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The Bicentennial Commemoration Report

Probably the largest collaborative effort of any kind among Muslims in South Africa”

 “I would like to congratulate you on achieving a formidable task in co-ordinating and organizing a successful get together of all Muslim Schools and Madressahs on Sunday 19 September 2004 at the Lenasia Soccer Stadium”  (R Mohamed – Principal :Lenasia Muslim School)

 ACHIEVEMENTS:

Concept Document & Proposals: Conceived of idea; Prepared, developed and circulated the concept document widely to obtain broad community support.

 Jalsahs in several schools and madressahs: Jhb Muslim School; Nurul Islam School (Lenasia); Orient Islamic School (Durban); Roshnee Muslim School (Vereeniging); Anjuman Islam (Durban); Islamic Educational Centre, Ladysmith;; AsSalaam (KZN); Al Huda (Klerksdorp); Springs Muslim School. (Several schools and Madressahs held own functions and activities but did not provide feedback. Schools listed above provided full programmes of their activities and events.)

 Islamic Art & Essay Competitions: Jhb Muslim School; Nurul Islam School (Lenasia); LMA Madressah; Al Aqsa School; Bayt Un Noor Madressah; etc.

 Bokaap Bicentennial Commission/ Cape Town:  March and childrens programme; gathering on Grand Parade; march through city centre to the Bokaap;

 Boland Islamic Council: Jalsah and day programme for communities in the Boland area eg Paarl; Worcester; Ceres; Stellenbosch. 

 Created awareness: around Tuan Guru; Sara van den Kaap; Role of Robben Island in Muslim history; development of Islamic literature; other personalities, and events; generally around the theme of Muslim history, contribution and future.

 The Voice of the Cape  Awards  and dinner highlighting Bicentennial

 Radio Programmes: SABC; Channel Islam; Radio Islam; Al Ansaar; The Voice; Eastwave

 Feature Programmes: Series of programmes  on the Voice

 TV: SABC Morning Live; ETV; ITV. Series of Programmes on ITV.

 Print: The Star; Al Qalam; Muslim Views; Sunday Argus; Cape Times; Die Burger; Sunday Tribune; Indicator; Lenasia Times; Southern Globe; Sunday Tribune; Daily News; School magazines: Islamic Educational Centre, Ladysmith; Roshnee Islamic School; Springs Muslim School; Sunday Independent; ArRasheed; OIC IRCICA Newsletter; Journal of the Islamic Medical Association of SA. (IMA); POST; Saturday Star Travel; Tribune Herald News. School Matters etc

 Friday Khutbah: Developed an Arabic Khutbah for the occasion which was read at various masajid in the Cape; Some leading Ulama (Ml Ebrahim Bham) delivered a  Khutbah at the Newton Masjis – Johannesburg.

 Embassies: Visited and briefed the Embassies of Saudi Arabia; Sudan; Libya; Algeria; Invited all embassies to events.

 Trophies: Sponsored a “Bicentennial Trophy” to the AMS Soccer Tournament; Also a trophy for the Voice Soccer Tournament and a speech at the Prize Giving.

 School Packs: Prepared a school pack of short plays and resources and distributed to all Muslim schools countrywide.

 Poster Competition: Ran a Bicentennial poster competition

Pamphlets and Posters: Special Bicentennial pamphlets and posters produced. Distributed about 100000 pamphlets  to create awareness and mosque boards posters.

Briefing Meetings: Schools and madressahs and major stakeholders; AMS Education Conference; AMS Principals Forum; Durban Orient Club; Jhb donors.

Al Huda Women & Youth Magazine: Special Bicentennial Edition

 Certificates:  Of participation and gifts presented to all children participating in the Jalsahs; Of Gratitude presented to all institutions  participating in the Bicentennial.

Public Briefings:   Johannesburg; Cape Town; Durban

Logo: Designed special logo and promoted for use by all; appeared in several publications including Sanzaf; Association of Muslim Schools; Roshnee Muslim School; Muslim Views;

Bicentennial Commission formed with broad support from leading Ulama, business, academics,  professionals, and community workers.

Messages of Support:  From Presidency, and several other dignitaries, MEC’s, Councillors, Premiers, Ulama, and organizations

 Principals Forum: Presentation to Association of Muslim Schools Princiapals Forum at Erasmia, Tshwane.

 Theme Song: Produced and broadcast a theme song.

National Anthem in Arabic: Produced CD, distributed to all Muslim Schools; and madressah participating in Children of Islam Jalsah. 

 Government: Held briefing meetings with the Presidency and obtained letter of support and recognition.

Children of Islam Bicentennial Jalsah – Lenasia

  • Gathered  over 7000 people. Including parents, educators, learners, ulama, local community, councilors, MPs,

  • Involved  over 7000 people. Including parents, educators, learners, ulama, local community, councilors, MPs,

  • Involved over 50 Muslim schools, Madressahs and youth groups

  • Mobilised and deployed over 150 volunteers

  • Served  5000 pies,  20000 sachets of water, 6000 juices and soft drinks; 3000 snack packs

  • Staged  over 50 cultural items – songs, sketches, plays, nazms, qira’as

  • Over 300 children on stage

  • 37 buses hired to transport children from as far as Ogies and Witbank and from surrounding areas of Riverlea, Mayfair, Bosmont, Rievallei, Ennerdale. Lenasia South, Kliptown, Wielers Farm..

  • Guest Speaker: Deputy Minister of Education Hon Enver Surty

§         Special messages: Mufti AK Hoosain; Moulana Yusuf Patel; Shaikh Basyuni; Ml Abbas Hlatswayo; Mayor Amos Masondo; Gauteng Legislature; MEC for Sport and Recreation; MEC for Safety and Security

 

It was a unique experience…The gathering was an inspiration to the youth who were made aware of the struggle for religious freedom during colonial rule. We the youth realized the beauty and essence of Islam first hand by the excellent rendition of lectures, nazms, speeches, etc. The highlight of the event was the National Anthem in Arabic showing how versatile Islam is.”   Sadia Omar, Fatima Dadoo, Muazza Vawda, & Raeesa Essop (Lenasia Muslim School).

 

Plenty positive comments and feedback received. Will continue organizing this type of event perhaps on a three yearly basis. An outstanding success!! Alhamdulilliah.

Involvement of Community: Several sponsors helped to make it a success . From small amounts of R10 to larger amounts of R10000,00. Awqaf SA is very grateful to all the sponsors, volunteers, and service providers.  All of whom can be classified as “Gold Sponsors”.  

Bookmarker: Printed and distributed 100000 special commemorative book markers.

Childrens Manifesto: Prepared and printed on bookmarker.

Corporate Staff Meetings and Presentations: Telkom Islamic Association

Research articles: Several research articles were produced and several articles specially written and published by students and school learners.

 Email News: Around 20000 Awqafinsights  Bicentennnial News emails sent to database locally and internationally.

 Website: A special Bicentennial page was set up on the Awqaf SA website. All resources were made available to the public through the Awqaf SA website. Schools throughout the country had access and positive comments were received.

Prof Amjad Ali: Presented the Bicentennial to participants at the Islamophobia talks of Prof Amjad Ali and the Centre Against Racism in Johannesburg. Distributed Bicentennial pamphlet.

 

CRL: Commission for Religious Cultural and Linguistic Rights Conference: Bicentennial was acknowledged at the forum. Pmaphlets and bookmarkers distributed.

 

Media releases: Sent to all media after every event.

   

Extract from Audited Financial Statements  31 December 2004:

      Bicentennial Project     
     

      Donation income

               130,901
      Direct costs  

            -125,721

     
      Net surplus  

                         5,180

Funding: The entire project was funded through donor support. Several suppliers and service providers rendered services free of charge. Apart from office costs, all volunteer time came free of charge. May Allah reward all abundantly. NB> No waqf funds (capital or revenues)  were used to fund the Bicentennial project. No government funding or any other source except as stated above. Donors ranged from R10 to R10000.  It must also be noted that all groups and organisations that participated did so at their own cost. The only direct subsidy (included in the above cost) was to the Bokaap Bicentennial Commission. That subsidy amounted to R10000.00

SHORTCOMINGS:

Due to lack of capacity and/or funding:

  • Unable to take the Bicentennial to every town and city in SA;
  • Unable to reach every madressah and masjid;
  • Unable to brief a full gathering of Ulama;
  • Unable to produce a coffee table magazine;
  • Unable to obtain support on Town and City History;
  • Mobilised a group of people to carry through a School & madressah curriculum
  • Marketing to the broader public through posters, newspapers adverts not adequate

 WAY FORWARD:

  • International Symposium on Islamic Civilisation in Southern Africa – While the Bicentennial was done at a mass level, need also to dig into research and high level academic deliberation.

  • Publication of symposium research papers.

  • Publication of an annual journal of articles on Islamic Civilisation in Southern Africa thus providing a platform for academics, intellectuials and Ulama to do well researched articles.

  • Development of School/Madressah curriculum on Muslim history and contribution in SA.

  • Prepare a glossy Coffee Table Book on Islam/Muslims  in SA to be distributed widely to decision makers.

  • Develop the Muslim history re: Town / City/ Family research history series.

Conclusion and Gratitude:

Overall,  an outstanding achievement. All Thanks and Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. Thanks to all donors, volunteers, service providers, educators, school and madressah governing boards, organizations, institutions, children, youth, parents, officials, authorities  etc for helping make the Bicentennial Commemoration a resounding success.

 

Awqaf SA Bicentennial Team  & Bicentennial Commission