GRIEVING: As the community continues to mourn the loss of Asad Khan, a fundraising page has been set up in hope of helping the family
Shareen Jahangir may not personally know Asad Khan or his family, yet that did not stop the kind-hearted humanitarian from Coventry on her mission to lend a helping hand.
The generous fundraiser has, to date, raised over £1,000 for the family through her Just Giving page as she aims to emulate the success of previously publicised appeals including that of mugging victim Alan Barnes - who was helped by the kindness of strangers online in 2015.
She said: “They raised £330,000 for [Alan] because he got robbed. Putting that aside, I don’t know how they are financially but they live in a back to back house, it said on the news.
“I have also seen on Facebook that the council have offered them a new home because the family can’t live in the same house where their son died.
“The family don’t need financial stress on top of their heartbreak. Whether they have money worries or not, I’m not in the position to say. However, they may want to use the money to buy a new home and I just want to help.”
TOGETHER: Rabbi Baruch Levin and Sayed Yousif Al-Khoei OBE stand with the newly constructed Sukkah
Religions have been uniting in the North West of London this past week as Muslim and Jewish communities came together to observe one of the faith’s holy festivals.
The Al-Khoei Foundation Mosque hosted the Brondesbury Park United Synagogue’s Sukkah as a sign of unity between the two faiths.
The sukkah, a hut used to commemorate the festival, was built by volunteers from both the Mosque and the Synagogue and spent a week at the Al-Khoei Mosque, which is open to all.
This unprecedented partnership between a British mosque and synagogue was inspired by a concern in both communities about the reported increase in hate crimes across Britain and Europe in recent months.
The local Imam and Rabbi, in partnership with Faiths Forum for London and the Strengthening Faith Institutions Programme, decided to make a tangible symbol that would fortify the relationships between communities.
Rabbi Baruch Levine, Rabbi of the Brondesbury Park Synagogue, said: “The Sukkah invites us to reflect on the importance of the structures we build in our lives, both physical and perhaps more importantly, the interpersonal and inter-communal structures which underpin a civil society.
“This makes Sukkot an ideal time to strengthen ties with our neighbouring communities.”
The week’s events culminated in an interfaith breakfast showcasing the unified bond and positive action taken by the neighbouring communities.
Mustafa Field MBE, Director of the Faiths Forum for London, reiterated the importance of a cohesive society.
He said: “What looks like a simple project represents a pronounced willingness on the part of both communities to stand united against all forms of hate and bigotry.
“It showcases, more than anything, the power of neighbouring cohesion, and how it can be harnessed by religious communities. Food, people and a hut with no doors where everyone is invited inside... is a great combination.”
PLANTING TREES: Faisal Tariq at the Yorkshire Dales, planting trees and stirring up social change
Branching out to communities by planting trees
A Keighley man says he is determined to continue the philanthropic work his grandfather sparked in Pakistan decades ago after launching a new charitable venture in his hometown last weekend.
Faisal Tariq has launched The Ayaana Foundation in the memory of Doctor Mohammad Suleman - who passed away in October last year.
A field doctor for 50 years, Mr Suleman was a charitable man who always went the extra mile for his patients.
Faisal said it was this generosity that acted as a catalyst for the foundation to be set up.
He said: “My grandfather was a doctor all his life and grew up in the rural villages.
“He was a renowned field doctor and would travel to locals on the outskirts but he wouldn’t charge fees to the poor because he knew they couldn’t afford it. He didn’t do it for money.
“After my grandfather passed away in Pakistan, I wanted to carry on his legacy. I haven’t met a single person who has anything bad to say about him. We wanted to set up a project to help people, just like he did.”
And helping people is exactly what the foundation has been doing.
The Ayaana Foundation (named after Faisal’s daughter, whose name means ‘the lucky one’) launched their ‘Plant a Tree campaign’ in the Yorkshire Dales.
Faisal said: “We took a team of 10 volunteers from Ayaana and InTouch Foundation and planted 75 trees in four days.
“We linked up with Yorkshire Millennium Tree Trust and it was a beautiful place in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The day was very clear and sunny so we didn’t get that muddy when planting the saplings.”
He continued: “It’s all about leaving that impact – that memory and legacy in society. Afterwards, the group felt like they’d done something positive in their community and also helped the environment.
“My target was 200 trees but we had to cut it short to 75 because of the space in the field that was allocated to us and because it was the planting season.
“We wanted to set up something locally at a grassroots level where the local Muslim and non-Muslim community can work together in an active manner, making a difference to their local area.”