Faith and community leaders speak at Welcoming Ramadan event
Alima was presented with her prize – donated by Al-Hidayaah Travel – at our Welcoming Ramadan reception at Cardiff County Hall on June 2, which was addressed by faith and community leaders including Stephen Doughty MP.
Alima spoke about how humble and happy she felt at winning, and said she had already ‘given back’ to those less fortunate by sponsoring two orphans through Islamic Relief.
The 50 guests at the Welcoming Ramadan event were welcomed with a beautiful recital from the Qur’an by Sheikh Yaqoub Kutkut. Our Deputy Director, Tufail Hussein, then introduced Islamic Relief’s work around the world.
“We’ve helped to raise and distribute over £140 million worth of aid to those affected by the Syrian conflict,” he said. “That’s something to celebrate. May Allah SWT enable us to gather the rewards of Ramadan and help those we serve.”
Saleem Kidwai, General Secretary of the Muslim Council of Wales, highlighted the importance of working towards eradicating poverty both in the UK and worldwide. He said that people are going without food just a few minutes’ walk from our doorsteps, to it is important for Islamic Relief to help people at home as well as internationally.
Stephen Doughty, MP for Cardiff and Penarth, spoke of the importance of faith-based aid agencies not only providing practical support to the world’s poor but also campaigning on their behalf. “It’s great to see Islamic Relief celebrating the progress that has been made in tacking poverty with its Ramadan campaign,” he said. Speaking about besieged and other hard-to-reach areas of Syria, he added: “Whatever the consequences of the conflict, we must stick to humanitarian principles and help.”
The Welsh Police Commissioner, Alun Michael, spoke about the long history of Muslims in Wales.
Father Gareth Jones, a Welsh Catholic priest, drew comparisons between Ramadan and Lent, and spoke about what true fasting should be. “Fasting is diminished if it’s just to give money, but if it’s giving with the heart and creating a relationship with the Almighty, then giving will not be diminished but be a movement of the heart. Every day should be Ramadan.”
The reception was hosted by Zia Salik, Islamic Relief’s National Community Fundraising Manager. He thanked the community in Wales for their commitment: “All our work wouldn’t be possible without the community putting their trust and faith in us.”