Part 1 – Madagascar
Momentous and breathtaking occasion marks the Africa Federation delegation marathon seven days visit to Madagascar, Reunion and Mauritius Islands in March, 2014. The delegation was led by the Africa Federation Chairman, Alhaj Anwarali Dharamsi who was joined by the AFED Vice Chairman and Chairman of Conseil Régional Des Khojas Shia Ithna-Asheri Jamates De L’ océan Indien (CROI), Alhaj Navazaly Molou. The delegation included the AFED Hon. Secretary, Alhaj Aunali Khalfan, the Hon. Treasurer, Alhaj Mohamed Hemani and AFTAB Chairman, Seyed Hassan Naqvi.
The Africa map below shows the Indian Ocean Islands of Madagascar, Reunion and Mauritius. A visit to these places provided the AFED office bearers with useful first hand information and an opportunity to meet the leadership, social workers and community members, also to witness the social and religious activities and the economic developments undertaken by our community members in these three Indian Ocean Islands.
The first stop-over was in Antananarivo, Madagascar, total membership presently stands at 4,500 heads spread out in 15 Jamaats; largest among the 15 Jamaats is Antananarivo, which is also a capital and commercial city of Madagascar.
A Joint meeting was held on 25th March with Conseil Régional office bearers and heads of the Boards responsible for Education, Tabligh, Sports and Health in CROI.
The meeting was held at Alhaj Navazaly Molou’s residence over dinner and covered several areas of developments and the current needs; among the topics covered were Education, Health, Economic Development and Madressah.
At the same meeting, a plan for the LDP program was agreed upon; it will bring in the World Federation and Africa Federation resources and facilitators to conduct leadership skills and capacity building program in Antananarivo, the dates proposed is between 25th and 31st May, 2014.
It was pleasing to note that 46 students from several Jamaats in Madagascar are pursuing higher education with some financial support from CROI. 28 students are studying in Madagascar, 15 in Paris, 2 in India and 1 in Mauritius. Also, 10 students have been sponsored to pursue higher religious education in Qum, Iran.
A visit was also made to see the renovations of the Musafirkhana being undertaken by CROI; the facilities are being upgraded to a very good standard. Large number of community members visit Antananarivo regularly for medical and business purposes. The Musafirkhana is conveniently located in the city centre.
CROI is presently considering establishing a Health Centre/Clinic with modern facilities and equipment to cater for the needs of our community and for the general public; they are looking out for a suitable plot. Presently, members of our community who require advance and specialized treatment have to travel to Mauritius or Reunion and some travel to India. AFED has offered to assist CROI should a need arise to carry out a feasibility study involving experienced medical professionals in planning the health centre and provide guidance in administration set-up.
The AFED delegation gave a brief outline on the new development of the Madressah Centre of Excellence (MCE) which is being developed by the World Federation in collaboration with the Regional Federations. The AFED Chairman thanked CROI for sending two members from Madagascar to attend the Curriculum Development Workshop which was organized jointly by the World Federation and Africa Federation Tabligh Board (AFTAB) in Dar es Salaam in February, 2014. The aim for this is to have standard curriculum framework, teacher’s development, resource and common syllabus for Madressahs in Africa and the rest of the world.
AFTAB Chairman, Seyed Hassan Naqvi paid a visit and held a meeting with the heads and teachers of Hussaini Madressah of Antananarivo Jamaat. There are 534 Madressah (280 girls and 254 boys) students and 56 teaching and administration staff, this is considered the 2nd largest after Dar es Salaam. Seyed Hassan explained on the MCE progress and future plan.
CROI and AFTAB are jointly planning to organize Aalim’s Seminar in Antananarivo from 9th to 11th May, 2014, the preparations are progressing well.
On 26th March morning, the delegation visited INISMA – Rassoul-oul-Akr’am Tabligh Centre in Antananarivo. They were met by Alhaj Raza-Aly Hiridjee, Alhaj Mohamedraza Khamis, Sheikh Munir, Sheikh Sabir, Sheikh Zahiraly and Br. Muhamadabbas. The delegation was shown around the Centre and witnessed various activities, including the Hawza, Nursery School, Computer Classes, Language Laboratory, Library, Radio broadcasting station and TV studio which is to be launched soon.
INISMA has recently opened a new Health Clinic near the Centre; the Clinic is in its infancy stage and requires lab testing equipment such as the Hematology and Bio Chemistry blood testing equipment. Alhaj Anwarali Dharamsi, on behalf of his family offered to donate the equipment for blood testing for the new Laboratory for the clinic. The visit followed by a briefing session and an overview by Alhaj Mohamedraza Khamis and Alhaj Raza-Aly Hiridjee on the future plans for INISMA in regards to the projects.
A Joint meeting was held between AFED, CROI with Antananarivo Jamaat office bearers and managing committee members over dinner at the Imambargha Conference Room hosted by Antananarivo Jamaat. The meeting was also attended by Alhaj Anil Bhai, President of Tulear Jamaat and Alhaj Raza Bhai who is the Vice President of Tulear Jamaat.
In his welcome address, the Vice Chairman of Antananarivo Jamaat who is also responsible for Social and Tabligh, Alhaj Azim Mamadaly Piaraly explained profoundly on the various developments and progress made by the Jamaat, and introduced the committee members who are deeply involved in various sectors of the Jamaat providing volunteering services to the community at large.
Following a short introduction by Alhaj Anil Alimamod, Hon. Secretary of CROI, the AFED Chairman, Alhaj Anwarali Dharamsi gave a brief report of the various activities of the Africa Federation and the capital projects being undertaken in East Africa. He emphasized on building stronger community base through empowering and economic development. He also spoke about the new development of Madressah Centre of Excellence (MCE) and requested full participation by all Jamaats in this development.
The AFED Chairman encouraged members to exchange visits; and learn from the experiences which he said is enormous in our community. He underscored the need to enhance communications and inter-jamaat visits, events and competitions.
We wish to thank the Chairman and the Office Bearers of CROI, the President and Managing Committee Members of Antananarivo Jamaat, Office Bearers and Members of INISMA and community members for the wonderful reception and warm hospitality accorded to the AFED delegation during the visit to Madagascar.
We are also thankful for the support and cooperation extended to us by the Conseil Regional and the Jamaats of Madagascar.