Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Canada hosts first Religious Refugees Conference

Syed Mukarram Nazeer, Canada Correspondent

Refugee Sponsorship and Settlement Desk (RSSD) Canada, in collaboration with Religious Refugee Services (RRS) Canada, hosted a conference on 27 and 28 May 2023, reported the Chairman of RSSD Canada Abdul Haleem Tayyab Sahib.

RRS is a non-profit charitable organisation dedicated to supporting refugees, advocating for religious refugees, and helping with resettlement in Canada. It provides individual and group services to those navigating a new life in Canada. 

The conference was hosted to create awareness and empathy for religious refugees, so other countries can come forward and explore how to serve these refugees in their resettlement.

The first day of the conference began with the recitation from the Holy Quran with its translation, followed by welcome remarks by Amir Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Canada Lal Khan Malik Sahib.

35 representatives from six countries attended the first day of the conference in person, with a total of 66 participants who joined online throughout the day.

Naib Amir Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Canada, Farhan Khokhar Sahib, gave an overview of the day and moderated the conference. Chairperson RSSD Canada gave an overview and achievements of the refugee sponsorship and settlement process.

This was followed by a presentation by Secretary Umur-e-Kharija, Amjad Khan Sahib. President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Lawyers’ Association Canada, Maood Bin Tahir Sahib, shared a case study to show– how various volunteers of RSSD come together to facilitate the immigration process.

Director and Secretary of the Board of Directors of RRS, Rahman Masood Mohar Sahib, gave a presentation on the financial impact of sponsorship programmes by Canada Jamaat.

Some refugee family members were invited as guest speakers and gave an account of the pain and suffering of refugees and life after resettlement in Canada.

Secretary of the International Human Rights Committee (IHRC) UK, Naseem Malik Sahib, also spoke at the event.

Some guest speakers were asked to share how the love of Khilafat motivated them to sponsor refugee families without any personal relationship or gain.

Naib Amir Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Canada led a discussion with representatives of various countries around the world, who provided their own perspectives on refugee programmes specific to their country and the workings of sponsorship and settlement programmes. The UK was represented by Qaseem Hayat Sahib, while Dr Dawood Majoka Sahib represented Germany.

The first day concluded with delegates offering congregational Zuhr prayer, followed by lunch.

The second and final day of the conference was presided over by Amir Sahib Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Canada. The session began with a recitation from the Holy Quranand its translation. Naib Amir Sahib provided an introduction to the programme of the day.

33 representatives from eight countries attended the event in person, with a total of 61 participants who joined online throughout the day.

The head of the IHRC, Dr Sir Iftikhar Ayyaz Sahib, shed light on the refugee situation in developing countries.

The chairperson of RSSD moderated the session with the help of President AMLA and spoke on legal challenges and support for refugees as immigrants when they arrive in Canada.

Naib Amir Sahib led an open forum panel discussion on worldwide issues facing Ahmadis in various countries.

Members of the panel elaborated on the future plans and challenges.

Finally, Amir Sahib Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Canada concluded the session with closing remarks and a silent prayer.

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