Outreach Ealing would like to thank all members of the Ealing community that attended their Meet & Greet Ealing event on Saturday April 14th and helped to make it a tremendous success. Over 150 people congregated together at Double Tree by Hilton Hotel including:
Rupa Huq (MP for Ealing Central and Acton), Aysha Raza (Councillor for Greenford Green), Praveen Anand (Councillor for Ealing Common),
Abdullah Gulaid (Councillor for Acton Central), Reverend Nick Jones (Rector of Acton), Superintendent Ricky Kandohla (Ealing, Hillingdon & Hounslow Metroplolitan Police) amongst many others.
The event was opened with a beautiful recitation by 12 year old Wardah Jameel of the Holy Quran Chapter 19 (Mary) Verses 1-15. MC and Chairman of Outreach Ealing, Aizad Hussain then presented the key aims of the event which were primarily to improve communications and engagement within the Ealing community and highlighted four shared values that unite us all.
Shazad Amin, CEO of MEND - Muslim Engagement & Development presented a brief history of Muslims in Britain, their numbers, their contributions and the challenges they face especially dealing with Islamophobia. He outlined Mend's dedicated work in association with the Police, Crown Prosecution Service and the Independent Press Standards Association to recognize Islamophobia as a separate entity and with the All-party Parliamentary Group and Electoral commission to encourage Muslims to register for voting.
Rupa Huq MP for Ealing Central & Acton spoke about how the communities should unite in tackling Islamophobia and all other forms of discrimination. She cited the 50th anniversary of Enoch Powell's famous 'Rivers of Blood' speech and how his predictions were so erroneous.
The audience were then in for a treat as BAFTA nominated Alia AlZougbi of the multi-award winning Khayaal Theatre company performed two tales of wisdom and wiles from the 11th Century Middle-East: 'The Competing Artists' and 'The Animals' lawsuit against Humanity'. Her performance was mesmerizing and the stories were both thought-provoking and poignant to community cohesion.
Dr El Sharkawy, Deen of Al Azhar College UK highlighted the shared values between the three Abrahamic faiths and highlighted the need to focus on the major points that unite us rather than the minor points that divide us.
Finally AbdulMaalik Tailor of Muslim History Tours History, a qualified tour guide from Acton, presented the history of Muslims living in the borough of Ealing from early residents such as Haji Muhammad Dollie (1906) and Abdullah Yusuf Ali (1920), through to the arrival of post-WW2 economic migrants and finally to the 50,000+ strong Muslim community it is today. Interesting facts emerged such as Doctor Who being filmed at the site of the West Ealing mosque and that 'The Greatest' boxer of all-time Muhammad Ali presented the now defunct Acton Green Middle School with a cake (both in 1973).
All attendees throughout the day enjoyed the free tea, coffee, juices, cake, biscuits and samosas, browsed through ancient Islamic artifacts and exhibitions and made many new connections within the community.
Outreach Ealing hope to work with all groups in Ealing on future community projects
News Article by Shaheena Uddin in Get West London