On Monday, 30th July 2018 Africa Federation had the honor to welcome two distinguished personalities at the Secretariat office in Dar Es Salaam. They are; Alhaj Arzou-Raza Piaraly Hassam Alibhay, President of the KSI Jamaat of Antananarivo, Madagascar and Alhaj Aliraza Kassamali Rajani, the World Federation Councillor from Toronto Canada.
It was a good opportunity to meet, share and discuss various subjects of common interest, the current trends and challenges we face in Africa, similarly in other parts of the world.
The discussions also focused on the opportunities which come up from time to time in some developed countries outside Africa, such as in areas of Higher Education Scholarships and Professional Career Developments. Emphases were put on Career Guidance for our students targeting from an early stage whilst they are still in secondary schools utilizing the services of professional Career Counselors. This will be helpful also in identifying appropriate career paths leading to an ideal career for the future of our youths.
Alhaj Arzou-Raza Piaraly Alibhay
Alhaj Arzou-Raza Alibhay is currently the President of the largest Jamaat in Madagascar – KSI Jamaat of Antananarivo with a population of about 2,500 heads. Arzou-Raza bhai was recently elected to the office for a new term; 2018 – 2020. Antananarivo Jamaat is a member of Jamaat of Conseil Regional Des Khodjas Shia Ithna-Asheri Jamates De L’Ocean Indien – The Territorial Council of the Federation of KSI Jamaats of Africa (AFED).
Arzou-Raza bhai is a well-known personality; he has served the community in different capacities in several Jamaats of Madagascar spanning to 35 years, including Conseil Regional of Madagascar (CROI). He was once President of Tulear Jamaat and later served as President of Antananarivo Jamaat for three terms (2008-2010, 2012-2014 and 2014-2016). Recently he was elected once again President of the Jamaat for the term 2018-2020, for the fourth term.
Antananarivo Jamaat is a vibrant and progressive Jamaat hosting several sections, i.e. Houssaini Madressah with about 500 students, Houssaini Memorial School, Bewakhana, Az-Zahra Dispensary, Social Services Committee, and Sports Club. The Jamaat is also supporting students who are not affording to pay full school fees from Primary upto high school diploma (Baccalaureate).
For the last 12 years, Arzou-Raza bhai has been coordinating with patients from several Jamaats in Madagascar who require treatment in India, and sometimes he accompanies them.
It is encouraging to note that the ladies over the age of 18 are also registered members of the Jamaat. Ladies play crucial roles in various sectors of the Jamaat, for example Koulsoum Mission they deal with women’s welfare assistance etc. Women also have the right to vote in the Jamaats’ General Elections.
When asked what motivates him to serve the community for so many years; Arzou-Raza bhai says, “I attain pleasure and strength as I believe strongly in serving my community with simplicity, fairness and sincerity, I am not after position or fame, rather I want to serve for His pleasure only, I wish to see in particular a brighter future for our upcoming generations.”
Aliraza Kassamali Rajani
Born in Songea located in southwestern of Tanzania, Songea is one of the five districts in the Ruvuma region of Tanzania. Aliraza bhai hails from a renowned family of Rajani. Aliraza bhai has served as President of one of the largest KSI Jamaats of Africa Federation, the Dar Es Salaam Jamaat whose current population is about 8,500 heads. Aliraza bhai served Dar Es Salaam Jamaat from 1986 to 1995 – 9 years, the last term of office was during the time the new constitution (still in use) of the Jamaat was adopted to which Aliraza bhai and his team played crucial role in replacing the old constitution of 1937 which was first amended in 1989.
During Aliraza bhai’s tenure, several projects were undertaken by the Jamaat, including the establishment of Al Muntazir Islamic Seminary/Schools for religious and secular education at the Boarding House along United Nations Road. Several plots were acquired in the outskirts of Dar Es Salaam for the housing projects for the needy members of our community, these plots became useful for housing developments by the successive Presidents of Dar Es Salaam Jamaat. During this time, a large portion of land was reclaimed at the Boarding House (facing the Salender Bridge) for expansion of the sports ground. Several other projects were undertaken, for example the expansion of Ebrahim Haji Dispensary to a Health Centre.
History will record the epic evacuation mission of Somalia which our community shall be proud of; In January 1991 a brave rescue operation of our community members who were entrapped in the civil war in Somalia was carried out under the auspices of the Africa Federation (AFED) during the Chairmanship of Marhum Alhaj Habib bhai Mulji. Mombasa KSI Jamaat played very important role in the evacuation mission. This heroic mission was led by Murrabbi Alhaj Sajjad Rashid with his courageous and dedicated volunteers, which included women. Dar Es Salaam Jamaat under the leadership of Alhaj Aliraza Rajani provided major support including the settlement of the evacuated families from Somalia. Other East African Jamaats, besides Mombasa and Dar Es Salaam who supported wholeheartedly in the overall settlement of the Somalia families, were Arusha, Nairobi, Lindi, Morogoro and Moshi Jamaats. (Read the full story “The Historic Somalia Rescue Mission Revisited by Marhum Hassan Ali M. M. Jaffer available from AFED Archives)
In 1996 Aliraza bhai decided to move on from Dar Es Salaam to settle in Toronto, Canada. With his ingrained zeal and passion in community services, Aliraza bhai took up a more challenging post to become President of Toronto Jamaat, this was for two consecutive terms (1999 – 2003). During this period, Aliraza bhai with his dedicated members of the managing committee with the support of the Jamaat members initiated one of the prestigious, one of its kind project – The Jaffery Community Centre ((JCC) at 9000 Bathurst St. in Thornhill, Ontario. The ground breaking ceremony was held on 30th September 2001. Similarly, the team was instrumental in the planning and completion of Masumeen Islamic Centre in Brampton, Ontario which was carried out from March 2002 to April 2003. Both these institutions are reminiscence and landmarks of the foresighted, determined, progressive and cohesive community.
Aliraza bhai’s second spell of leadership in Toronto Jamaat was from 2011 to 2013. During this period his focus was chiefly to strengthen the community in the social, economic and religious sectors with greater determination to build bridges of friendships with other communities and neighbors in Bathurst and in the neighborhood areas. He paid special attention to Media outreach in sending out messages of goodwill and stressing unity with better understanding amongst many who were not well informed about our community etc.
Aliraza bhai during his leadership met with several world renowned dignitaries and received several accolades and recognitions for his dedication, selflessness and services to humanity, just to mention a few. He is also the recipient of “The Queen Elizabeth Golden Jubilee Gold Medal” awarded by the Canadian Government in Toronto in 2002.
Africa Federation Secretariat wishes to congratulate both, Alhaj Arzou-Raza Alibhay and Alhaj Aliraza Rajani for their achievements and for the many years of valuable and selfless services to the community.
We pray for the good health and long life of all our present and past leaders and members of our community at large. We also pray for the wellbeing and success of all our Jamaats and Institutions in all parts of the world. May our community thrive and grow from strength to strength – Ameen.
The Federation of KSI Jamaats of Africa (AFED)