The 6th IFEW Presentation dinner was held on Sunday 23 November at Dar-ul-Islam, Bonnyrigg joined by representatives from local areas Muslim leaders in addition to members of the Islamic Foundation for Education & Welfare (IFEW).

The invitees included families of IFEW members and leaders of the Australian Islamic Society of Bosnia Herzegovina, as well as Sheikh Syed Kandil, renowned for his contribution to the community in Sydney, and Mrs Kandil.

This was the sixth event in a series of ‘IFEW Presentation Dinners’ which were introduced to develop mutual understanding between Islamic Foundation for Education and Welfare (IFEW), Australian MEFF Consortium, organisers of the Multicultural Eid Festival and Fair, with other sister organisations in Sydney. The presentation dinners are held in a family atmosphere during Australian Integrated Family’s (AIF) Usrah session that have continued for more than 30 years.

Held twice a year, short presentations are given by IFEW and Australian MEFF Consortium followed by presentations from invitees to relate about their organisations and personal history, and then finish off with dinner in a casual family atmosphere.

IFEW has been one of the pioneers in establishing daawah, education and welfare activities for more than 32 years in Sydney. One of their offshoots is the MEFF Eid Festival being organised for the past 30 years. A number of IFEW members, parts of a large extended family have been associated with Islamic activities in Australia in general and Sydney in particular for more than 43 years having founded many community organisations and working in fields of education, daawah, publications, family organisation, student, youth and women’s activities.

Imam Jasmin of Smithfield mosque, together with President Damir Hodzic and Br Huska Kazic shed light on the Australian Islamic Society of Bosnia Herzegovina (AIBH). Imam Jasmin gave a short but interesting glimpse of history of Bosnians in Australia and their contribution to building a stronger community. He and other members at this session reminisced about several of the well-known figures in the Bosnian community and activities at Bosnian mosques in Penshurst and Smithfield and the support that Bosnians have given to the community.

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Imam Jasmin addressing attendees

Sheikh Syed Kandil, who performs various tasks such as giving khutbahs, acting as chaplain, and performing various community services was joined by his wife and through them, members at the session came to know more of their personal history and the challenges he and his family faced during the years of living in Australia. Sheikh Syed Kandil, a lifelong student recently graduated with a Masters degree in Islamic Studies from The Islamic Sciences and Research Academy of Australia (ISRA) and Charles Sturt University.

Previous IFEW Presentation Dinner invitees include leaders of a number of Sydney based organisations and their families.

These include Bashar Al-Jamal from Human Appeal, Mehmet Ozalp from ISRA, Ahmet Keskin from Affinity, Mehmet Seral from Galaxy Foundation, Siddiq Buckley from Australian Islamic Mission (AIM), Hadi Shehata from MCCA, Muaz Alhajj from Islamic Relief Australia, Silma Ihram from Australian Women’s Association, and key individuals in the community such as Dr Salim Farrar from the University of Sydney, Dr Jan Ali from UWS, Dr Abul Jalaluddin.

Student bodies have also attended the presentation dinners. These include Presidents or their representatives from Muslim student bodies of various universities including Mahmoud Jame from ISOC, Hisham Krayem, MUMSA, Hajar Rafiq, SUMSA, Souha Alameddine, UTSMS and Hamzah Qureshi, MSAUWS (Parramatta).