For many, their relationship with cultural heritage shifts and changes over time. For others, they feel a constant and strong connection to their cultural heritage. The question is, what is it about cultural heritage that draws people to it? When people feel distant, why are they drawn back?
Updated on 12 March 2018
Delegates, councillors, invitees and observers from around the world travelled to London this weekend to participate in The World Federation’s Second Executive Council Meeting of the term 2017-2020. The ExCo started off on Friday night, with an open Real Talk event with the community. You can read more about this event here.
Today’s session started with a reflection on verses from the Qur’an by Shaykh Mohammed Ali Ismail, the Director of Strategy of the Islamic Education department. He spoke about how Allah (swt) told Prophet Musa (as) to deal with his challenges proactively, for Godly reasons and not for personal reasons. This is something we should do when we face challenges.
A large part of the morning session was spent looking at the vision of the Secretariat for the term 2017-2020. This featured action plans from all the various departments of The World Federation. The Education department spoke about their plan to improve the quality of the reports given to donors, including more details about student progression. The team also plan to reinvest loan repayments back into the education fund, allowing them to be able to help a larger number of students.
Shaykh Ismail, as the Director of Strategy of the Islamic Education department, has been working on creating a strategic plan since his appointment in June last year. He presented his plan, which highlighted some key areas of work including digital services, coordinators, a research centre, a publishing house and a training centre. His plan contains detailed plans for internal and external tableegh as well as structural changes.
Shan E Abbas Hassam spoke about the importance of compliance and meeting the requirements of the Charity Commision. To elaborate on this, Murtaza Jessa, Head of Charities from our external auditors spoke about Expenditure Abroad and the need to follow regulations in accordance to law. A discussion regarding reporting and compliance followed.
The Marketing and Communications operation of the organisation has undergone some changes in recent months and there are plans to continue focusing on strengthening the department and increasing awareness to the community and public about the work of the organisation.
The WF-AID department presented their action plan and spoke about building our capabilities and growing our network of relationships. They are establishing a MEAL (monitoring, evaluation and learning system) and a clear strategy for WF-AID including what thematic and geographic areas WF Aid will and will not work in. Madiha Raza, the Head of WF-AID also provided a brief update having recently arrived from Syria.
Shabbar Dhalla summarisedthe Zainabiyya Child Sponsorship Scheme action plan. He spoke about the need to consolidate reporting from agencies and timely reporting to donors and about how the focus is on higher education as that provides a better chance of getting the family out of the poverty cycle.
Shaykh Kumail Rajani, Deputy Head of the Khoja Heritage Project talked about the activities they are involved in. They have conducted the first ever Khoja Heritage Tour in India. There are many plans in place for more Khoja Heritage projects over the course of the next few months, including a Khoja calendar, work on the WF archive, translation of historical Khoja texts and much more.
The Madrasah Centre of Excellence has continued to make progress with regard to the new MCE curriculum rollout and the training of the teachers and facilitators. The MCE team have travelled to Australia, North America, Africa and around Europe for these sessions. We will be sharing more information on the MCE progress soon inshAllah.
Throughout the day’s proceedings, there have been discussion and suggestions on how The World Federation and its regional members can work together and strengthen the existing relationships. This is a key objective of the team, which our President, Alhaj Anwarali Dharamsi highlighted in his inaugural speech in May last year. The team have visited many regions already, with plans to continue this in the coming months to build these relationships.
Our resident fitness guru, Dr Mahmood Mawjee, held a short session with breathing exercises and a talk on ambition vs action.
Project North Star
Shuayb Ismail presented the Project North Star report and updated the delegation on where they are today. Shuayb highlighted the importance of making sure we are progressive, forward looking and united in every aspect of our lives. He says we as a community are fragmented all over the world, and we need to work hard to ensure we don’t lose our unity. Following the establishment of a Transformation Team, the next step is to develop the principles into a tangible solution. More detailed information will be provided in due course.
Dr Murtadha Alidina presented the paper on the code of practice for leadership in the community.This discussed recommendations for leaders, based on guidance from the Quran and traditions of the Ahl al-Bayt (a.) that successful leadership is predicted in accepting it as a position of amanah from God. Community leaders are strongly advised to follow the Quran-based code of practice as presented under the following seven categories: 1) leadership qualifications, 2) staff selection and supervision, 3) threats to be aware of, 4) tasks to be performed, 5) method of leadership; 6) financial management and 7) previous leaders and policies. More information will be available on this in the weeks to come. This was followed by reflections on the presentation from the delegation.
Tributes to Marhum Mulla Asghar from colleagues and friends.
The President of The World Federation, Dr Asgar Moledina, visited Montenegro earlier this month accompanied by Al Haj Razaaly Hiridjee.