Ease Africa 2011
16th September was an exciting day for a group of young men and women, who’ve dedicated their hearts and souls into humanity. Ease Africa 2011, a joint-tertiary effort between Muslim students from various societies and bodies to help raise funds as well as awareness with regards to the famine crisis in the East Africa region was successfully held beyond its expectations.
With little time, these energized souls came together to brainstorm and commit themselves for the sake of their brothers and sisters in crisis. The event was held on a Friday night, at Masjid Ar-Raudhah which spontaneously offered their services and location for this cause.
The event kick-started with a dinner session which was sponsored by Afghanistan Restaurant, Victory Restaurant and As-Sufi Islamic Food Industries. Following Maghrib prayer, there were performances by Madeehul Mustafa and Brother Syamil of which Qasidahs embraced serenity from within the audiences. On top of that, winner of the Ease Africa poetry competition recited a powerful poem with a merciful message for mankind alongside the team’s project director, Sumaiyah Mohamed, known for her flair in poetry who also recited a poem in her opening speech.
What does the worst drought
in sixty years mean
when you have never ever been
to a place where you fought
for even a glass of water? No, not even a single drop
you ever had to yearn for…
… And right now as you talk
how do you even begin to imagine
mothers carrying children because they’re too weak to walk
a thousand miles across borders
all in order
for a chance to live, for hope,
that there could be the rope,
provided by people all over the world who can’t cope
knowing they’re doing nothing
while Allah’s beautiful creations die,
and I mean the sons and daughters of Adam,
and I mean our brothers and sisters,
and I mean people who could have been us.
We could have been that father
who had to leave his son behind while on the way
to a campsite far-away
because the son did not make it.
Now the father can’t take it.
Or we could have been the mother, who watched slowly as her daughter
shrunk in size, except for her stomach,
a sign of an unimaginable hunger,
a sight if you saw, you’d never wish to remember.
So instead, remember this –
that our Prophet PBUH taught us this:
The believers are one body –
when one limb suffers, the whole body
has to respond with fervour,
So let us wake up
from any apathy,
do more than just feel sympathy,
too many are suffering.
Let’s ease their pain
by deeds small but on the Day of Judgement, might not be in vain,
our intention only to gain
the blessings and favour of Allah,
to whom we pray
that East Africa sees a better day.
After the performances, was a short video-sharing session by brother Firdaus Hamzah, who got his Somali friends who currently reside in the States to share their hopes and fears with regards to their motherland. The Somali brothers spoke with passion and introduced the audience to an eye-opening reality of the proceeds that reach Somalia from all over the world.
Following after was a light-hearted forum session with panel speakers Ustadh Haron Hassan Akhtar and Dr Albakri Ahmad, who enlightened the audience with a profound explanation of understanding Allah’s mercy. Donations were collected while the Selawat recitation takes place shortly after a video showcasing a photo montage of the crisis was shown.
At the end of the day, alongside financial collation of which were intended to provide if not much, some form of aid to those facing this crisis, a greater achievement and objective was to ignite that spirit of humanity in these young lives of today as well as to empower them to understand their capabilities and talents to better the condition we live in for the sake of mankind.
Ease Africa 2011 has helped open eyes to what Africa is facing and also made us understand why it is necessary that we make an effort to help those in need.
A beautiful hadith was reinforced throughout this event for the message it brings and aims to bring upon a realization in ourselves with regards to our obligations as Muslims.
Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (May peace and blessings be upon him) said:[quote]“None of you will truly believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself”. (Al-Bukhari)[/quote]
Project Director of Ease Africa spoke about how Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) served as the best example of a giver and how this idea of the event and the people involved in it were driven by him as an inspiration.
“I really saw how willing the Muslim community in Singapore cares so sincerely about their brothers and sisters in need – from the way the guests (mostly made up of students) were so willing to give still, from the way people were moved by the videos screened, from the du’as we made and from how people stayed till late to perform Hajat prayers for them. I’m just thankful that Allah sent us a Messenger that inspired us to move.”
Ease Africa was a simple example of empowered young Muslims who gave out of nothing but as Muslims, and more importantly as those who cared for those who needed to be cared.
By the Grace and Will of Allah, the event managed to raise a total of $22,121.73, an amount that exceeded their estimated target of $15K.
They’ve done it, and done something for humanity.
When’s your turn?
*Pictures are courtesy of Alia Abdullah from Ease Africa.