The World Federation’s Second Executive Council Meeting of the term 2017-2020 started on Friday 23 February 2018 with an opening and welcome ceremony followed by an evening of Real Talk with the community.
Following dinner and an opportunity for networking, the event began with a reflection on verses from the Holy Qur’an by Imranali Khaki. He recited from Surah Aal Imran. He spoke about how the best of the community can be achieved through combined effort, faith and enjoining good and forbidding evil. This can only work in a community which is united, moving forward together with common vision.
WF Secretary General, Shan E Abbas Hassam, announced the sad news that
Hassan MM Jaffer had passed away a few hours earlier. He announced that the delegates were welcome to share some testimonials and thoughts about the Marhum. Shan said he had been lucky to receive many emails of advice from Marhum Hassan AM Jaffer, who had a great spirit for the Khoja community. He was keen to preserve our Khoja heritage, having written the Endagerd Species about our community. Shabir Najafi, Chairman of Africa Federation said ‘The world has lost an iconic personality’. He said we must continue his work and preserve our heritage. Dr Akbar Mohammedali, President of CoEJ, 'he has been a role model for me to serve the community' and that his serivce to the community kept him young. He had a great insight and was keen to listen to the youth in our community. This allowed him to be able to converse with people of any ages. The delegation agreed that he leaves a great legacy.
Dr Munir Datoo, the President of Hujjat, welcomed the delegation and spoke about London being the birthplace of WF. He spoke about how he and his team have taken into account the findings of the WF Project North Star last year. He says it’s important we all work together. He spoke about how Hujjat are working to replicate the housing projects from Africa Federation and India Federation. They will inshAllah be annoucing this soon alongside a medicine subsidy scheme.
Dr Akbar Mohamedali, the President of CoEJ, addressed the delegation next starting with remembering Marhum Mulla Asghar and Marhum Hassan Jaffer. He covered some of the current work being done by CoEJ, including the Mulla Asghar Memorial Tournament, the European Hajj Mission and the inaugural Racket Sports Tournament. He spoke about the plans to roll out housing schemes across Europe and further developing the Youth Development programmes. He spoke about how each region faces different challenges and one if the UK's is Islamaphobia. However, the Visit my Mosque day recently was a positive step in combating that. It is important to take part in interfaith events, build relationships and spread the message of Ahlulbayt (as).
four awards were presented by The World Federation. They were:
1. Al-Nur Award - Anwarali Jagani in recognition of length of service to the KSI Community
2. Al-Shams Award - Gulamabbas Khakoo in recognition for your contribution to wider society
3. Al-Qamar Award - Shabbir Lakha in recognition for your voluntary contribution to the KSI Community
4. Al-Najm Award - Siddiqa Juma in recognition of your propagating Islam through Art and Books
We were very blessed to have been sent a message from Ayatullah Sayyid Ali al Sistani (May Allah (swt) prolong his life) for the event. In the address, he has offered five pieces of advice for our community, which you can read here
Our President, Anwarali Dharamsi, presented his keynote address where he addressed a variety of topics. You can read his full speech here
The main part of the evening’s agenda was the Real Talk event held in conjunction with Stanmore Jaffery’s Literary. This was an opportunity for the community to put their questions to the Office Bearers and Regional Leadership teams from across the community.
The first panel was formed of Regional Leaders and comprised of:
The World Federation President - Anwarali Dharamsi
The World Federation Secretary General - Shan E Abbas Hassam
India Federation Hon. Secretary - Ali Akbar Shroff
Pakistan Federation President - Anver Rajpar
Pakistan Federation Hon. Secretary - Hassan Abdulhussein
NASIMCO Vice President - Arif Jacksi
COEJ President - Dr Akber Mohamedali
AFED Chair - Shabir Najafi
FAC President - Hussein Hussein
We had a number of questions posed to the leadership, which covered a variety of topics. The questions asked covered including: having a global Khoja database, inclusive of members of all jamaats, building bridges with other communities and faiths, the lack of female representation in positions of leadership as well as topics with longer discussions, such as keeping hold of our Khoja heritage and entrepreneurship. We will be sharing the questions and answers in more detail in the coming days inshAllah.
The second panel was made up of The World Federation Office Bearers team, including:
President - Anwarali Dharamsi
Vice President - Shabbar Dhalla
Secretary General - Shan E Abbas Hassam
Assistant Secretary General - Mahmood Dhala
Treasurer - Mohamedkazim Bhaloo
Assistant Treasurer - Muntazir Bhimji
The second panel answered questions more directly applicable to The World Federation. These included questions about whether WF should be exclusive to our community, the implementation of the Project North Star findings and the problem of youth disengagement. The discussions that followed proved very interesting, we will share these in the coming days inshAllah.
The evening was very well attended, alhamdulillah, and was an interactive and engaging way for our community to find out more about The World Federation and our Regional Federations.
Our Secretary General, Shan E Abbas Hassam, commented on the event saying ‘these sorts of events are exactly what we, at The World Federation, want to be doing more of. We want to connect with our grassroot members and engage with them through open dialogue. It allows us to answer their questions and for them to have a voice to tell us what they want and expect from us.’