Volume 17 Issue 453- Safar 21, 1439 AH November 10, 2017

   :: Ladies Corner
::“Seven Seas Apart” Muslim Food Bank Success Stories

An Afghan Man Leaves His Kids Behind to Find Refuge for Them.
Ghulam Muhammad was a physician in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar. He had four kids who were nothing like each other yet Ghulam could never decide whom he loved the most.
Though Ghulam created a comfortable life for his wife and kids, he couldn’t stop
worrying about their safety outside the home. It was the constant gun fires, bombs and rockets that kept him up at night.
Ghulam didn’t remember a time when
Afghanistan was peaceful. In 2012, at the height of war, Afghanistan had reached all world records. The world’s poorest country, the country with the lowest literacy rate, the country with the world’s biggest refugee population. To Ghulam, these were more than just statistics. They were the bitter truths of his life.
Ghulam and his wife, Zainab, decided that they will not accept the fate that Afghans were destined with. They packed their bags in the hopes of finding refuge somewhere far away. Ghulam didn’t have enough money to pay for his three older kids, Raihan, Kaihan and Aisha’s voyage so he had to leave them behind. He requested his cousin to care for them until he had a home ready for them someplace safe. Zainab cradled her one-year-old daughter as they left for a journey very few people dare to take on. It was a journey through continents.
First the Muhammads travelled to Europe. From there they immigrated to the U.S. where they lived for three years. When Ghulam’s family arrived in Canada in November, 2015, they first settled in New Westminster. Tariq Aziz, a caseworker at the Muslim Food Bank & Community Services, was handed Ghulam’s case two months into their arrival. To Tariq it was clear that Ghulam and Zainab’s biggest struggle was separation from their kids. Their eyes thirsted to see each one of the kids they’d left behind.
“Ghulam only ever talked about his kids that were back home,” Tariq recalls. Tariq is just
one among many volunteers that work for the ASPIRE community services program designed to help individuals and families stand on their own feet. ASPIRE stands for Actualizing Self-Reliance by Providing Inspiration, Resources and Education. Each client in the ASPIRE Community Services
program is paired with an ASPIRE caseworker who assists them in overcoming obstacles and achieving successes through one-to-one support. Tariq, like most volunteers in this program, is motivated by the desire to serve the underserved.
Though new immigrants generally require interpretation due to language barrier, Tariq didn’t have to interpret for Ghulam because he speaks English fluently.
“Ghulam is self-sufficient and is a quick-learner,” Tariq says. Tariq soon learned that the Muhammads were struggling to put food on table as Ghulam had not yet found a job. Through the help of the ASPIRE program coordinator who oversees all cases, Tariq was able to provide Ghulam’s family a Walmart gift card to pay for food and other essentials.
What’s more, Tariq helped Ghulam navigate the waters of Canadian life by guiding him
through various online resources such as the WorkBC and the BC Housing websites. Ghulam’s application for subsidized housing was soon accepted allowing his family to move into a more affordable home. Tariq also taught Ghulam how to access public transit.
Ghulam and his wife began integrating into Canadian lifestyle one step at a time. Zainab
attended English classes and Ghulam has started networking for jobs. There was still one more mountain to climb though which was sponsoring their kids. Ghulam and Zainab appealed to the Canadian Immigration board to help reunite them with their kids on the basis of humanitarian and
compassionate grounds.
Eight months after their initial appeal, Raihan, Kaihan and Aisha were accepted into Canada.
Three long years later, the Muhammads were together again. At last, Ghulam didn’t have to rely on faded memory to remember his kids’ faces any longer. At last, he didn’t have stare at his three kids’
wrinkled photos from old family albums any longer. He was finally reunited with them.
These are real stories where our volunteers have an impact on members of our community helping them progress in their lives. InshaAllah next week we will bring you another story. Please join us to have a purpose in your life to make a difference in the lives of your brothers and sisters by coming to our events and registering as a volunteer or donating to your organization, the Muslim
Food Bank and Community Services Society (usually referred to as Muslim Food Bank) at Our email is and telephone number is 1-866-824-2525.


Shabnam Khan M.P.C.C.,R.P.C
Family Counsellor

A friend is defined as a person you know well and regard with affection, trust and respect. As you get older, some of your friendships will start to change, and some may grow deeper. You might also begin to know many more people, although not all of them will be your close friends.
Chances are, you will also start to spend more time with your friends and maybe talk on the phone more. Changes in relationships are natural but not always easy. Making and keeping friends can be particularly tough if you are shy or unsure of yourself. The best way to make new friends is to be involved in activities and in the community.
Another way to make friends is to be friendly and helpful to other people. Talk to them, get to know them, and find out if you have something in common with them. Peer pressure can play a major role in friendships. If someone is vulnerable to peer pressure, the relationship is not balanced.
Remember that you have the right and duty to stand up for what you believe is right. Express yourself with your friends. You have the freedom to say “no” if you disagree. If you are scared of losing a friendship by standing up for what you believe is right, then you are in an unstable friendship. True friends listen to and respect each other’s opinions. Standing up for yourself may cause tension in a friendship, but it is OK as long as you have the skills to handle the situation. Remember to communicate your ideas while respecting your friend’s opinion. By mutually supporting each other, whether or not you agree, your friendship will be more stable. Tips for keeping healthy friendship:
Be Supportive, Be Encouraging, Be Co-operative, Compromise, Be Considerate, Talk Openly about Disagreements, Apologize when you hurt them – few things to get you started.Having Friends are important as it connects you with people and hence you can share so many common things together instead of living in isolation!!

For any inquiries please email at


:: A Good Happy Life !

By Asma Ayyaz, Mortgage Broker

By: Asma Ayyaz, Mortgage
The essence of a good happy life is to be active. When we are actively doing something good, positive, it has tremendous benefits. Our mind is active, we get new ideas, our eergy is at a high level, we discover talent in ourselves and biggest advantage is depression runs miles away from us and away from people around us.
Being active in life is a solution to many
depressing moods.
An idle mind is the devils workshop
We are human beings, so we should try
utmost to bring the good in us. The whole idea behind any religious or social rituals is
to wake us up from our monotomous and boring state to the state of hope, alertness and fun with knowledge and good thoughts and deeds.
Family Atmosphere
When the whole family does any activity together, the atmosphere at home is like spring season. Each and every member participates
and plans are made to visit friends and relatives. All family members pinch in to clean the house, bring items and help one another.
We become social, meet other people, old relations are made stronger and new relations are formed. This responsibility first falls on the shoulders of elders, parents when children are participating in family functions, happenings from very early age, they develope more positive personality.
The home
In the end, everything starts at how the home environment is. The children are not given choice of selectivity in the house and parents could care less.
It is a very serious responsibility of the parents. It is their duty to create a home suitable to raise individuals who are going to be part of the society after them. How many youngsters who get married have heard of marriage vows and what a caste, community or creed is? ANd how many parents or elders have sat with these newly to be wed individuals and explained them about the new role they will take on in their life, its importance and affect it’ll have on their social behaviour?
There is a strong need for pre-marriage counselling and post-marriage counselling.
Emotional Seasons
It is very important to be emotionally mature too. When a new family starts, al the members need to be understanding, more tolerant and big hearted to accomodate new memeber
in the family. And at the same time the new member needs to adapt to certain environments. This will help reduce the problems in family life and create a healthy atmosphere
and a happy home.
For any inquiries please email at

For any inquiries please email at


When God blesses you financially, don’t raise your standard of
living; raise your standard of giving.




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