothers and sisters in Islam served to brighten his spirits.
Kaleem Akhtar, the executive director of HCI, talked about the plight of Somali refugees facing famine in Somalia and Kenya and appealed for funds. HCI is actively seeking to help Somalis.
MPP Yasir Naqvi appealed to the students to play an active role in all aspects of life in Canada.
Because MCC-NCR has no source of income, President Zakaria Khan has appealed to executive committee members to contribute towards MCC's part of the cost.
Once MCC is on a more solid footing, it hopes to arrange iftars for students, especially those from overseas, and others living alone, partly by matching them with families wishing to offer hospitality on such occasions, and partly through other means.
The executive committee members who attended the dinner were President Zakaria, Vice President Jaffar Hashmi and Founding President Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan.
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Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan is a retired journalist, civil servant and
refugee judge. He has received the Order of Canada, the Order of
Ontario and the Queen's Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals for his work as a journalist, leadership of Muslims and efforts to promote understanding between Canadians of diverse backgrounds. He founded the Muslim Coordinating Council of the National Capital Region which seeks to uplift the vulnerable in the community and also work with other Canadians to promote human rights, dignity, justice and equality for all Canadians.