The sun shone down on my family and me as we entered Brewer Park June 30, joining Ottawa Muslims and members of the greater community as they ate, shopped, and played at the Sadaqah Food Bank Food Festival, an innovative fundraising event.
People streamed in from the park's entrance and parking lot off Bronson Avenue, across from Carleton University. Large bouncy rides seen from the street invited children to come in and play while adults were lured in by the long line of tents offering food for sale.
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.
Ahmed Ali and his family smile when contemplating their next move. The house they will move into isn't ready yet, but thanks to the Habitat for Humanity housing program, the house will be their very own. And it comes with an interest-free mortgage.
For a family with five children -- two having special needs -- sharing a three-bedroom townhouse has been a challenge. They desperately need more space for their growing family, and so when Ahmed heard on the radio that there might be a way for him to move his family into a home they could affordably own, he began the process of applying.
Habitat for Humanity is an internationally-known initiative that helps low-income families acquire their own homes, either by renovating existing properties for them, or by building brand new homes for the families from the ground up.
Sometimes a slow start leads up to a surprising finish. Look to the west of Ottawa, to the site of the Jami Omar Mosque, where after years of what looked like little or no progress, there now stands an almost fully completed mosque.
In truth, major construction on the Jami Omar Mosque had been completed much earlier, but as with the other mosque projects, most of it occurred underground, noticeable only to careful observers. Now, that the basic structure of the mosque is complete, it is easier more those of us driving by the site to connect it with the beautiful artists' rendition of the finished building found on the Jami Omar fundraising webpage.