Under the patronage of Darulfatwa (Islamic High Council of Australia) Islamic Charity Projects Association Australia (ICPA) a non-profit organisation which works for the community, held its 28th annual Ramadan Iftar Dinner at Salamah College Hall on Friday 8 April 2022 attended by more than 200 prominent guests from diverse backgrounds and professions.
The invited guests included Muslim and non-Muslim religious leaders of Sydney’s communities, Members of Parliament,NSW Police Force, members of media, school principals, captains and students of Salamah college, government officials, academics as well as consul Generals representing a number of countries.
The guests were welcomed by Mr. Wisam Saad principal of Salamah college who was MC for the event. Student Adam Malas from Salamah college, in his melodious voice gave Adhan, the Arabic call to prayer for guests to break their fast and beginning of Iftar dinner.
Evening prayer was followed by dinner, beautiful recitation from the Holy Quran by Adam Malas and the national anthem was strikingly rendered by Mrs Mariam Saad.
The host of the event, President of ICPA Hajj Mohammed Mehio spoke about the charity project’s beginnings 30 years ago and its interest in education and in creating a global village that extends from the cohesion of local diverse cultures. ISPA facilitates the delivery of accredited Scripture curriculum to NSW government schools and runs Saturday Arabic and Cultural schools.
His eminence Professor Sheikh Salim Alwan Chairman of DarulFatwa Islamic High Council spoke highlighted the role of DarulFatwa in Australia, adding that the dissemination of awareness and knowledge are Darulfatwa’s highest priority as evident in its training of Imams alongside its active youth programs to protect and support their wellbeing. This was followed by a video projection on the remarkable history of the ICPA in Australia and some of its outstanding achievements and establishments to date.
The Hon. Alex Hawke MP Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs representing the Prime Minister of Australia presented the Prime Ministers Ramadan 2022 message to the audience and thanked the ICPA for its strong advocacy against the rise of anti-Muslim sentiments and the need for Muslim community concerns to be heard, also highlighting that these calls have been enacted upon.
The Hon. Jason Clare MP Federal Member Blaxland representing Leader of the Opposition, The Hon Anthony Albanese spoke next about the importance of Ramadan not just for Australian Muslims but for all Australians alike, because it gives us a chance to learn about each other and enables all Australians to serve each other. He commended the extraordinary job that DarulFatwa and the ICPA have done over the past decades and particularly in promoting peace and harmony in our society and upholding our shared values of integrity, honesty and compassion.
Representing the Premier of NSW, Hon. Dominic Perrottet, Ms. Wendy Lindsay, MP Member for East Hills thanked Australian Muslims and particularly the ICPA for all it does in our community and emphasized the importance of us all coming together regardless of our backgrounds to build social cohesion.
Mr Stephen Kamper, MP, Member for Rockdale Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism representing NSW Leader of the Opposition The Hon. Chris Minns, MP wished all Muslims a holy Ramadan and thanked the ICPA for its ongoing initiatives and for providing communities with opportunities to learn more about each other. The event concluded by the presentation of awards to some newly graduated teachers and Imams of Al Azhar Course 2021 who were presented their certificates by Mr Yasser Abed Consul-General of Egypt and Prof. Sheikh Salim Alwan.
Julia Finn NSW Labor Member for Granville, Shadow Minister for Sports and Youth, and David Shoebridge NSW Senate Candidate for The Greens and Lee Rhiannon former NSW Senator and former Greens NSW member of NSW Legislative Council also attended the event. A stage photo was taken with the dignitaries and in his closing statement Mr Saad thanked everyone for coming.