Catholics will link up with Islamic fayre in Bristol

By staff writers
19 Jul 2007

People in and around the Clifton Catholic Diocese in southwest England have received a special invitation to the Islamic Cultural Fayre in Bristol on Sunday 22 July 2007, reports Independent Catholic News (http://www.indcatholicnews.com/).

It is anticipated that thousands of local people will flock to Eastville Park from midday to 6 pm to take part in the South West's biggest annual Muslim event: The 9th Islamic Cultural Fayre.

Begun in 1998, the event has developed into the biggest event of its kind in the South West and has become a vibrant celebration of Bristol's diversity. This year the theme is one close to many people with the local Christian communities ­- "our environment and ecology".

Kalsoom Bashir from the Bristol Muslim Cultural Society (BMCS) said: "The theme of this year's event is the environment 'One people, One planet, One future' - there will be plenty of stalls and information emphasising the importance of caring for our environment from the Islamic perspective, and what people can do to help preserve our planet for future generations."

Fr Robert King, the Clifton Diocese Interfaith Officer, will be calling into the fayre. He said: "I'm delighted to be going along to the fayre on Sunday. It is a wonderful opportunity to further develop our mutual friendship and endeavours to create a tolerant community. The fayre will be an interesting and fun way for many people to learn more about our community."

Fr King will be joined by Sister Moira McDowall of the Clifton Diocese Justice and Peace Commission.

Farooq Siddique of the BMCS, which organises the event every year said: "Of course there are lots of fun activities for everyone to see and do. But on a serious note the event is also about bringing communities together. It's about showing the true and tolerant face of the people of Bristol and the South West, standing together and standing united. Now more than ever, that is what is so special about this event, and our city and region ­ that is what must be celebrated."

Rizwan Ahmed, Event Coordinator added: "Islam is a religion of peace but is also known as a religion of nature. This is because in so many places within the Qur'an, God invites humankind to constantly reflect upon the natural world. In Islam, humans are considered to be the 'Guardians of the Earth'."

He continued: "The earth and its resources are considered to be a trust from God. We are expected to use, preserve and take care of this trust, ensuring sustainability."

Suneya Azad, part of the event's lead organising team said: "The event includes many attractions for people of all ages: a major funfair, live stage performances from around the world, quad bikes, stalls, bazaar, exhibitions, a major soccer tournament, games and many other fun activities, all provided in a culturally sensitive environment for the whole family."

There will be many workshops for people to take part in, including local artist Mohammed Ouammi's calligraphy workshop - explaining, illustrating and allowing visitors to try their hand at the often intricate and beautiful details of Islamic calligraphy.

The Avon Wildlife Trust will also provide a workshop including mini pond-dipping and making mini beast hotels (you'll have to come to the event to find out what on earth that is!), masks and frog bookmarks!

Islamic Relief, the British charity who will be raising funds for international relief projects on the day, will recreate an African Village Hut, and refugee tent.

You can also take part in the exhilarating pace and competition of the 20-team, 5-a-side football tournament.

There will be live stage performances from internationally renowned 'nasheed' group SHAAM and Bristol's very own acclaimed solo artist Farzeen Nazeer. Also on stage will be Muslim comedian Prince Abdi, voted UK Somali Comedian of the Year, and the pulsating sound of African Drummers will complete the live on-stage line up.

The Islamic Cultural Fayre 2007 Bazaar promises to be an Aladdin's cave of diverse and colourful stall's from around the country, selling everything from perfumes, incense, pictures frames and posters, artefacts, clothing, CDs and DVDs, books, jewellery, health products and much more.

Entry is free and everyone is welcome, say the organizers.

With acknowledgment and thanks to ICN.

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