Monday, 28 May 2012

Himmah Family Festival May2012

Himmah, a Muslim organisation working to provide assistance to Nottingham’s homeless, held a Fundraising Family Festival at Djanogly Academy on Saturday 19th May to provide a great family day out as well as to increase awareness of some of the issues faced by the vulnerable in society.

Some of the stalls at the Family Festival

The Great Day Out component was provided by children’s attractions including a trio of circus clowns who spent the day riding unicycles, juggling batons and making some very impressive balloon models - whilst still finding time to show children how to spin plates, learn poi-poi and juggle. The day also saw bouts of swordfighting between what seemed to be Zorro and a Pirate, which added a swashbuckling element to the day.

Bring on the Clowns !

Security at the event didn't mess about. .  .

The obligatory Bouncy Castle, somewhat inevitably, got a very serious workout.

The Bouncy Castle got a thorough bouncing.

An interactive Capoiera demonstation by Capoeira Nottingham was fascinating. Seeing their acrobatic moves, it is no surprise that they needed some time to limber-up beforehand.

Capoiera - a fusion of dance and martial arts.

Stalls, some kicking ethnic food and African Drummers provided further entertainment for the hundreds who attended the event.

Bridging the gap between entertainment and social justice were a number of performance artists including Shaam, poets and other nasheed artists.

Shaam - a group who were very approachable and happy to answer questions,
sign autographs and provide the lyrics to their nasheeds

In terms of increasing awareness of the social issues faced by some of the most vulnerable in society, the keynote event was a talk by writer and journalist Myriam Francois Cerrah discussed how issues are rarely black and white but rather shades of grey and that Muslim communities need to adopt an attitude of compassion, understanding and empathy when dealing with the troubled and destitute in society.

Myrian Francois Cerrah (left)

Backing this up was a stall by UNISON who were able to provide information on the campaigns that they run such as those on protecting the NHS, equal pay for equal work and defending public libraries.

And completing the picture where Himmah themselves, who were able to provide information of their work with organisations such as Nottingham Refugee Forum, Citizens for Sanctuary and Nottingham Arimathea Trust.

The event was sponsored by Pak Foods, Djanogly City Academy and Muslim Hands. TakbeerTV were the media partner.

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