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TWENTY-FIFTH ANNUAL EID-UL-FITR CELEBRATIONS AT PARLIAMENT HILL ON MAY 5, 2022
This year, the Eid-ul-Fitr Award 2022 was presented to His Holiness Pope Francis, Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Sovereign of the State of Vatican City and servant of the servants of God in recognition of his" Humanitarian Work, for defending the oppressed and vulnerable people of the world regardless of their faith and for reaching out to the Muslim world." His Excellency, Monsignor Ivan Jurkovic, Apostolic Nuncio to Canada came to receive the award on behalf of His Holiness. He did the Opening prayers also.
In June, Mr. Edgar Pena Parra wrote to Mobeen on behalf of His Holiness to express his gratitude for the plaque and that he appreciates this thoughtful gesture and trusts that Muslims and Christians will continue to work together in solidarity to meet the needs of the most vulnerable and to build a more fraternal, just and peaceful world. And he invoked abundant divine blessings on Mobeen and his associates.
The celebrations were held in the Sir John Mcdonald Building on Wellington Street. Retired Chief Armand La Barge was the Master of Ceremonies.
Tilawate Qur’an /Dua was done by Ahad- Jibran Junaid Kayani, only 7 years old with a remarkable voice. His father, Mr. Junaid Kayani, Senior Consel at Kayani Law Firm also said a few words about APMC.
The celebrations were attended by many members from the Diplomatic Corps, Members of Parliament and representatives from several organizations. As in the past, many drove from Toronto to attend these celebrations.
Many thanks to our sponsors whose generous support makes it possible for APMC to continue hosting these celebrations. Thanks to John McKay, M.P., P.C., for co-hosting this event. The service was provided by the Parliamentary Restaurant and the cakes were beautiful and delicious. Everyone joined in to cut the cakes. The food was catered by Munir Shah of Shehzan Foods and included Shammi Kebabs, a much desired kebab, Biryani, Butter Chicken and Mutton Qorma.
Dr. Mobeen Khaja and MP. Hon. John McKay welcomed the guests. Greetings were from Mayor Jim Watson, Ms. Louise Summers, Regional Vice President RBC, Ottawa Central and Mr. Maher Markabi, Vice President National Capitol Region, Commercial Banking - TD Bank and Yumna Siddiqi - APMC's General Secretary.
In his Welcome
Address, Dr. Mobeen Khaja fondly remembered some of the highlights of past
Parliament Hill Eid Dinners. He said "Welcome to our Silver Jubileel
Eid-ul-Fitr Parliament Hill dinner. In the past 24 years, we have been
holding Eid-ul-Fitr or Eid-ul-Adha dinners here on the Hill depending on
when Parliament is sitting. We have also been doing the same at Queen's
years ago, we started celebrating Eid on the Hill with Mr. Dan McTeague
hosting it in Room 200 in the West Block. He said you bring the
people and the food and he will bring MPs, Senators and Finance Minister
Paul Martin. Mr. Martin attended our Eid dinners for 11 years, 9 years as
Finance Minister and 2 years as the Prime Minister of Canada. Prime
Minister Jean Chretian also attended. It was a surprise for our guests
because they didn't know that Prime Minister was coming. I was on the
stage doing my welcome address when I said” ladies and gentlemen I have
to stop because we have a special guest” Then the door behind the
stage opened and Mr. Chretian came on the stage and the first thing he
said was Eid Mubarak. I will always remember the excitement of people who
were happy to see that the Prime Minister of Canada came to speak to them.
current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has attended these dinners twice
before – the first time on February 11, 2004 when we honored his father,
The Late Right Honourable Pierre Elliott Trudeau for “his lifetime
devotion to the pursuit of justice, peace, equality and fairness for all
and for his contribution in creating the Canada of today - a
model multicultural democracy." He received the award on behalf
of his father.
Mr. Stephen J. Toope, President of the
Trudeau Foundation was the Keynote Speaker. It was in Room 200
in the West Block.
The 2nd event our Prime Minister attended was our 20th annual Eid ul Adha dinner on October 7, 2014 when he was the Leader of the Liberal Party. The event was held in the Library and Archives Banquet Hall because of the renovations of the West Block."
Early this year, in February, Emily Ng, wife of Dr. Ken Ng, passed on and was remembered. Dr. Ng and daughter Virginia Ng were asked to say a few words about her. She was the driving force for the Taste of Asia Festival and will be sadly missed by all who knew her.
Our Sponsors were: RBC Royal Bank, TD Bank Group, Mr. Ali Siddiqi & Mrs. Huma Siddiqi, Islamic Centre of Markham, Federation of Chinese Canadians in Markham, Kayani Law Firm, Mr.. Sajjad Hanif , PhoneTek Inc., and Transglobal Systems of Canada Inc.
The event was attended by the following
H. E. Anizan Sitti Hazar Adnin, High Commissioner for Malaysia, H. E.
Susannah Goshko, High Commissioner for United Kingdom, H. E. Arch Bishop
Ivan Jurkovic - Apostolic Nuncio and Ambassador of Vatican City, H.E.
Daniel Tumpal Simanjuntak, Ambassador of Indonesia, Mr. Muhammad Muhaimin
Rasidi - First Secretary High Commission of Malaysia and H.E. Mr. Shahbaz
Malik, Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan.
For the first time, we had one year old Madinah Sikander, daughter of Yumna Siddiqi and Ammar Sikander attend the whole event without making any disturbing sounds. She remained awake and quiet throughout the evening.
Here are some pictures from the event.