Monday 26 November 2007

Islam Channel’s Global Peace and Unity event.

I did say I would write about Islam Channel’s Global Peace and Unity event, which took place this weekend, if I got to go. Well I did, and I am not sure I am the best-placed person to write about it. I went to the first one two years ago and loved the buzz, the gathering of my brothers and sisters, the high quality of speakers and acts and the bazaar. I also attended the event last year. Again the atmosphere was lovely, I met a number of people from work, university and my neighbourhood and some of the speakers were brilliant. Most notable were Imam Yusuf Estes, Shaykh Abdal-Hakim Murad, the former prime minister of Mauritius and Abdul Wahid Pederson of Denmark. However, one of the things that riled quite a few people was the use of music in the segments performed by Yusuf Islam and I vaguely recall another young group from Canada. My husband was one of the ones who sat stony-faced through these performances. I was a little disappointed as one of the reasons I had been keen on these events was that they were an Islamic, halal alternative to other media or events that are out there. Also, the best speakers were kept till the end (8pm) by which time people, especially those with children, were tired and just wanted to go home. Last year this included 90 minutes of the organisers displaying an orgy of backslapping as they awarded each other prizes and bored the audience to death. In 2005 this meant keeping the excellent Dr Zakir Naik till the end, bringing him on 45 minutes late and then trying to get him off stage mid-flow as the show had to end. Keeping in mind the music, prize-ceremony and the exorbitant prices in the bazaar (pushed up by ridiculous stall-hire prices) I decided not to buy tickets this year. My husband had other plans.
He booked a job doing the deliveries and pick and drop for one of the food stalls, which also happened to be doing the catering for the after-show VIP dinner. Mother-in-law is adamant that despite being too ill to walk much, that no-one goes anywhere fun or interesting without her (a trait I admire and plan to emulate). So on mention of free tickets from the catering boss we were all bundled in turns into hubby’s truck and delivered into the event via the service entrance.
Once there, mother-in-law got tired and wanted to go home, so we didn’t get to see any of the speakers. Visited the bazaar (expensive), the black cloth of the Kaaba (kiswa), which was there last year and met some friends and bought a hijab pin (woo-hoo big spender). Best thing though was that hubby bought home tons of good food which included some rather rubbery chunks of spiced meat. Dad-in-law confirmed that these were chunks of camel - first time for everything I suppose. Anyway, got to sit in hubby’s truck, which was fun.

1 comment:

  1. I too was disappointed with the event. I wanted to impression my husband who has been in the country for almost three months especially as I had gone on about it for sometime. I think he enjoyed shouting "Asalam wa alkaikum" from the top of his voice which annoyed my sister. I'm sure he was caught on camera. He wanted to ring his dad in Morocco during the event to tell him to watch the Islam Channel as he would be on it. I kindly disappointed him by saying that Morocco does not get this channel but that didn't stop his excitement.

    I believe they could have saved the awards till last as although I agree we have a duty to show our gratitude to others I also think that the organisers could have spent that time getting important messagers across. For instance, they invited a Revert all the way from Texas only to allow her to speak for about 3 minutes regarding herself which in all honesty did not help me want to stay past 7pm. i think she was annoyed that they told her to change her speech. Well, I don't think I will be going next year!