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This year’s International Women’s Day calls upon the world to #BeBoldForChange. Who is Hussain would like to take this opportunity to highlight the phenomenal work undertaken by our female representatives across the globe from Karachi to Christchurch and from Harare to Michigan.


Zohra, Pakistan

Zohra – Karachi, Pakistan

Think Karachi and you think cricket, cuisine and chaos. Dig deeper though and it’s not difficult to see why the legendary Abdulsattar Edhi saw a need to establish the Edhi Foundation. It comes as no surprise that Who is Hussain has a very active chapter in the city. The work of Who is Hussain hinges upon the selflessness and generosity of spirit of our core of volunteers. Zohra and Syeda Masooma, our representatives for Pakistan embody these values. We were fortunate to interview them to discover their journey towards Who is Hussain and to explore their motivation.

Please tell us a little about yourself

My name is Zohra. My family’s originally from Tanzania but I was born in Karachi, Pakistan. I’m a director of a family-owned shipping company. My interests revolve around community work and all sorts of social work concerned with charity and welfare. I also enjoy event management, stage decorating and fashion designing.

Please outline your role for Who is Hussain

I lead the Pakistan region which consists of 13 chapters, the largest being Karachi which has 250 + team members, others have between 100 to 20 team members depending on the city.

If you had to condense the message of Who is Hussain down to 3 words, what would they be?

Hussain Inspires Me

What message would you have for those considering getting involved in volunteering/giving back to their communities?

  • Be gentle, humble and kind. You can win everyone’s hearts with love and purity of intention.
  • Be in love with the volunteering work you get involved in and this will take you a long way.
  • Be kind to all irrespective of religion or class.

Syeda Masooma

Syeda Masooma – Karachi, Pakistan

Please tell us a little about yourself

I’m 23 years old and from Karachi. I’m currently pursuing an MBA. My interests include content writing and reading books.

Please outline your role for Who is Hussain

  1. Currently Head Representative, Pakistan Chapter.
  2. Earlier served as Karachi Representative.
  3. Online content controlling of Who is Hussain – Pakistan’s facebook page.
  4. Recruiting talent all over Pakistan to expand the chapter.

What made you want to get involved with Who is Hussain?

The distribution of water bottles at the cricket match between India and Pakistan to promote peace between the two wary neighbours was the activity that inspired me the most. I decided to contact the campaign, in order to get involved and take a similar initiative in my city, Karachi.

Please share some of your highlights of working with Who is Hussain.

From sweeping the roads at cleanliness drives to assuming the role of a waitress at Iftar dinner for the needy and becoming volunteer teacher of young kids; Who is Hussain made me assume such roles whose importance we ignore in daily life. I got a real time experience to sit back and feel the pain of the poor, the neglected. This campaign has helped me evolve as a sympathetic human being.

The best part of my job role has been the recruitment, liaising and mentoring the newly recruited talent as Representatives of Who is Hussain in different cities of Pakistan. Not only did I learn from my seniors in the team, I also got a chance to pass on my learning and experiences with the young minds eager to do something great in the name of Hussain Ibn Ali

What message would you have for those considering getting involved in volunteering/giving back to their communities?

In pursuit of wealth, recognition and fame, man has literally turned itself blind to the helpless around him. Who is Hussain is an effort that arises a sense of social responsibility. It helps us become a better human being every single day. I would encourage youth to join in, as they are the ones entrusted with the responsibility of securing the world from horrors of racism, terrorism and all other ‘isms’ that are a daunting threat to its peace.


Fatemah & Zahra – Harare, Zimbabwe

Harare, formerly known as Salisbury, is Zimbabwe’s most populous city and serves as the country’s administrative and commercial centre. Two sisters: Fatemah and Zahra, born and bred in Harare are flying the Who is Hussain flag with aplomb.

What made you want to get involved with Who is Hussain?

To spread the humanitarian values and message of the family of Prophet Muhammad and to show that we (wider society) have common ground for the mere fact of all being human beings. To be part of a wider team spread across the globe who all share the same values – to be part of the powerful force that spreads humanitarian values.

Please share some of your highlights of working with Who is Hussain.

Last year during our Ramadhan 2016 campaign, we held a number of events which comprised of feeding the homeless (specifically street mothers and street children, the blind and the disabled). On one particular occasion, we had more homeless people attending the feeding program and we were not prepared for that. Thus, we did not have enough food to feed them. As a result of this, our Who is Hussain Zimbabwe team were feeling very disheartened and sad as we did not want to disappoint the new comers.

We huddled round as a team and discussed how we would share the food amongst everyone so that everyone gets at least something and it was at this very moment that a miracle happened. For the first time ever, a car drove past our feeding program and came to ask us if we needed any food for the homeless as they had boxes full of hot food. It just so happened that those people had prepared hot meals for another event but that event did not take place and thus they had plenty of food to give.

It was a very special and miraculous day as everyone felt that their prayers were answered.

If you had to condense the message of Who is Hussain down to 3 words, what would they be?

Bravery, Truth, Reliability

What message would you have for those considering getting involved in volunteering/giving back to their communities?

Do not think that others will change the problems and do not shift the blame and responsibility on others. If we can all do a little good, it has a knock-on effect and furthermore, it also has a positive cumulative effect.

Value your community and country as we have a sense of belonging in them. Do not neglect your community as they rely on you. Remember that we all have 2 common elements that bind us together forever: we were all created by the same Creator and we are all human beings first and foremost.


Zahra & Suhayla – Christchurch, New Zealand

Most people would associate New Zealand with Lord of the Rings or the national rugby and cricket teams. It may surprise you that Who Is Hussain has a chapter in New Zealand’s second city led by two inspiring women: Zahra & Suhayla.

Please outline your role for Who is Hussain

We are the head reps for Christchurch leading a team of 10 people.

What made you want to get involved with Who is Hussain?

Helping people out through a good cause mostly because we are passionate about working in the path of Allah. To introduce Imam Hussain to the world and what he stood for.

Please share some of your highlights of working with Who is Hussain.

Getting to meet people and talk to them that you never thought exist in your community before doing the Who is Hussain events such as homeless people in Christchurch. Putting smiles on people’s face when you offer help.

If you had to condense the message of Who is Hussain down to 3 words, what would they be?

Compassion, Unity, dignity.

What message would you have for those considering getting involved in volunteering/giving back to their communities?

It is an honour to work for this organisation. A great way to give back to the society. Great opportunity to be able to help those who are vulnerable and in need. You become part of a global Hussaini family.


Aziza – Michigan, USA

Michigan is widely known as the centre of the US automotive industry housing the country’s three major car companies. The area popped up on the Who is Hussain radar last year during the Flint water crisis – President Obama declared the water crisis as a federal state of emergency. Aziza, the chapter lead for Michigan ably led her team with a steely resolve. They “saw what needed to be done, and…decided to do it.”

Please tell us a little about yourself

My name is Aziza and I’m a dentist by profession.

Please outline your role for Who is Hussain

I lead the Michigan chapter of Who is Hussain. the team consists of 30 individuals.

What made you want to get involved with Who is Hussain?

Hussain while he is everything to us is little known across the world. The opportunity to spread the inspiring message of Imam Hussain, his sacrifice and the opportunity to do humanitarian projects in his name was very motivating.

Please share some of your highlights of working with Who is Hussain.

It has made me more aware of the problems in our communities and takes responsibility to bring a change in some small way,  help give a little of myself towards helping my neighbourhoods. It has made me socially active in the community I live,  to bring about a positive change. I’m more concerned about my neighbourhood, my schools, my friends and politics as well. I’ve had the opportunity to work with people from many different cultures and nationalities who share similar goals of changing the world for a better. Of course,  the highlight was the recognition we received worldwide during Flint crises when we were able to deliver around 70,000 water bottles to City of Flint going through its clean water challenge. The initial goal was for 30,000 but Alhamdulillah the community helped and we surpassed our goals by 100% and some.

If you had to condense the message of Who is Hussain down to 3 words, what would they be?

Sacrifice, humanity, justice.

 


 

Who Is Hussain is proud and honoured to highlight the work of the women at the forefront of the movement. We hope that their insights, passion and selflessness inspire others to follow in their footsteps. If you felt inspired by this post, please share it and if you want to get involved click here.

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