By Dalila Ical
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Belize is hosting three events over the week including a basketball competition, a free medical clinic and launching its Humanity First NGO. These activities are being held in conjunction with the Jalsa Salana or annual convention. Love News attended the press conference at the Muslim Temple in Belize City where the dignitaries spoke about the weekend’s Jalsa Salana activities.
Jose Sanchez: “The Ahmadiyya Jama’at is the leading Muslim organization in Belize. It is hosting its Jalsa Salana or annual convention for members but Imam Naveed Mangla says that visitors are welcomed to come and learn about the religion during its activities.
Naveed Mangla President Ahmadiyya Muslim Community: “Our annual convention which will be going on Friday and Saturday. Friday is primarily for our own members. Saturday from 10 to 5 PM at ITVETT we are welcoming everybody who can come. Even on Friday if anybody wants to come you are most welcome. This will be the opportunity to come and look at the different literatures that we have available and we also have around 30 guests that are visiting from Canada, US, Mexico, Guatemala and we welcome you to come and learn more about the religion and particularly the people that are practicing the religion.”
Jose Sanchez: “Ahmadiyya’s Humanity First NGO which had done previous work in Africa and Guatemala was introduced to the public today. It will be led by Aliya Latif who had recently established a medical facility in Guatemala.”
Aliyah Latif: “I think education is very important in supporting some of the civic programing, service based learning and capacity building around schools and our young people. The population seems to be very young, lots of youth and lots of opportunity to further with Science, Technology and Math camps. There is wonderful resources around mentoring and with the support of Doctors, Scientists and Education being promoted and encouraged but also a sense of civics and good citizenship for working together in collaboration with each other and unifying the sense of community and overall uplift of the people so those are things that we work on in New York City with different high schools especially high schools with youths at risks. I think that would be great to focus here in having a very promising and bright future.”
Jose Sanchez: “Ahmadiyya Medical Clinic will be held at its temple ITVETT and at the SJC Auditorium on Sunday. It will be led by two doctors from Canada including Dr. Munir Ahmed.
Dr. Munir Ahmed Ahmadiyya Community: “There are two doctors coming from Canada to provide health care so they will be assessing the general health needs, you know. Most people will be checking their blood pressure looking for their sugars like screen testing and if we can help in Health Education then we will be doing that as well and I will be working with the Ministry and they promise that they are going to provide us with some medications. As soon as we get some medications we will be giving the medications to the needy people.
Jose Sanchez: “Perhaps the most well known of all the activities is Ahmadiyya’s involvement in sports as it regularly takes teams across the border and returns with medals and confident youths.”
Imam Naveed Mangla President Ahmadiyya Muslim Community: “Before the all star break every team has to do three hours of community service so we are indirectly teaching our youth that: number 1 school is not the only way to seek education. You can actually learn from sports also and secondly it is now time to give back to the community which I believe this whole concept for the mentality is somewhat missing in Belize particularly in the youth that not everything is about gaining for yourself. Life is more about giving back; what have you done for the Government? What have you done for your neighborhood? What have you done for your community so indirectly from this league we try to teach our youths different lessons so that they can become better human beings.
Rodven Lino Ahmadiyya League Commissioner: “An exciting start to the fifth annual Ahmadiyya Basketball League will be happening this Sunday the 27th. We are expecting teams from all over the country and Mexico as well. We are expecting about 500 or so participants. In the first season we struggled to have eight teams so we have been having great success now that we are in the 5th season we have an upwards of 40 teams close to 50. It tells you that the Ahmadiyya Basketball League is filling a void that needed to be filled. In terms of structure we have three categories: U15, U19 and U23. They are all males and we are trying to acquire female teams as well.
Jose Sanchez for Love News.
The convention will be at the ITVET on Friday and Saturday from ten to four pm. The medical camp is being held at the mosque at 529 Buttonwood Bay Boulevard and also at the ITVET on Friday on Saturday. The medical camp will also be held simultaneously with Sunday’s opening of the basketball competition at the SJC gymnasium.