SAMAA held Eid Milan on Sunday 22 May 2022 at Bankstown Sports Club to bring together community elders to celebrate the annual Eid al-Fitr festival, this being the first  physical gathering after a long break of more than two years due to COVID lockdowns. 

The main theatre at the club, a state of art facility, was filled with the dignitaries, a large number of South Asian Muslim Association of Australia, SAMAA seniors, community friends and volunteers as well as members of many South Asian communities who extended their support to SAMAA.

Due to recent rise in COVID cases, many more seniors and guests expressed their inability to attend.

The programme commenced with the delightful performance of famous Naat “Tu Kuja Man Kuja” by Sydney singer Tariq Mahmood which took audience into a spiritual and cosmic realm.

MC Dr Nisa Sheriff requested the community to support SAMAA without which SAMAA cannot reach the goals of offering best of services to our elders. Our buzurg deserve best of treatment and services in these golden years of their life as they have reached here after working very hard throughout their lives and sacrificing a lot to raise their children and families, she said.

SAMAA has signed a MoU with Gallipoli Home, the Muslim aged care provider who have built a grand residential aged care facility in Auburn. The two videos were screened showing the facilities at their 102 bed aged care home and detailing the services they offer for Home care.

Dr Abdur Rahman Asarogulu, Chair of the board of directors of Gallipoli Home, in his speech, emphasised that at this Muslim facility, they observe compassion, kindness, and respect for the seniors and their families from all cultural & religious backgrounds. We value the emotional, spiritual, and physical health of our elders, to help them live healthier and happier lives by actively ensuring their individual needs are met.

Representing SAMAA, Mr Zahid Jamil told the audience about SAMAA activities and programmes. To alleviate social isolation of elders, SAMAA brings them together in picnics, cruises, cultural shows which include important information sessions and entertainment.

During COVID scare of past two years, SAMAA held 25 zoom programmes which included important presentations by health and aged care experts and entertainment including Urdu poetry, South Asian songs, Qawwali, and religious talks by overseas and local scholars and poets. Mr Jamil told the audience about the challenges, the elderly face in Australia and why it was important for them to seek available services, both home care and residential aged care.

He observed that there was reluctance among seniors and their families to avail such services which was causing suffering to the seniors. Mr Jamil also emphasized the need of building a respite centre for SAMAA seniors which will bring relief to their carers as well. He appealed to the community to reach out to SAMAA for more information.(http://samaa.org.au)

Hon Shaoquett Moselmane, MLC, gave an emotional speech on serving the seniors and how he himself served his aged mother for many years. He emphasised the need of unity among 1 million strong Australian Muslim community to better undertake important community projects. Labor government is committed to provide better aged care services for all the communities.

Mr Moselmane presented an award to Mr Zahid Jamil in gratitude for his dedication to the South Asian Muslim Community.

Mr Syed Afzal Hussain made a fund raising appeal to the audience. Donations to SAMAA are tax deductible. As we reach end of financial year, you can donate for this noble cause, get reward in hereafter and get tax deduction. The contribution can also be made via the link  https://gofund.me/05c4ad0e.

In the second half, Adakar Theatre staged the famous play Dozakh and audience were spell bound during more than an hour of play.

Written by the legendry Ismat Chughtai and directed by famous Sydney director Saba Zaidi Abdi, the play was a colourful roller coaster of emotions between two women Naulasi Khanum and Umdah Khanum.

The skilled performance of Saba Zaidi Abdi,, Bobby Mallik, Aditi Dey kept the attention of everyone. The ​dialogue delivery, the soundtracks, the background music, the lighting effects enhanced the ambience as people described it a very professional and polished performance. It was an all round excellent show which could grace any professional stage.

The evening brought smiles to the seniors as they left the venue in cheerful mood.