06 June 2005

Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure.

Worked really hard on the proposal for our consortium bid- till the late hours of Monday night! Shocking for someone like me who hardly does much work in a regular week:) Make dua our bid is successful- inshaAllah…

On Tues I left work after lunch to make a delivery in Sandton- decided to take the afternoon off coz had to attend the BYM 2005 launch at Vodaworld. Spent the afternoon in Sandton Library- it’s a nice place to hang out- cheap, interesting company, and if not then you can always just pick up a good book! BYM, for those who haven’t heard of it, is Brightest Young Minds- it’s an annual conference that is held for 100 of the brightest young minds in the country! Somehow, and I still can’t grasp how, but I was selected to attend last year! A truly life changing experience- imagine spending 10 days with a 100 interesting, intelligent, motivated, well- educated, entrepreneurial, gifted and absolutely remarkable young South Africans! Besides, had Habib, the Laher, Mo Cajee and other good company as well! We spent a week in Cape Town and then took a train to Pretoria- they really pampered and spoilt us throughout. The topic of last years conference was South Africa in the year 2014- if at least some of the ideas that came out from last years conference are carried out, I believe that we have a bright future ahead of us…
A board member from Vodacom was guest speaker and shared some good points with us- the reason we went, and his advice to us as well, was that you must never underestimate the power of networking! To get places in the world today, for whatever reason -it’s not what you know, it’s who you know!

Lunch at Wits has become a regular Wed event- sadly Irfaan will not be with us for the next few weeks- gone to Qatar with Ash to check job prospects at Al-Jazeera. It seems like the whole joburg crew is going there- maybe someone should alert the CIA and break up the ‘cell’:) Lol!
Good luck to the guys- it’s probably going to be loads of fun! Maybe I come there soon…
The plans for the road trip are looking good- everything’s on course for Road Trip 2005 being almost as good as Road Trip 2004! Yuhoo:p

I got pulled onto the JSE on Thursday- really crap going to work after almost 2 weeks of being idle! But it is a nice building and the work was not too bad- and it sounds good saying, “I was chatting to a guy at the JSE…”

A Bulgarian girl stopped me in Sandton a few weeks ago and said she liked my MSA tshirt and wanted to know more about Islam- didn’t think she was going to call but she did so on Fri after work. I met her at a coffee shop in Sandton Square and she took a few of the tshirts. She had many questions about Islam and I spent quite a while answering them all- but been thinking, is it wrong to be meeting a strange female for coffee if we talking about Islam?

The Iranian Embassy had a seminar on The Legacy of Imam Khomeni at Unisa in Pretoria. The typical South African Muslim youth knows nothing about Shias- if you read the book on Shias by Mufti Elias, you would have read on the cover that- All Shia are liars, they get reward for lying so you can’t talk to them coz they will lie! And if you read Mufti Desai’s answers on Ask-imam.com, he says that not all Shia are Kaafir- only those that have certain beliefs. Now, if all of them lie, but all of them are not kaafir, how can you find out who’s a kaafir or who isn’t coz they are all liars and so they might lie to you if they are kaafir and you can’t believe them if they not because they could be lying! Damn, it’s so flippin confusing, no wonder we’ve been told to just keep away from them all this time- and it was fine in the past because of Apartheid we never had to worry about them. But now they coming into the country in large numbers and if we don’t understand them, things could get a bit messy. Besides, I’ve never seen so many blacks at a Muslim function before- and it wasn’t a Dial-a-crowd bunch of blacks, but seemingly intelligent and educated people…
The speakers at the seminar were not all shia- some prominent sunni academics from various universities around South Africa. One guy from UWC almost dug his own grave! He constructively criticised Khomeni and the Islamic Republic of Iran (and in my humble opinion, quite rightly so!) and asked a few open, probing questions- this had the Ambassador take the mike and shoot him down for “bringing up those issues on the wrong platform and creating doubt in the minds of the audience!” I feel that his actions probably just made things worse from his side of view- an invaluable lesson: Never say or do anything when in a state of anger…

The quote in the subject line is by Mandela- btw, I met him yesterday!! Yup- me and Mandela shook hands! Damn, I need to buy a camera- a picture with him is probably invaluable… Took my granny for a memorial function at the Jhb Metro Centre, in honour of Yusuf Cachalia and Bram Fischer- two very prominent anti-Apartheid activists. I plan to do a small write up on them and put it on the blog later this week- look out for it: http://msaalumni.blogharbor.com/
It was a pretty small function but there were many high profile guests there- Mandela, George Bizos, the Cachalia and Fischer families, Mac Maharaj and other government guys and old activists. My mum was in boarding school with Yusuf Cachalias son, Ghaleb, in Swaziland. He gave a good talk about his dad’s life- said that even though he seemed to have a disregard for rituals and cultural practices of Muslims in this country during Apartheid, it was actually Islam that drove him to be so active against the apartheid regime- his desire to implement the essence of Islam, that is against all forms of oppression on all people, Muslim or not! He also spoke about Jihad- that it does not mean holy war, there is no holy war in Islam- war is either just or unjust! Jihad means struggle and the greatest struggle is the struggle of the soul…
Bram Fischer was born into an aristocratic Afrikaner family- but he went against all and became a highly recognised anti-apartheid activist! These were great men whose lives we need to know and whose efforts we need to ensure, were not in vain! As the MC, Azhar Cachalia said, “The struggle is not over- it has just changed from that of a race struggle to that of a class struggle…”

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