Wednesday June 7, 2017
Ramadan celebrations unite growing Muslim community By Meriana Johnsen MASSEY JOURNALISM STUDENT
As the clock struck 5.05pm on Sunday, over 100 Wellington Muslims came together for prayer, speeches and a feast in celebration of breaking fast. The Grand Iftar celebration was held at the Wellington Bridge Club, where the Newlands Muslim community gathered to break fast on the seventh day of Ramadan. Ramadan is a month-long religious tradition observed by the Muslim community where they do not drink or eat between sunrise and sunset. Trustee of Al-Ameen, a New Zealand Islamic charity trust, Ida Saidon said Ramadan was much more than overcoming hunger but a time for selfreflection and appreciation. “It’s about purification – not just about controlling hunger, it’s about controlling egos. “We do a lot of self-reflection. It’s the month to look to the past and forgive,” she said. The fast was broken with a selection of Turkish, Syrian and Egyptian sweets followed by the Maghrib prayer, which takes place at sunset. The feast that followed re-
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A group of young muslim girls pose for a photo before the final prayer, Ishaa. PHOTO: Meriana Johnsen
flected the many ethnicities represented in the Newlands Muslim community, with Indonesian beef rendang and Indian Chicken biryani cuisine for mains. Seventeen-year-old Ahmad Fachri’s rousing speech addressing racist generalisations about the Muslim community was met with high praise by the Indonesian Ambassador Tantowi Yahya. Turkish Ambassador Ahmet Ergin was also recognised as a distinguished guest. After the final of the five prayers, everyone gathered
stayed for the reading of a chapter from the Koran. During Ramadan, Muslims are encouraged to finish all 30 chapters, called sura, of the Koran. Al-Ameen is a charity trust that aims to provide a space for young Muslims in the community to learn the religion. Al-Ameen trustee Herni Zunita represents the women’s views on the board, alongside with Ida. Herni has two sons aged 11 and 16. “What brings us together is that we are immigrants. This is our family, we want to see our
Warehouse Stationery opens in Johnsonville Warehouse Stationery will celebrate the opening of its Johnsonville store this Friday, creating 11 jobs for the area. Located within the heart of the Johnsonville’s main street shopping area, the new Warehouse Stationery store will a range of stationery products, office furniture, technology, art and craft supplies as well as a print and copy centre. Paul Gianotti, The Warehouse
and Warehouse Stationery general manager store support said the company was thrilled to be able to opening in the Johnsonville neighbourhood. “Whether you’re a business person, student or art and crafter – we have everything customers need, under one roof, to be productive,” Paul said. Warehouse Stationery Johnsonville store manager Victoria Lloyd said the state of the art
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print and copy centre would give customers the ability to print everything from pop-up banners to building plans. “This is a fantastic facility for local businesses and students alike who will have easy access to printing and binding of assignments and documents. It also covers all film, digital and passport photographic needs,” Victoria said. The store will open for busi-
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ness from Friday June 9. A grand opening will take place on Saturday and Sunday, June 17-18. Customers will be able to grab some specials, and on Saturday from 11am-1pm there will be a free BBQ, games and prizes up for grabs. Warehouse Stationery Johnsonville will be located at 120 Johnsonville Road and is open 8.30am-5.30pm on weekdays, 9am-5pm on the weekend.
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children grow up together,” she said. Her youngest son had just begun Ramadan for the first time last year and had shared his experienced with his classmates at Karori Normal School. Saidon said that the expanding Muslim population meant they had almost outgrown their Masjid on Kenmore Street in Newlands. The community was fundraising to build a “new modern Islamic Centre” that could better serve the needs of their growing community, she said.
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Independent Herald 07-06-17