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International Ahmadiyya Convention, Trinidad and Tobago
August 18-20, 2000

Report sent by Roger Bissessar, Trinidad

The International Ahmadiyya Convention 2000 was held in the Caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago, during the period August 18-20, 2000. The highlights of the convention included the Silver Jubilee Anniversary celebration of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha'at-I-Islam Inc. Trinidad and Tobago, the formal opening of three new mosques associated with the Anjuman and discussions on plans and projections for the propagation of Islam in the twenty-first century.

The theme of the Convention was "Living the Qur'an in our Daily Lives." Representatives from Pakistan, United States of America, Guyana, Suriname, Canada and The Netherlands were in attendance, and were actively involved in the programmes.

The opening session of the Convention was held at the Arouca Mosque, from 7:00 p.m. on August 18, 2000. The Convention was formally opened with a message from Hazrat Ameer, presented by Colonel Shaukat of the Central Anjuman, Lahore, Pakistan. Mr. Raqib Joeman of the Netherlands read greetings on behalf of the foreign jamaa'ats. The feature address entitled 'Living the Qur'an through the medium of the Mosque' was presented by Maulana Mustapha K. Hydal. Formal opening of the mosque involved the joint unveiling of a plaque by Sister Samina Malik (USA) and Imaam Usman Ali of the Arouca Mosque.

The second session of the Convention was held on August 19, 2000, from 10:00 am, at the Ahmadiyya Anjuman's Mosque, Fireburn. This session was chaired by Dr. Hamza Rafeeq, Honourable Minister of Health of Trinidad and Tobago. Sister Zubeida Ahmad of Pakistan brought greetings, and a lecture on the topic 'Living the Qur'an through Inter-Religious Harmony' was delivered by Maulana M.K. Hydal. The feature address was presented by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the Honourable Basdeo Panday. The unveiling of the plaque by two elder members of the jamaa'at (one male and one female) signaled the formal opening of the Anjuman's Mosque, headquarters of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha'at-I-Islam Inc. of Trinidad and Tobago.

Session three of the convention, held on August 19, 2000 from 3:00 p.m., featured the formal opening of the third new mosque, that of the Cunjal Islamic Association. Lectures presented included 'Living the Qur'an through Scientific Knowledge' (Dr. Khaliel Ghafoerkhan - Suriname), 'Living the Qur'an through Service to Man' (Moulvi Muhammad Rasheed - Guyana) and 'Living the Qur'an through Political Activity' (Dr. Hamza Rafeeq - Trinidad).

On August 20, 2000, from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00a.m., a business session was held at Ahmadiyya House which comprised Heads of Foreign Delegations, two representatives per country and the executive of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha'at-I-Islam Inc. Trinidad and Tobago. Plans and projections were reviewed, with emphasis on training of missionaries, establishment of Islamic Education Facilities and propagation of literature with new technology.

From 9:00 a.m. on August 20, 2000, the youth session commenced with a parade and procession through the streets of Gasparillo, to the Gasparillo Mosque. The theme of the youth session was 'Taking Control of Our Destiny'. The programme, held at the Gasparillo Mosque, featured youths from seven local jamaa'ats and three foreign jamaa'ats. The youths presented short lectures, songs, drama, cultural items and a mini fashion show with locally designed Islamic wear. Mr. Wilton John, Director of Youth Affairs of Trinidad and Tobago, delivered the feature address at this session.

The Women's session was held at the Iere Village Mosque on August 20, 2000 from 2:00 p.m. The programme highlighted the empowerment of women by the Ahmadiyya Movement, and was run by the women of the Anjuman. The lectures presented were 'Living the Qur'an in the Workplace' (Mrs. Nasreen Muhammad - Trinidad) and 'Living the Qur'an through Marriage' (Mrs. Maryam Ghafoerkhan - Suriname).

The closing session of the Convention was held at the New Grant Mosque from 5:00 p.m. on August 20, 2000. This session featured lectures by Mr. Ahmad Hosein of Canada, on the topic 'Living the Qur'an through Family Life' and by Sister Samina Malik of USA, on the topic 'Living the Qur'an through Service to Islam'. The session was closed with reflections from representatives of all the foreign jamaa'ats.

A special closing reception was held for all delegates on August 22, 2000, at Ahmadiyya House and was hosted by the Honourable Dr. Hamza Rafeeq, Minister of Health and Executive Member of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha'at-I-Islam Inc. Trinidad and Tobago. The evening took the form of dinner and an evening of songs and entertainment.

The Convention was a tremendous success. May Almighty Allah continue to guide all the members of the International Ahmadiyya Community in the propagation of the Noble Religion of Islam.

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