Photos by: Ann Kornuta

2017 marks Canada’s 150th birthday, and Milton’s 160th birthday. The Islamic Cultural Centre of Milton (ICCM) wanted to mark both occasions, and the end of Ramadan. They held a fun fair July 15, 2017 in the afternoon. “All we want to give to the community is fun. All we want from the community is to have fun,” ICNA Canada Halton Chapter Ashar Najum said. ICNA is the Islamic Circle of North America.

The ICCM is in the industrial section of northeast Milton. They run social activities, and outreach programs for the community. “This is an event hosted by the Muslim community of Milton. But we want to take this as an event for the whole community of Milton,” Najum described.

The festival took place in the centre’s back parking lot. There was plenty of kids’ activities including a bouncy obstacle course, an exhibit on reptiles, and an area to play active sports such soccer and basketball. Shyonton Chowdry volunteered in the basketball area. He’s entering high school next year, and usually attends the events for fun.  He’s involved with fun fair because it demonstrates an example for younger kids. “It shows value in the community.  It shows that there’s a lot of youth helping these days.”

Ayisha Raza stood in line with her son in the line-up for the bouncy castle obstacle course. She saw the fun fair as a place to meet away from the business of everyday lives. “Everybody is working, nobody gets time to meet with each other. We can have fun. Our kids can have fun.” Raza said. The obstacle course was the first thing her son Zayn saw when they arrived.

ICNA operates as a relief agency as well providing aid throughout the world. Within Canada they operate a wide variety of programs from Women’s Shelters, and Food Banks. “We not only do it for the Muslim community, we do it for everyone,” Humaira Bashir explained.

ICNA has a Syrian Refugee Sponsorship program. Their goal with this program is to bring 100 Syrian refugee families to Canada. “We give them settlement support,” Bashir said. They have so far brought 30 families, and settled 19 in the Milton area. They also serve as a connector putting them in touch with other refugee families.  For more information on the ICCM visit: www.icnamilton.com. For more information on ICNA Relief Canada, and its programs please visit: www.icnareliefcanada.ca.

Laura Steiner
Author

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