Updated 6 March 2012
It was a Saturday morning filled with excitement as 9 youth including 8 boys and 1 girl walked in to Al-Mawaddat Centre suited up eager to present to the community the experience they had visiting the Islamic Republic of Iran between 26 January 2012 and 6 February 2012.
Brothers Imran Ilyas, Kumail Haji, Mohamed Abbas, Mohammed Hassan Botaj, Shehmir Ali, Syed Muhammad Kumail, Syed Tauseef Raza, Syed Muhammad Zeeshan and Sister Ilham Fatima were invited by the World Assembly of Islamic Awakening in Iran to participate in the World Conference of Youth and Islamic Awakening that was held between 29th and 30th January 2012 in Tehran. The youth travelled to Iran for 11 days, participated in the conference and took advantage of their trip to visit the Holy cities of Mashhad and Qum and perform the Ziyarat of our Holy Imam Ali ar-Redha ('a) and Holy Lady Fatima Masooma Qum ('a).
From left: Imran Raza, Syed Muhammad Kumail Rizvi, Mohamed Abbas, Shehmir Ali, Mohamed Kumail, Mohammed Hassan Botaj, Kumail MohammedHassan Haji, Syed Muhammad Zeeshan Rizvi.
The event began with the recitation of Hadeeth al-Kisa and a few verses of Surah Al-Jathiyah by Brothers Imran and Mohammed Hassan respectively. 4 children, Mohamed Hussein, Dawood Jafri, Syed Muhammad Ausaja and Ali Falak recited a Qasida praising the 14 infallibles.
Mohamed Abbas, the master of ceremony, introduced their journey and the participants and called upon each of them to present their respective topics. Imran Raza covered the Pre and Post Conference activities which included the various discussions they had with the organisers and youth from the Asian region. These activities were conducted in preparation of and as a post mortem of the Islamic Youth Awakening Conference to promote a healthy interaction, brain storming of ideas in respect to the Islamic awakening that began a year ago and spread from West Africa all through to the Middle East. Key issues discussed were on the effect of media propaganda on the new generation of the Islamic Republic, and what are the dangers that face the Islamic Awakening. These activities were led by Dr. Haidry and Dr. Jafary, the assigned coordinators of the Conference for Asian participants. Key resolutions derived from these activities were to promote education among the youth and create an online system of communications such as Sharepoint Portal for the Muslim youth to interact. The responsibility for the development of the portal was given to Syed Tauseef Raza.
The youth were given the opportunity to visit the industrial port city of Assaluyeh that sits along the shores of the Persian Gulf. This trip was elaborated by Syed Muhammad Zeeshan who related that Assaluyeh boasts one of the largest special economic zones on the Persian Gulf home to oil and gas industries and the closest point to the Pars Oil Fields. The purpose of the visit, Zeeshan explained, was to show the youth of how advanced Iran is in terms of land-based industries including oil and petrochemical.
Syed Tauseef took the audience on a virtual elevator 435 meters high on the Milad tower, the sixth tallest tower in the world surpassing KL Tower by 14 meters. It was the very place where the Conference was hosted where more than 1200 youth from 73 countries participated on an all-expense paid trip. Syed Tauseef also shared the opening notes of the Conference quoting key statements from conference speakers including the Chairman of the Conference Dr. Ali Akbar Velayati and former Prime Minister of Iraq, Ibrahim ul Jafri. There were a panel of about 15 speakers including the President of Islamic Republic of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Shehmir presented the speech that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave at the Conference. Among the statements in his strong speech, President Ahmadinejad spoke about how the West is seeking to sow seeds of discord among regional nations with the aim of saving the Zionist regime. He urged the youth to be wary of such propaganda and self-guard them from these vicious influences.
The youth were honoured to be in close proximity with the Iranian Leader Imam Khamenei at his residence on the second day of the conference. Mohammed Hassan shared the words of wisdom of Imam Khamenei who expressed that so long as the youth are awake, the awakening of the nations will continue. Among his strong statements to the youth, Imam Khamenei said that Marxism and Western Liberal Democracy will not have an appeal and this is evident with the awakening that has taken place in several countries over the last one year. He advised the youth that the awakening is the just the beginning and the youth must remain firm in their objectives of tarnishing the zionist dreams.
The trip to Iran was a first time for many, and the youth were eager to visit the holy shrines of Imam Ali ar-Ridha ('a) in Mashhad and Lady Fatima Masooma ('a) in Qum. Kumail Haji covered all the Ziyarat trips and it was exciting to see all the places they visited. The organisers had arranged the trips to Qum and Mashhad after the conference. In Qum, the youth had the opportunity to visit the residence of Ayatollah Nouri Hamedani. The youth decided to spend 5 days in Mashhad to get multiple opportunities to visit the Holy Shrine of Imam Ali ar-Ridha ('a). Other places of visits included Masjid Jamakaran outside Qum, Behesht Zahra, Qadamgah of Imam Ali ar-Ridha (a') in Neshapour, the shrines of Imam Khomeini (ra), Shah Abdul Azim ('a), Lady Shehrbanu ('a) and various other Imam Zadeh ('a).
Syed Muhammad Kumail took the audience on a pictorial journey from the time they departed Kuala Lumpur until they returned. Summarizing the trip in urdu, Kumail shared the exciting moments the youth had in Iran that bonded them very well.
Sister Ilham Fatima conducted her presentation in the ladies section sharing the importance of role of Women in Islam.
The youth then recited a self-composed munajat expressing their thanks to Imam Ali ar-Ridha ('a) for inviting them to Iran and perform his Ziyarat.