Africause & EJCA partnership multicultural iftar dinner held at Leila reception yesterday was profoundly successful by all measures, some may measure success by volume of special guests but we prefer by the diversity participants from the highest been the Hon Andrew Giles minister for immigration citizenship & multicultural affairs to youth and women from the different communities attending iftar for the first time & the feedback received from participants at the venue and today in writing on social media and text, emails and What’sup etc. the theme of our multicultural iftar dinner was “ the role of leadership and future of our youth”. The program continued with Our esteemed leader the chair of EJCA Mr. Khalil Khalil and Africause board chair Mr Phil Brooker welcoming guests and shiekh Hasan Gebress read from the holy Quran a verse on Ramadan with English translation on display.
The Azan (call to prayer) by our own leader Shiekh Yasseen Musa, followed by breaking fast and prayer. The joy of the evening started with the voice of our women by Mrs. Zahra Abdurahman (very eloquently spoken) welcome & brief background of the women’s group. Her Islamic attire and modest hijab dress represented our women in a voice with dignified image and a role for Eritrean & African empowered women value & traditions in modern society. Then as described by Denise Fitzgerald, Quote (ex-foreign affairs senior staff) “the Minister for Immigration, who focused on objective assessment of the realities and on recognition of the achievements that have been made in the community.” The keynote speaker; Prof Abdullah Saaed’s approach was similar. He focused on the positive contributions of the muslim community in Australia, especially in overcoming hardship, and he went on to address pockets of dysfunction among young people. He saw a way forward as including the provision of safe places, a focus on education, and the provision of specific supports such as mental health support and counselling. He also mentioned discussions with Dr Berhan Ahmed and Mohamed Ibrahim about a research unit to inform and extend such work.” Dr Tim Read (Greens MP) said, contribution of our communities was great. and praised the leaders” for their dedication & commitments to build future generations.
Other speakers include the Hon Lily D’Ambrosi, (MillPark State MP, minister of Climate change, energy, & resources & the state electricity commission) focused on social harmony & empowering women and youth for sustainable change and participation. Dr Julie Edward (JSS CEO) added the role of JSS and social justice for a fair society with special focus on marginalised youth support with target communities. Dr Mohamed Ibrahim (a well know scholar & ex-finance minister in Somali), added the role of leadership and what is leadership? He provided excellent examples from far and near on leadership roles. Mr Kennedy Weldemariam, Entrepreneur & business leader (well known & respected Ethiopian business leader), spoke about opportunities Australia offers requires hard work and focus to achieve success.
Our MC Ms. Poni Tongun, (a prominent & well respected Sth Sudanese young leader) was the star of the evening, with humorous & valued comments. The iftar dinner was to remind each other & endeavour achieve our best human values to treat each other with respect & humility as one of the many values of the holy month of Ramadan, “is a time to purify our soul, actions & behaviours”, in order to be the best human beings to each other and everything living & none living things around us. “Ramadan isn’t about the feast; it’s about commitment, self restraint & charity. May almighty Allah help us to adopt the best values of Ramadan as a habit after Ramadan. With special thanks goes to all our special guests (200+), Laila Receiption staff & management, our MC, the two good friends Hon Andrew Giles, & Hon Lily D’Ambrosi, Dr Tim Read (Green MP), & all other special guests, our volunteers, Africause board & staff members, & EJCA committee members, the Kushetic camera man (Mr Khaled Farah), etc.