The Labor candidate for Fowler, Senator Kristina Keneally shared the joys of Eid celebration at the 37th annual Multicultural Eid Festival & Fair MEFF on Sunday 15 May at Fairfield Showground.

She acknowledged the contribution of its founder, Dr Qazi Ashfaq Ahmad OAM saying, “his tremendous service to this local community and his passion for bringing interfaith communities together will live on through this wonderful festival that he founded, nearly forty years ago.”

“In reflecting on Dr Ahmad’s legacy, and indeed the meaning of Eid al-Fitr, I am greatly moved by this act of coming together. Of sharing. Of welcoming. Of meeting across faiths. Of finding what unites us,” she further added.

Senator Keneally is standing in the South Western Sydney’s electorate of Fowler during the election on Saturday 21 May 2022 and will be the Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Immigration and Citizenship in a successful  Albanese Labor government.

Talking about the Home Affairs portfolio, she said, ” if you listen to our security experts, we are being warned that Australia is facing increasing threats from ideologically-motivated extremism, including right-wing extremism, and political interference in from foreign governments.”

“Both of these threats aim to divide Australian society and undermine Australia’s democracy and multiculturalism. Mr Albanese and I see the response to these as requiring investment in our democratic resilience and our understanding of each other,” she further added.

“We often hear that Australia is a successful multicultural democracy. But we can’t just say it. We must constantly live it, through community, through togetherness, through listening, sharing and understanding, just as we are doing here today, ” Ms Keneally said.

If elected as part of an Albanese Labor Government, as your representative for Fowler, we will continue to bring people together, and leave no one behind,” she concluded.

MEFF, a showcase of Multicultural Australia, that had to be cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions, resumed again this year attracting almost 15,000 people with free entry, rides for big and small and a great variety of food and market stalls.

MEFF has a long track record as one of the legacies of its founders and workers, displaying great resilience, rain, hail or shine, passing on the skills from generation to generation to celebrate Eid through Australian volunteerism in order to put smiles on the faces of young and old in an atmosphere of peace and harmony.

MEFF 2022 was also attended by Greens politician and current federal Senate lead candidate David Shoebridge as well as Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi, who was interviewed by SBS Urdu broadcasting live from MEFF on Sunday 15 May from Fairfield Showground.

The President of MEFF, Hanif Bismi, during his welcome address said, “today, we thank Almighty God for us being here to celebrate the 37th MEEF, a journey that began in 1986 with the far-reaching vision of its founding father, Dr Qazi Ashfaq Ahmad. It is of great sorrow to the Multicultural Australian community that Dr Ahmad passed away on 10 February 2022, but we will continue his legacy with help and support from you.”

“I thank you all distinguished guest for accepting our late invitation and joining us this grand event. Our distinguished guests, Hon Kristina Keneally, former NSW Premier and leader of the Senate, I understand this the time of Federal election still Kristina came to attend this event is great gesture. Mr. Rokibul Islam, Ms. Maha Abdo, Father Patrick and Ms Jaya Chivukula and entire Australian community without your support we cannot run MEFF. This is because MEFF is a not-for-profit volunteer organization and requires your support. However, MEFF is part of Australian Multiculturalism,” Mr Bismi said.

“I personally thank and acknowledge IFEW Islamic Foundation of Education and Welfare, ARO, Australian Relief Organization, ISRA Islamic Science Research Australia, Sajjadia Centre and Alamdar Association sending their volunteers helping us to set up the venue.

A minute of silence was observed from the stage at MEFF where Mrs Mehar Ahmad, a co-founder of MEFF and currently President of Seena Inc said, “MEFF day this year, 15 May marked the annual commemoration of Nakba Day, Palestinian Catastrophe that  lead to the destruction of Palestinian society and exile from their homeland with the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, and their oppression and suffering ever since. Therefore, while we celebrate in peace, we should also remember those who are suffering because of natural disasters, wars, injustice and oppression.

This year’s Multicultural Eid Festival & Fair was sponsored by Meezan Wealth Management.

Comments by attendees at MEFF 2022

“I love the connections that can be formed with my islamic community. The merry atmosphere and the wonderful stalls and rides provide a plarethra of elation to my kids❤️”

“What I most love about MEFF is the multiculturalism and the community joining to celebrate the end of Ramadan.”

“The environment, despite lots of cultures, feels like home.”

“People get together after Covid-19 this is the first time to have so much fun with family and friends”

“I love how all cultures come together as one ❤️”

“it brings together a variety of cultures through fun rides, stalls and activities. everyone is able to have a great time and puts a smile on faces of all ages”

“It’s a nice place for muslims, non-muslims and children get together. Have a praying place is a very wise thought so muslims can pray and remember Allah Subhanahu Wa ta Allah”