The Sydney University Muslim Students’ Association, SUMSA marked the official launch of the long awaited SUMSA Alumni Network on Saturday 25 February 2017 at LMA Function Hall in Lakemba, Sydney.

The aim of the SUMSA Alumni Network is to enrich the Muslim community on campus through the provision and facilitation of strong networks, mentors, guides in their respective professional spheres, enhancing their transition into the workplace and ensuring the formation of a stronger, more interlinked community

The event was organised to appreciate SUMSA Alumni immense legacies and contributions and invite them as continuing stakeholders in the SUMSA community.

Hajar Rafiq (left) and Eman Dandan (right).

It was a time to recollect intimate memories, cherished moments and an opportunity to interact, network and share a rich array of accumulated experiences with past SUMSA prodigies of almost 45 years since the formation of SUMSA in 1972.

It was a sold out event attended by past alumni, a large contingent of past SUMSA presidents, members and their families who after registration were led to their tables and handed showbags full of information brochures, copy of the Quran and SUMSA, 40 years and beyond booklet and a booklet on the current activities and programs of SUMSA.

One of the family tables seated three generations of the Ahmad family who had all studies at the University of Sydney and were alumni of SUMSA spanning over the last 45 years. This included Dr Qazi Ashfaq Ahmad, 88, founder president and Zia Ahmad, 64, founder treasurer of SUMSA back in 1972.

The well organised program started by welcoming of alumni guests, families and current members of SUMSA by the MC, Mohammad Raad, president of SUMSA 2015.

After the most beautiful recitation of Quran by Faisal Alsabbati, a student from Saudi Arabia,  A heart warming speech on the prophetic vision was given by Sheikh Rami AlSharawneh, past president of SUMSA in 2004-2005 who completed Pharmacy and then went on to complete a Masters in Shariah and Islamic Studies from the University of Tripoli, Lebanon.

The event was also addressed by Usthadah Umm Jamaluddin, a graduate from Madinah University, Muhammad Khodr, SUMSA president in 2001, who recited a beautiful Nasheed in Arabic and Asif Molla from National Zakat Foundation on financial legacy.

A panel discussion titled Three Generation Legacies of Ilm & Daawah was held with four past presidents of SUMSA spanning 40 years namely Hajar Rafiq, Eman Dandan, Zia Ahmad and Tariq Shafei being the panelists moderated by Mohammad Raad.

When asked for advice for SUMSA members, Zia Ahmad who was member of SUMSA and president a number of times from 1972 until 2013 when he retired from the University of Sydney said, “You are very lucky to be at the University campus, you have the opportunity and radical energy to be activists and work to change the society for the better, involve yourselves in self education, spiritual development and daawah work. This energy may dissipate once you join the workforce, have family and settle down.”

A short film on the current activities of SUMSA was shown together with a video message from a much loved past president of SUMSA, Dr Zeid ad-Dakkan who is now back in Saudi Arabia.

Ibrahim Albaf, the Marketing Director of SUMSA laid out a Vision 2020 highlighting the strategies for SUMSA to provide much improved services to its members and enhance daawah work further on the campus in future.

Hasan Tahir, the current president of SUMSA concluded the session thanking the guests and the SUMSA Shura and other members for working towards making the event a great success.

A lavish dinner was arranged for all consisting of Lebanese cuisine.