What I love doing the most is attending events with 0 expectations because they always, always blow me out of the water. Yesterday, I had the honour of spending my evening doing a sunset peace walk for refugees and then getting to break my fast with people of all faiths who’d come together for this amazing cause. It was raining, we were all damp, there wasn’t exactly a sunset (more like grey looming clouds) but that didn’t matter because everyone was so engrossed in conversation that time passed by so quickly and it was ending before you knew it. Genuinely, amazing work by Hafsah and the team at Muslim Aid. I pray Allah accepts all your efforts.
It was the people who made the evening for me. I’ve come home learning about so many lives that I almost forgot that you don’t always have to look far for inspiration. First there was Barbara. Barbara is part of the Quaker community, it’s how she finds peace. Having experienced mental health at it’s worst, she wanted to give back and dedicated her working life caring in the mental health field. She also spends time trying to help her neighbour who is a Muslim and suffers from bipolar and lives by herself. To be honest, I was taken aback when she casually said ‘wa alaikumusalaam’ to me. It’s the little things.
Then there was Razan. A Syrian sister who only moved to the UK a year ago as a refugee with her husband and children. Though she has a degree from Syria, she is back in college in the UK to learn English and really get integrated in society. She’s had it tough man, her family are quite literally all over the place, her mother still in Syria, but yet she still had a smile plastered on her face all evening. They don’t show you that side to refugees, but you just need to meet them to know that they deserve a lot, if not more, than we do.
There was also Jenny and Jules from the Childrens’ Society who have dedicated their time to the youth, particularly young refugees who are left without families. Aside from that, I was inspired by the fact that Jenny went back to university at the age of 40. Who says age limits on when you want to achieve your goals right?
As I was heading out, I ended up in conversation with Pat, a church minister and avid photographer. They hold English lessons for refugees in her church alongside the mosque next door. But most importantly, she’s put together an exhibition for the gardens that have been tended to by refugees. I’ve attached the poster for anyone who wants to attend.
Also shoutout to Rhian and Veronica, both reverts, both university students, both incredibly inspiring and both the one’s who told me to come along in the first place.
Tbh those were just a handful of people. So many faces and stories to remember but these were the ones that stuck. Like I said, inspiration doesn’t have to be so extravagant, inspiration can start at home. Just look at the community around you.