The Al Nour wal Amal - Light and
Hope Orchestra performed at the
Conservatorium of Music in Sydney last night
This group is unique in the world as it is
the only orchestra entirely composed of
blind women who play western classical
music. Their repertoiry includes Mozart,
Beethoven,Bizet, Mendelssohn, Weber,
Tchaikovsky, Gamal Abdel-Rahim, El-Sonbaty
Institute Orchestra began as a group of 15
girls, and over the years developed into a
Chamber Orchestra of 34 girls, with all four
sections; strings, woodwind, brass and
percussion, and has become the most famous
part of the Nour Wal Amal Association.
Several conductors have contributed to its
last twenty years, the Orchestra was trained
and conducted by the late Maestro Ahmed Abul
Eid, who had succeeded in developing special
techniques and methods to enable the girls
to perform as an orchestra without the need
to read the notes while performing, and
without the very essential dependence on the
famous “batin” of the conductor.
is composed of blind girls with different
levels of music education. The girls learn
to play their musical parts separately and
they train twice a week as an orchestra.
Al Nour Wal
Amal (Light & Hope) Association is an
Egyptian non-governmental organization, with
headquarters in Cairo, Egypt.
aim of Al Nour Wal Amal Association is to
fulfill the rights of blind girls and women
by providing them with free education,
literacy programs, vocational training and
job opportunities in order to develop their
potentialities and their special abilities
such as musical talents, to ensure their
physical and psychological health and to
allow them to develop their own identities
and become self dependent integrated members
of the society.
For Young People Aged 12-15 years
What Does Your Community Look Like Through Your Eyes?
Foundation for Young Australians is now accepting
entries for Your Eyes Only.
Your Eyes Only is a
creative funding opportunity for young people 12 to 15
years to submit a creative entry that celebrates the
strengths of their community through their eyes.
Applications will be judged by a committee of young
people aged 12 to 15 years from across Australia.
Successful entrants will nominate a community group
working with young people in their community (for
example a school, youth group or sporting group), to
receive a donation of up to $3,000. This donation would
then be used by the community group to further its work
by purchasing much needed equipment or adding funds to
an existing program.
For further information, entry forms and guidelines,
visit The Foundation for Young Australians’ website
www.youngaustralians.org or call (03) 9670 5436.
Closing Date for entries is 2 September 2008.
AFIC on the Apology
Earlier this week, AFIC issued a
press release regarding the Prime Minister's apology to
The President of the Australian
Federation of Islamic Councils, Mr Ikebal Patel today
welcomed the Prime Minister, Mr Rudd’s pledge to offer
an apology to the stolen generations of indigenous
Mr Patel said that the Muslims of
Australia strongly support reconciliation with
indigenous Australians and apologising to the owners of
this land for any wrongdoings in the past will build a
deep and solid foundation for Australia to move forward
and build a strong nation based on inclusiveness that
has been a corner stone of our multicultural country in
The Muslims of Australia are
always willing to extend a helping hand to the
disadvantaged and is looking forward to establishing
closer relationship with Indigenous Communities.
The whole country can now embrace
this significant event and use it as a stepping
stone to make tangible difference to the lives of our
indigenous Australians and some form of monetary
compensation from the government to recompense the
pain and suffering would be a good start.
Mr Patel further said an
apology will be a significant landmark in the
history of Australia and once again congratulates Mr
Rudd and his government for making it a reality on
Wednesday 13 February 2008.
Mosque on the Prairie: Season 2 Episode 9
Around the Muslim
World with CCN
Minister warns of
A government minister has warned that
inbreeding among immigrants is causing a surge in birth
defects - comments likely to spark a new row over the
place of Muslims in British society.
Phil Woolas, an environment minister, said the culture
of arranged marriages between first cousins was the
“elephant in the room”. Woolas, a former race relations
minister, said: “If you have a child with your cousin
the likelihood is there’ll be a genetic problem.”
The minister, whose views were supported by medical
experts this weekend, said: “The issue we need to debate
is first cousin marriages, whereby a lot of arranged
marriages are with first cousins, and that produces lots
of genetic problems in terms of disability [in
Woolas emphasised the practice did not extend to all
Muslim communities but was confined mainly to families
originating from rural Pakistan. However, up to half of
all marriages within these communities are estimated to
involve first cousins.
Medical research suggests that while British Pakistanis
are responsible for 3% of all births, they account for
one in three British children born with genetic
2007, over 2000 American Muslims were asked
what they would wish to say to the
rest of the world:
$5 First Aid
Course for Child Care
by Andree Gray
Basimah Playgroup invites all Mums, Aunties and Grandmas
to bring along their little ones for an interactive play
time with the kids. Located just around the corner from
the Gold Coast Mosque, Basimah Playgroup offers each
week a variety of Art and Crafts, story-time for all
ages, babies through to children up to 5 years; and a
large selection of toys, with plans for an outdoor
playground soon to be constructed.
Being members of Playgroup Queensland entitles us to
many opportunities including workshops for Mum, the Toy
Library and an extensive range of interactive toys of
all shapes and sizes. The sisters can enjoy a morning
tea and every so often we organise an additional event
to coincide with the Playgroup, such as the Learning
Ladder and the upcoming Basic First Aid Session for
We would like to invite all ladies to this informative
event, demonstrated by Muslimah doctors.
Email Andree Gray at
email@example.com ph:0404953950if you need more information or to reserve a place.
Playgroup – Basic First Aid for Child Care
Wednesday 5th March
10am – 12 noon
Arundel / Parkwood Community Hall
Napper Rd, Arundel
$5 includes: First Aid Session, Morning Tea and
Special Screening: The
Imam and the Pastor
and the Pastor' depicts the unlikely partnership between
a Muslim fundamentalist preacher and a Christian
evangelist from Nigeria.
In the 1990s, Imam Muhammad Ashafa and Pastor James Wuye
led opposing militias dedicated to defending their
respective communities as violence broke out in Kaduna,
northern Nigeria. In pitched battles, Pastor James lost
his hand and Imam Ashafa's spiritual mentor and two
close relatives were killed. Now the two men are
co-directors of the Muslim-Christian Interfaith
Mediation Centre, leading task-forces to resolve
conflicts across Nigeria.
Shajaroh Amath reviews the recent
screening for CCN
Approximately 40 people were gathered
in the Garden City Library Meeting Room last Sunday to
watch a showing of a compelling documentary called ‘The
Imam and the Pastor’ hosted by AMARAH Inc and friends.
Taking a quick scan of the room, you
would see people of a myriad of different backgrounds
Why might they come?
The title of the documentary itself
invites curiosity. One ponders: are those terms
contradictory, can they co-exist?
The documentary is situated in
Nigeria, but more specifically in the violence-prone
community of Kahuna.
Most of us are aware of the ongoing
violence plaguing Muslim and Christian communities in
This film examines the perceptions
Muslims and Christians have about each other and
explores the commonalities and differences at the root
of the two religions.
Then it goes on to depict the
efforts, at first weak and frail and later more
confident, to build a communal effort to promote
understanding between the communities.
After the film screening, small
groups were formed to discuss the major points and
lessons of the film.
Many were grateful for the brutal
honesty portrayed in the film.
Both Pastor Wuye and Imam Ashafa
readily acknowledge their militant past.
At one point both men were bitter
rivals; these two men seriously did want to kill each
other when they initially worked together.
Interestingly, it was noted by those
who attended that both the pastor and the imam drew
strength and inspiration from the very faith that is so
central to both of their lives, by looking to the
messages of Jesus and the Prophet Muhammad, to eschew
conflict and violence and instead pursue justice, love
and harmonious co-existence.
But neither compromised their faith
in the process of co-existing.
Overall, the documentary was
awe-inspiring and left people with the motivation to
dialogue as a preventative tool against strife and
And that it simply takes a small step
to start the process.
screening of “The Imam and the Pastor” is AMARAH’s first
Many more informative, insightful and
stimulating forums are scheduled to be held every 1st
Sunday of the month, 7pm at Garden City Library Meeting
Please note that our original
scheduled session for Sunday 2 March 2008 on Islamic
civilisation will be postponed for another time.
Instead it will be replaced with the CLEAN UP AUSTRALIA
day, co-hosted by AMARAH, MYServices and Brandon Road
Bushcare Group. Please meet at Brandon Road Entrance to
Willams Park, Runcorn at 7 am on Sunday 2 March. There
will be a free halal sausage sizzle afterwards for
volunteers. Please advise if you are coming to Shajaroh
Amath on 0432 081 792.
This unit examines the influence of
Islam on various areas of the lives of Muslim people
including social, economic, political and human values.
This unit will employ a wide range of learning tools to
construct a comprehensive and critical understanding of
Islam and provides opportunity for students to
understand and appreciate the life-styles of Australian
The unit will introduce students to the social,
cultural, political, and religious values and processes
that have formed Iranian civilisation throughout its
ancient, medieval and modern eras including the
influences of current debates within a global context.
From the Cradles of
Mohammed (son of Fuzzy and Fozia Moola) and
Aadila (daughter of Reffik and Hamida Dada)
are the proud parents of a bouncing baby boy,
Hamza, born last week on Thursday night at
Sunnybank Private Hospital and weighing in at 3.5kg.
now a word from this week's sponsor.......Nazima Hansa
To subscribe to Nazima's News &
Real Estate Updates send an
Using our book
club you can see what books we at CCN have
on our shelves, what we are reading and even
what we and others think of them.
You can even
create your own book shelf, find out what
your fellow CCN readers are reading, get and
give recommendations for what to read next,
create book lists, and even share your
opinion on a book with us.
Come see the
books we have selected and see if we have
any in common.
Then pick our
next book so we can all keep on reading.
Q: Dear Kareema, we have a few flights of stairs at
home and I was wondering if you could give us some ideas
on how best to ‘utilise’ them as part of our fitness
A: The best thing about the stairs is that every
time you need to go upstairs you can perform a
mini-workout! It doesn’t have to be part of your 30 or
60 min workout.
- Try doing a one-legged calf raise on the first step
(place the ball of your foot on the edge of the step
with your heel hanging down, hold on to the banister for
support and raise as high as you can). Hold for 3 counts
then lower the heel.
- Walk/run up the rest of the stairs and do the other
leg (calf raise) on the last step
- On the way down, do some tricep dips
- The next time you have to go upstairs, stop about
halfway and do some push-ups
- Another option is to skip a step on the way up and
slow down on the way down
- Lunges are great exercises to perform on the bottom
step as well (front foot on the step and back foot on
the floor with heel raised, take the back knee towards
- Weights can be incorporated as you get stronger
- To challenge yourselves further, increase the number
of reps you do every 2nd or 3rd day.
A fun drink! The kids will drink it so fast you'll be
lucky to get in a sip!
The better the berry, the better the drink, of
course, but it is an easy refreshing drink that is great
1/2 cup strawberries,
hulled and halved
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup diet soda
Place berries and orange juice in a blender and puree
Put ice in 2 tall glasses and pour berry mixture over
the ice and the add the soda.
Do you have a recipe to share with
Send in your favourite recipe to
firstname.lastname@example.org and who
knows, you could be our "guest chef" for a future
edition of CCN.
Discover Islam Australia is pleased to announce that
its website for the alJumuah magazine is up
and running. Please visit
The website carries some articles from each
alJumuah magazine (so visit it regularly) so
those who are not able to subscribe may also receive
some of the benefits. It also contains subscription
information and in the future it will have a link to
subscribe and pay online.
You are invited to the Muslim Women and Friends
Launch for 2008! On February 19th, at 9:30am, join
in our celebrations with catered food, fun and
Hear about our exciting new plans, be able to join
in our projects, meet new people and so much more.
All you need to bring is yourself and even your
Please note our new location below.
Looking forward to seeing you there !
Co-ordinator, Muslim Women and Friends
Logan Women's Health and Wellbeing Centre
1 Mary Street, Kingston
Telephone: 3808 9233
Mobile: 0405 448 045
The CCN Chuckle
Mula Nasruddin to explain to him the difference between
an optimist and a pessimist.
obliged by way of a story:
A man had twin
sons, Wadadin and Wydadin. Wadadin was an Optimist
and Wydadin was a Pessimist.
On their twelfth
birthday their father gave Wydadin - the Pessimist -
an expensive watch, a carpentry set and a bicycle.
And Wadadin's -
the Optimist's - room, he filled with horse dung.
opened his presents he grumbled all morning.
He hadn't wanted a
carpentry set, he didn't like the watch and the bicycle
had the wrong kind of tyres.
When the father
went to Wadadin's - the Optimist's - room, he couldn't
see Wadadin, but he could hear the sound of frantic
shovelling and heavy breathing.
Horse dung was
flying all over the room.
"What in heaven's
name are you doing?" the father shouted to Wadadin.
A voice came from
deep inside the dung.
Wadadin said, "if there's so much sh.t around, there
has to be a pony somewhere!"
best ideas and the best feedback come from our community
of readers. If you have a topic or opinion that you want
to write about or want seen covered or any news item
that you think might be of benefit to the Crescents
Community please e-mail
your thoughts, feelings and ambitions for our community
there is someone you know who would like to subscribe to
CCN please encourage them to send an e-mail to
email@example.com with the words
“Subscribe Me” in the subject line.
Articles and opinions appearing in this newsletter do
not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Crescents of
Brisbane Team, CCN, its Editor or its Sponsors,
particularly if they eventually turn out to be libelous,
unfounded, objectionable, obnoxious, offensive,
slanderous and/or downright distasteful.
It is the usual policy of CCN to include
from time to time, notices of events that some readers
may find interesting or relevant. Such notices are often
posted as received. Including such messages or providing
the details of such events does not necessarily imply
endorsement of the contents of these events by either CCN
or Crescents of Brisbane Inc.