Adeela Kasoojee attended the Mama Afrika #M.A.D event on behalf of IRTIQA on 14/09/2019. This is her personal experience of the event and honest reflections
“Little girl in a hut, little girl big heart… Sitting there on the floor, her name is Ethel. We asked her “if you were to write a letter to the entire world…what would you say?” #ethel replied: “You people of the world, how is your life on your side? But also I would tell them how is the life in #Malawi..within our family…” Being thoughtful to ask how others are doing when you are in dire situations is priceless.” (Africa Muslim Agency, Instagram post @africamuslimagency, September 18th,
2019, 07:35 am)
A picture of Ethel accompanies the microblog post and the audience is acutely aware that little Ethel is a real child. She is not just the poster child for an Organisation or the subject of a photoshoot. Her humanity is evidenced by her thoughtful response and empathy. Despite her poverty, she is still genuinely concerned with the welfare of others. How many of us can claim this type of concern and innocence in our own lives or are we so jaded and consumed by living that we are unable to express care and concern at the plight of our follow beings?
Islam has always been concerned with the welfare of others – Hadhrat Anas (RA) relates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim].
This cornerstone of our religion, that negates the faith of a person who does not see his fellow man as his equal is evidenced by the humanitarian efforts of NGOs like Africa Muslim Agency. Their founding fathers really took the Islamic principles of charity and education to heart. Their relief aid efforts over the past 30 years have resulted in a large number of the underprivileged receiving assistance where required. Their projects include the building of water wells, the establishment of schools and educational facilities, hospitals and clinics as well as universities in regions with a scarcity of resources. Bursaries are available to deserving students who need financial assistance in furthering their studies. Africa Muslim Agency has even established a number of orphanages that house thousands of orphaned children in war-torn regions. All this charity and relief aid is only possible by the grace of our Creator. The generosity of regular donors who are aware of their Islamic and humanitarian responsibilities coupled with the efforts of dedicated staff and relief aid teams allows the vision of Africa Muslim Agency to be realized at grassroots level.
On 14 September 2019, I joined a number of women committed to “Making a Difference”. The #M.A.D. Making A Difference campaign contributes to the lives of those across South Africa, Africa and the Syrian/Palestinian Camps in Lebanon.
Africa Muslim Agency together with program Director Tasneem Valley hosted the Mama Afrika brunch, an event at the Rooftop Café in Rosebank with the intent of raising funds for humanitarian efforts and to assist in the alleviation of poverty in war-torn and poverty stricken regions around the world.
Whilst no woman can resist the opportunity to dress up and enjoy a sumptuous meal – the Mama Afrika brunch had a far more serious concern at its heart. Beginning with a beautiful rendition of Qiraat by a young lady named Aaliyah, Africa Muslim Agency and the ever genial and warm Tasneem Valley, together with the lineup of charismatic guest speakers that included Doctors Shakira Choonara, Fatima Bhaba and Aisha Kaka as well as food blogger, entrepreneur and influencer Fehmida Jordaan, ensured that the common theme running through the morning’s speeches centred on the importance of charity. The eager audience was regaled by tales of marriage, business, meeting soulmates, surviving cancer, life after divorce and real stories of hope and strength. These beautiful sharing’s were interspersed with live crossings to the Syrian refugee Camps in Lebanon and Malawi as well as Skype interactions with refugees and humanitarian aid teams. I am quite certain that every single woman who viewed the interactions and listened to the speakers shed a tear when she realized the reality of life as a refugee or an underprivileged person. Alhamdulillah (praise be to God), the empathy was evident and may we all retain memories of what we saw and heard so that we contribute towards these initiatives on a more regular basis and with a natural inclination and empathy for the plight of our fellow beings.
Tasneem Valley added elements of fun to the morning whilst continually highlighting the chief reason for the event. All attendees were spoilt by a delicious brunch that left nothing to the imagination and gifted beautiful key holders from Africa Muslim Agency as well as Fehmida Jordaan’s delicious mocktail lollipops.
Africa Muslim Agency Director, Imraan Choonara, ended the beautiful morning with an address that will, in shaa Allah inspire many to contribute generously to AMA campaigns.
It was an inspiring morning in the company of women who were not afraid to share their stories for a great cause. May the Almighty reward their efforts as mothers, sisters, and wives. May the collective efforts of our sisterhood and the women #MAD shine brightly and may our brethren in Lebanon and Malawi and others in war-torn lands benefit from the assistance rendered by @africamuslimsagency.
For indeed – “None of you [truly] believes until he loves for his brother that which he loves for himself.” [Al- Bukhari] [Muslim].