Syed Mukarram Nazeer, Canada Correspondent
Ecuador is a small country straddling the equator on South America’s west coast. Despite its small size, nature has blessed it with a diverse landscape. This includes the Amazon jungle, Andean highlands and the wildlife-rich world-famous Galápagos Islands to name a few. Its capital is Quito, which is located at an elevation of 2,850 metres in the Andean foothills. Quito is known for its largely intact Spanish Colonial centre with 16th– and 17th-century palaces. Ecuador’s official language is Spanish.
In 2000, Mubashar Ahmad Sahib became the first Canadian waqif-e-arzi to visit Ecuador, reported Mahboob ur Rahman Shafiq Ahmed Sahib, a missionary and Spanish language lecturer at Jamia Ahmadiyya Canada, as well as in-charge Canada Spanish Desk.
In 2010, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa assigned the responsibility of tabligh efforts in Ecuador to Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Canada. The same year, Mahboob ur Rahman Shafiq Ahmed Sahib became the first missionary to be assigned to Ecuador. It was also in 2010 that Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya established its first mission house in Ecuador. In 2012, Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya successfully registered with the Ecuadorian Government as a religious organisation.
In 2019, Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Canada received a letter from the Chief of the Shuar Community called Númpaim, an indigenous tribe living in the Amazon Jungle of Ecuador. Númpaim requested the Jamaat’s help in resettling of their ancestral lands. A request was forwarded to Huzooraa for approval. Huzooraa approved the request and formed the following three-member committee to visit Ecuador:
• Chairman IAAAE Canada, Kamran Ashraf Chaudhry Sahib – chairperson of committee
• Missionary and in-charge Spanish Desk Canada, Mahboob ur Rahman Shafiq Ahmed Sahib
• Tariq Attaul Momin Sahib from the International Spanish Desk, Spain
In 2020, this committee visited Ecuador, where they were joined by the missionary of Quito, Abdul Basit Sahib. Accompanied and guided by Númpaim, travelling by road, river and jungle, they reached the ancestral land of Númpaim. After the visit, the committee submitted a detailed report to Huzooraa on how to provide solar power for the settlement of the ancestral land.
The Counsel General of Ecuador in Toronto, Ms Beatriz Katerine Romero Sigcho played a very important and helpful role in the Jamaat’s growth in Ecuador. She helped with matters relating to establishing Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya in Ecuador as well as with the Ecuadorian immigration matters. Recently, she completed her term in Toronto.
On 23 June 2021, a farewell dinner was organised in her honour in Baitul Mahdi Mosque in Durham. She attended along with her husband and two daughters. Her husband had also served in Ecuador as Minister of Trade and Production. Missionary-in-charge Canada, Abdul Rasheed Anwar Sahib also attended the event.
Guests were given a mosque tour along with an introduction to Islam Ahmadiyyat. During the dinner, Abdul Rasheed Anwar Sahib explained how the sun and lunar eclipse prophecy was fulfilled in favour of the Promised Messiahas. Guests were also given gifts and Jamaat literature.