THE Pakistan Canada Association, a not-for-profit charitable association established in 1963 and host organization of British Columbia’s first Mosque, Al Jamia Masjid Vancouver, announced that it would be holding its eighth annual Ramadan Spirit Food Drive for the Homeless and Hungry in Vancouver on Friday (July 25) outside the Historic Carnegie Centre at Main and Hastings streets from 7 to 8:30 p.m. They also planned an open Iftar (traditional opening of Ramadan fasting meal) at the Al Jamia Masjid at 655 West 8th Avenue at 9 p.m.
Individuals and organizations were asked to bring a canned or packaged non-perishable food item for donation to the Vancouver Food Bank and the Muslim Food Bank.
The month of Ramadan is the most cherished of months in the Islamic religion. A time for self-restraint, reflection, prayers and a time for giving.
Pakistan Canada Association and Al Jamia Masjid Vancouver also planned to collect funds for Gaza Relief on Friday to help those who are in desperate need of basic necessities and medical supplies.
The PCA said: “It has been our history to match our giving back to our local homeless community with efforts at raising awareness for causes abroad. In the past we have raised awareness and funds for victims of natural disasters in Pakistan and around the world. This year, amidst heavy hearts relating to war, ongoing violence and terrorism experienced around the world, particularly in Palestine, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan, Burma and the Ukraine we dedicate this year’s 2014 Ramadan Spirit campaign as a CALL FOR PEACE for all those innocent men, women, children and seniors who have either been specifically targeted and have lost their lives and those who have been maimed and psychologically traumatized by the violence arising out of the ashes of war.
“The conflict between Palestine and Israel has gone on longer than the lifetimes of many of us and has spanned generations. We particularly pray for a peaceful resolution to this long-standing conflict that has been a stain upon the conscience and psyche of Muslims, Christians and Jews the world over and in that resolution we can fulfill the promise of a brotherhood of humankind as preached by the noble prophets Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (Peace be upon them all). We call for an immediate ceasefire and an end to the hostilities that have taken the lives of so many innocents, we call on our governments and our elected representatives to show leadership and courage in bringing this conflict to a halt.
“We support the many anti-war efforts that have been mobilized worldwide. Together, we stand in support and in solidarity in this call for peace.”