More than 800 men, women and children gathered at the Hamilton Gardens in Hamilton on the first day of Eid Al Fitr on August 31, 2011, exchanging greetings and spreading the joy of being together.
Among the early callers was National MP David Bennett.
For Abdulla Drury and his family, this was an Eid with a difference. They had to flee Christchurch, which was their home for many years to a safer haven in Northland. Leaving behind a large circle of friends must have been emotionally draining but they had no other choice to ensure the safety of their two small children amidst the uncertainty of nature and earthquakes and aftershocks becoming the order of the day.
Dr Anwar Ghani, President of the Wellington based Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ), who lives and works in Hamilton, said that the Holy Month of Ramadan demonstrated the spirit of compassion, goodwill and understanding.
“Our Muslim brothers and sisters came together to give a significant helping hand to the less fortunate people in other parts of the world, especially Somalia, which has been adversely affected by drought, claiming many lives.
“The enthusiasm of our community was evident when we raised more than $150,000 for the cause,” he said, writing in Muslim News, a FIANZ publication.
He said Eid Al Fitr was an occasion to seek the blessings of Almighty Allah and strengthen bonds with family, friends and the society.
Among those who had sent messages of Greetings were Pakistan High Commissioner Syed Ibne Abbas, Singapore High Commissioner Justice (Retd) MPH Rubin, High Commissioner-Designate of Malaysia Dato’ Mazlan Muhammad, Saudi Arabia Consular General Ahmed Al Johani and Labour MP Dr Ashraf Choudhary.