Senator Sam Dastayari hosted a special Eid and book event on Sunday 10 September 2017 at Parra Villa Function Lounge in Parramatta.
The event was organised by the Labor Senator for NSW to celebrate Eid-ul-Adha, marking the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim a as well as to promote Sam’s new book ‘One Halal of a Story’.
The theme for the event was ‘Eid, Pray, Love’ that attracted up to 450 people from various religious communities, cultures and faiths.
The special guests at the dinner event were Mr Bob Carr, former Premier of NSW and former Foreign Minister as well as Mr Luke Foley, the Leader of the Opposition in NSW.
The event was most competently stage managed and MC’d by Aisha Amjad, a Labor Party mover and shaker who brought together a diverse range of sponsors and people attending the event.
One of the aims of the event was to raise awareness of the plight of vulnerable women in the community and support ‘House of Sakinah’ a vital women’s support service providing assistance to vulnerable women in the community, particularly those experiencing domestic violence.
Mrs Firdousi Obeidullah highlighted the services offered by the House of Sakinah and related stories of women who had nowhere to go and needed help from organisations such as House of Sakinah.
The formal program was preceded by a video presentation of glimpses of Eid celebrations in many parts of the world followed by Azan for Maghreb prayer by the Rohingya Imam Mohammad Rafique from Riverston.
The formal program started with a welcome address by Aisha Amjad who heavily criticised Pauline Hanson’s scaremongering of Muslims in Australia and how it was stressing young people.
Veteran journalist Peter Manning introduced Bob Carr and acknowledged the presence of Rohingya families amongst the audience and asked the government to put pressure on the Burmese government to stop the atrocities being committed against the Rohingya people.
Bob Carr spoke about the need for Australia to condemn the actions of the Burmese military and called for action to address the about the plight of Myanmar’s persecuted Rohingya community.
He also defended the rights of Palestinians, and mentioned that the progressive Jews who stand up for the human rights of Palestinians are the Palestinian communities’ greatest allies.
Luke Foley commented on Labor’s successes in NSW local council elections held a day earlier and also called for a stop to ethnic cleansing of Rohingyas in Myanmar.
Senator Sam Dastyari gave a riveting speech in which he highlighted the beauty of Australian multiculturalism:
“..what we have is so unique, and so special, and what’s so horrible is we are actually under attack, it’s under attack and it shouldn’t be under attack. If I was standing here 5 years ago, and someone said that multiculturalism was going to be under attack by this extreme right-fringe, we’d all laugh, but it is. Part of what we have to do as a community is we should fight back, and actually make the case for what is an incredible, successful, multicultural model project.”
Senator Dastyari praised the work being carried out by the House of Sakinah and pointed out the aid programs by Charity Australia International particularly for the Rohingya people and recognised the leadership provided by Mr Wajahat Rana, Mr Khurram Jawaid, Dr Kashif Aziz and Mr Usaid Khalil.
Other guests on the night included comedians Frida Deguise, a Lebanese mother of four, Jamal Abdul from Wollongong, and Saed Batshon, a Palestinian Australian comedian.
More than 100 books were sold, signed by the author, Bob Carr and Luke Foley, making this the largest selling book event for Senator Dastyari since his annual launch at the ALPs annual State Conference.