A warm breeze ruffled the flags outside the Islamic Community Centre of Milton (ICCM). The group hosted a family fun fair and festival July 7, 2018. It also served as a fundraiser for the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA).

The festival celebrated Canada’s 151st birthday, and the Town’s 161st. Festivities got underway with a flag raising ceremony and a welcome speech from ICNA Halton Chapter President Ashar Najam. “Being part of Canadian society, you feel this sense of belonging, and helping each other in Canada every day,” Najam told the crowd. Mayor Gord Krantz echoed Najam’s comments in his own speech. “I fully endorse those comments made a short while ago, he said.

The speeches were followed by the flag raising, and the singing of O Canada. Festivities moved to the back of the building where they cut a ribbon opening the festival. The parking lot behind the building was home to food tents, games, and bouncy castles. One attendee realized the family-friendly side of it. “It’s a lot of fun because you don’t get to spend a lot of time with the family. Everyone’s busy, and on their own schedule. It’s a time to come together,” she said. Her siblings battled for attention during the interview.

The festival drew people from outside Milton. The Khan family left Milton a few years ago. They liked the flag-raising ceremony. Faryan Khan, the father liked the fact it was for charity. “We are trying to donate to them, to help them,” he said. ICNA is the Islamic Circle of North America. It’s an organization active in many of the world’s trouble spots including Syria. It was part of a local group of people looking to bring Syrian refugee families to Canada.

The Halton Multicultural council (HMC) partnered with the ICCM on a couple of events. Board President Ross Bragdon stresses the role of events like this in opening up dialogue. “People need to open themselves up and attend,” he said. “It’s such a beautiful community to join. Be part of it,” Bragdon added. HMC offers immigrants, and refugees help adjusting to life in Canada. For more information visit: www.hmconnections.com

Laura Steiner
Author

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