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21 May 2019 / 16. Ramadhan 1440

Thursday Night Question Time with the Youth Pre-Exco3

Pre-Exco Question Time Session with the Khoja Youth!

On November 29th, 2018 at the FEN Auditorium, The Pakistan Federation and KPSIAJ organised an interactive meeting with The World Federation Office Bearers and the Khoja youth of the Pakistani community. The meeting was held to give an insight into the objectives and future plans of The World Federation for the Khoja Youth community.

This was an opportunity for the panel to impart advice and guidance to the youth of the community, in regards to relevant current issues that the youth of today face. This was followed by an interactive question and answer session for more specific queries.

The turnout from both the Women and the Gents was overwhelming and this resulted in a fast paced and engaging session. With conversation flowing; it was not long before time caught up with us and closing remarks were fast approaching.

“It gives me great pride to see such engagement with the Pakistani Youth. We made this special event outside of Exco to hear from them and understand what the current obstacles they are facing and how can we work together as a wider community to help overcome the issues raised within the session. I am extremely grateful for those who took the time out of their lives to join us in an engaging evening. I look forward to keeping the dialogue open and having more conversations such as these with the wider communities”

Here are a sample some of the questions the panel took during the question session:

Q. Salam Alykum Shan can you please let us know what your involvement is in Yemen?

A. In Yemen we find a horrific turn of events whereby communities are actively suffering from famine and disease, a crisis on this scale has prompted us to compile a report pertaining to short term and long term objectives for the region in terms of aid. We have been working closely with a reputable shia organisation to plug the shortage of food and other basic necessities in the region. Moreover, our zero % admin policy has paved the way for better utilisation of resources and allows for more concentrated and targeted use of the Yemen Appeal funds.

Q. We are doing a good job in education, how can the Hussaini Foundation be linked with the World Federation.

A. The Hussaini Foundation primarily focuses on areas including; relief, reconstruction and education. This could present an excellent opportunity for greater co-operation between the two organisations to discover mutual aims, and to create a plan of action to pool resources to produce better outcomes on large scale projects.

Q. We agree and we know there is a big disconnect between The World Federation and the community grassroutes. There is no direct link connecting the two. We have over 120,000 khojas, and we must think of new ideas and ways to interact better with each other. This leads me on to announce the launch of our new website called Khoja News, this is a new initiative which is due to launch early next year. The focus of this website is to highlight the key achievements and celebrate the major Khoja milestones of all ages. More like having a sense of belonging. The Pakistani Jamaat is already paving the pay teaching us how to be more interactive with each other. If you would like to learn more about our campaigns we run, please log on to our website and sign up for our weekly newswires.

A. We always aspire to incorporate our motto ‘we exist to serve’ into as many projects as possible, this includes reinvesting into the youths of our community. This is achieved by inviting professionals and experts in their fields to come and inspire community members by enhancing their skillset in areas such as media. Estimates conclude there are roughly 120,000 khojas and it is our duty to ensure our heritage is remembered and safeguarded. The Khoja Heritage Project allows us to adopt a sense of belonging and preserve what we have for future generations.

Q. People across the globe are innovating in technology, how can we implement this in our community? How are we working on changing the traditional role to a more diverse role?

A. Firstly, from a technological standpoint in recent decades, bodies such as the WF has attempted to increase their presence on social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter. This is a method utilised to grab the attention of the youth and increase general interaction among Khojas. Moreover, only a fraction of the 120,000 Khojas understand what aims the World Federation pursue and projects the organisation is involved in. This reiterates the importance of increased interaction between the WF and its members to raise awareness and improve support for initiatives.

In our community the youths are traditionally encouraged to pursue certain career paths, however the WF aims to change this trend and promotes a more diverse work force. The WF places emphasis on Hawza studies and alternative career routes, and attempts to promote involvement in such areas by offering summer short courses such as Bab/Madinah Al Ilm. Hawza studies are paramount in order to ensure knowledge continuously flows into our community, therefore the WF establishes partnerships to provide opportunities for individuals to excel on this career path.

Q. How are we investing in women?

A. The WF tasks itself with giving women confidence and the tools to excel in the work place, this is because the organisation recognises the need for equality and diversity. Women are underrepresented in the work place and WF student loan schemes allow women to pursue higher education. Find out more information about such initiatives on our website, which features an interview with Zahra Rasool, who was an esteemed beneficiary of the World Federation education loan.

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