On Sunday, 26th June the Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association (AMWA) held their 11th Annual Meena Bazar in St. Finnians Community Hall in Newcastle. It was attended by over 250 women and children. Among the distinguished guests were Deputy Mayor Joana Tuffy, Chair Cllr. Lyn Hagin Meade and Cllr. Shirley O’Hara. The aim of the Bazar, like previous years, was to raise funds for local charities. Several stalls comprising of Asian food, cakes and deserts, traditional clothes, hand-made jewellery, henna tattoos and a beauty corner were set up to generate funds. The event was a huge success and seven hundred Euros were raised for Barretstown and three hundred Euros for the Lucan Disability Action Group.
The local women from the neighbourhood were very pleased and thanked the Ahmadiyya Muslim Women for providing a platform for the women to socialise and have a good chat after the covid years. Fiona Kileen, the Barretstown Fundraising Manager commented‘It’s like a little paradise of love in here, there is a lovely feeling of connection and inclusion and community.’
Deputy Mayor, Joana Tuffy said ‘It’s great to be back after all the covid restrictions. This is the first Meena Bazaar in a couple of years. I have been at the Bazaar quite a few times. I want to support the women because the Ahmadiyya women do so much in terms of fundraising and integrating into the community and making connections with other residents in Lucan, so I just want to show support. That’s why I always try my best to come to this event when I get the invitation. I would always come to this Bazaar it would be my number one event in terms of trying to come along.’
When asked about the event,Councillor Lynn Hagin Meade said‘What I really liked coming here today was seeing all the amazing craftsmanship of the women who were here, how they shared their culture with the world. I really really liked the amazing designs that were on the beautiful clothes and at the same time the food was fantastic. I was so pleased, it was really inspirational.’
Being a Muslim organisation, service to humanity and giving back to the local community is of fundamental importance. The Holy Prophet peace be upon him has said that even a smile is an act of charity. Similarly, the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hadhrat Mirza Guham Ahmad, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi, has urged his followers to selflessly serve their fellow human beings and stated ‘The principle to which we adhere is that we have kindness at heart for the whole of mankind.’
Hence, AMWA actively organise and take part in charitable works throughout the year. The motto of the community is ‘Love for all Hatred for none’. AMWA have been continuously striving to spread peace and harmony through their volunteer and integration efforts, like giving hampers on women’s day to women’s shelter homes and the homeless, delivering gift hampers to nursing homes at New Year, donations of masks & care packages to hospitals, and organizing Interfaith and Peace Symposiums etc. AMWA plan to continue to hold their annual Ladies Bazaar in years to come.