South Africans unite to urgently assist #Aleppo #Syria

MEDIA STATEMENT

SUNDAY 18 December 2016

#OperationSA

South Africans unite to urgently assist #Aleppo #Syria

A group of South Africans have formed #OperationSA and its first task is to urgently raise money for humanitarian efforts in Syria.

Among those behind the initiative, amongst others, are social activists’ Yusuf Abramjee, Yaseen Theba and Catherine Constantinides.

Abramjee said “an urgent decision was taken at the weekend to make Aleppo and other parts of Syria the first project. We cannot sit back and see the suffering continue. Innocent men, women and children are being slaughtered and thousands are crying for help.

“Many local and foreign charities are assisting but we all need to DO much more. There is an urgent need for food, medical supplies, blankets, mattresses and shelter.

“We decided to co-ordinate the collection drive and #OperationSA will distribute the funds to credible charities who are working on the ground as a matter of urgency,” Abramjee said.

ITV on DSTV channel 347 will host a pledge line/telethon on Tuesday evening from 7.30pm to 11.30pm.

Several radio stations and media organizations will take the broadcast live: they include Souk Islam Channel (You Tube), Radio Al Ansaar, Radio Islam, Channel Islam InternationalVoice of the Cape, Sirius FM and Deen TV.

“We are delighted so many NGO’s and media organizations have joined hands. We stand united for a common purpose – to help those in need.”

#OperationSA is supported by various organizations throughout the country including Islamic Relief SA, The Al Imdaad Foundation, Jamiatul Ulama SA, Jamiatul Ulama KZN, Awqaf SA, Crescent Lifestyle, Africa Muslims Agency, Al Quds Foundation, Caring Women’s Forum and The Two Lights Foundation.

Several other humanitarians and NGO’s are also on the working committee including community leader Andy Mashaile, Al Firnaz Patel from Crescent Lifestyle, Zaheera Bham Ismail from the Caring Womens Forum (CWF), attorney Yousha Tayob, banker Amman Muhammed and Raeesa Rhemtula.

Deputy CEO of Awqaf SA Mikaeel Collier from Cape Town, businessman Ridwaan Kalla and attorney Raeesa Rhemtula from Polokwane are also on the Working Committee.

“We are hoping to raise a few million rand,” #OperationSA added.

Beneficiaries will include, amongst others, the Al Imdaad Foundation, Islamic Relief SA, Africa Muslims Agency, Jamiatul Ulama SA and Jamiatul Ulama KZN. A number of smaller charities are also on the list.

#OperationSA is a non-profit organization whose sole mission is to reduce human suffering.

“We respond to natural disasters, humanitarian emergencies and poverty locally and abroad. We are non-sectarian and non-political.

“Ubuntu – This African proverb reveals a world view that we owe our selfhood to others, that we are first and foremost social beings, that, if you will, no person is an island, or as the African would have it, ‘One finger cannot pick up a grain.’

“Ubuntu is, at the same time, a deeply personal philosophy that calls on us to mirror our humanity for each other.

“We encourage willing participation, warmth, openness, and personal dignity by partnering with communities, governments and corporate organizations. These relationships let us harness complementary expertise and networks to ensure that each community gets the best response available.

“People are powerful when they are heard,” said #OperationSA

“By engaging with partners, donors and communities, #OperationSA fosters skills such as transparency, accountability and open public debate — the cornerstones of effective civil society. And a strong civil society supports good governance, the critical force behind long-term development and stability.

“We believe that dynamic partnerships are critical to solving challenges. Our partners – from corporations to foundations to entrepreneurs – are committed to developing and supporting socially responsible initiatives that build stronger communities in the developing world, while enhancing business and development goals.

“Together, #OperationSA and our partners can help build a world of opportunities.”

Abramjee and Theba were involved in #OperationHydrate earlier this year which saw millions of liters of water distributed to communities in need.

Theba said: “With the support across the board, we are going to make our mark again and assist those in need. Let’s all work together and assist when and where we can.

“Going forward, we also going to launch a programme to help individuals and charities in need across SA,” he added.

On-line pledges are already being taken for the Syrian relief. Almost R250 000 was pledged within 24 hours.

Pledges for #SAVeSyria can be made on-line:

www.operationsa.org

Banking

AL IMDAAD FOUNDATION

FNB

BR CODE 220325*

ACC No.62102373206

Ref: AIF20819

Aleppo-Zakaat/Lillah/Sadaqah etc.

*Must mention Zakaat, Lillah etc.

Send Proof to info@operationsa.org

ALL DONATIONS MUST INCLUDE THE ABOVE REF NUMBER.

Twitter: @OperationSA1

FB: www.facebook.com/operationsa

Instagram operationsa1

Website: www.operationsa.org

Enquiries:

Yusuf Abramjee cell 082 4414 203

Yaseen Theba cell 064 4 000 000

Who do you call when 10111 goes on strike?

Media statement

#NamolaApp

Who do you call when 10111 goes on strike?

10111 call centre workers are threatening to go on strike over unresolved salary disputes dating back to 2013. “Nothing has happened four years down the line and members say enough is enough,” Oscar Skemmere, of the South African Police Union.

Unfortunately the ugly truth is that criminals aren’t going to wait for negotiations and salary increases before they attack.

Between April 2015 and March 2016 over 20,000 households were robbed, 250,000 homes were burgled, 14,000 cars were hijacked, and 51,000 sexual offences were reported. Those are scary numbers.

The strike will place additional pressure on the country’s already stretched emergency services. At a time when citizens feel disempowered when it comes to their safety and security, Namola – the free, crime-fighting safety app – offers South Africans a solution to help alleviate the challenges in accessing emergency support.

Namola is an innovative mobile application, developed by the Tshwane Metro Police Department that is helping to keep the citizens of Tshwane safe. Designed to enable citizens to connect directly with crime fighting authorities, Namola is increasing the effectiveness and efficiency needed to combat crime in South Africa.

The crime fighting safety app allows users – via their GPS enabled smartphones – to share their physical location with the nearest three TMPD emergency response vehicles and receive an immediate response. The first available officer is immediately directed to the citizen’s location while being monitored by the control room. It’s faster and it makes the task of getting help as simple as pushing a button.

As we move into the holiday season, South Africans, and especially citizens in Tshwane, are encouraged to download the free Namola app http://namola.com/download and to share it with their family and friends. With 11x faster response times by the TMPD, this is a fantastic innovation to fight crime and save lives, with plans underway to roll the service out across South Africa.

Harness the power of technology to stay safe this festive season.

Ends

For more information please contact:
Peter Adolphs
+27 (0) 72 844 6375
peter@everarica.com

MULTI-MILLION RAND YUSUF ABRAMJEE COMMUNITY CENTRE” FOR CAPE TOWN ANNOUNCED

MEDIA RELEASE
SUNDAY 11 December 2016

MULTI-MILLION RAND YUSUF ABRAMJEE COMMUNITY CENTRE” FOR CAPE TOWN ANNOUNCED

A Cape Town philanthropist and businessman has pledged to construct a multi-million rand community resource centre in honour of social activist Yusuf Abramjee.

Neil de Beer made the announcement at the new Al-Ikhaas Library and Resource Centre in Lansdowne where Abramjee presented 40 coffee table books to senior citizens who have not been on Hajj (pilgrimage).

De Beer said Nedebe International “would join Abramjee on his mission of promoting social cohesion and my friend and brother and is a true inspiration to millions. We want to ensure that his good work is showcased in all corners of our country and across the globe.”

He said “finer details of the R5-million project would be released in the New Year.

“Communities will be invited to make submissions. We are looking at a media/rescource centre incorporating a library. It will be known as the ‘Yusuf Abramjee Community Centre.’ ”

Awqaf South Africa said it would donate the land for the project.

Deputy CEO Mickaeel Collier said his charity was committed to assisting communities in need “where ever and when ever we can.”

Abramjee said “the announcement took him by surprise. I am delighted that we will be making a difference in our communities. Education is a priority and we must all continue doing good and serving. I am honoured and humbled.”

Abramjee and Chairman of the Al-Ikhlaas Library and Resource Centre, Dr Elias Parker, announced that two senior citizens will be sponsored to undertake Hajj next year. De Beer pledged to pay the costs of an additional two.

Abramjee’s coffee table book has over 400 photographs of this year’s Hajj. Proceeds are going to two charities: Awqaf SA and Crescent Lifestyle.

Speaking at the handing-over ceremony, Reverend Phillip Bam, said “we all have to work together and show more religious tolerance. Yusuf’s book does this. As I page through it, it shows me what Hajj is all about.”

Professor Khadijah Moloi of the Vaal University of Technology said “everyone had a duty to assist those in need. Seeing our fathers and mothers receiving this special gift brought tears to my eyes. She said Yusuf book took Hajj into thousands of homes. It is not a coffee table book but rather and educational book.”

De Beer announced recently that he would be donating 100 of Abramjee’s books to libraries.

The 40 books, costing R750 each, were sponsored by the General Manager of the Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC).

image1.JPG

40 #Hajj2016 books were distributed to people who have not been on pilgrimage in Cape Town on Sunday.

image2.JPG

Yusuf Abramjee (left) distributed his #Hajj2016 book to senior citizens. Seated: Businessman Neil de Beer and Jasmina Ratcliffe (70). Jainodien Stuurman (67) and Dawood Esack also received books from Yusuf Abramjee (right) and Dr Elias Parker from the Al Ikhlaas Library and Resource Centre.

image3.JPG

With kind regards

Yusuf Abramjee
Cell 082 4414 203
Twitter: @abramjee

Saudi Ambassador to SA presented with #Hajj2016 #AbramjeeOnHajj coffee table book

Saudi Ambassador to SA presented with #Hajj2016 #AbramjeeOnHajj coffee table book

Saudi Ambassador to SA presented with #Hajj2016 #AbramjeeOnHajj coffee table book

Wednesday 9 Nov 2016

Saudi Ambassador to SA presented with #Hajj2016 #AbramjeeOnHajj coffee table book

Social Activist, Yusuf Abramjee, presented a copy of his #Hajj2016 coffee table book to Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador in Pretoria today.

Ambassador Abdullah Mohamed Almadhi said the photo journal is “brilliant and it showcases what Hajj is all out.”

Abramjee launched the book recently and proceeds are going to two charities – Awqaf SA and Crescent Lifestyle.

The coffee table book has over 400 photographs and it was put together within three weeks. Abramjee undertook his first Hajj (pilgrimage) this year.

The book has been endorsed by scores of high profile personalities including Tourism Minister Derek Hannekom, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa, former Public Protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela, Anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada and world-renowned Islamic scholar Mufti Ismail Menk from Zimbabwe.

Dozens of books are to be donated to libraries.

Ambassador AlMadhi presented “a special gift” – The Holy Quran” to Abramjee and his publisher Yaseen Theba after receiving the coffee table book at the embassy in Pretoria.

The Ministries of Hajj and Information in the Kingdom will also receive copies.

This is the Ambassador’s foreword in the book:

It is an honour and pleasure to write a foreword to this inspiring and life-giving visual journey on Hadj.

The cities of Madinah and Makkah each have their own identity and venerated sites.

Saudi Arabia is a country where the pilgrims can experience spiritual heritage, museums, and sites which suggests the milestones of many important events in the growth of Islam.

Yusuf Abramjee’s text is a richly layered visual treat of a single pilgrims spiritual prism of Hadj , and yet it resonates with the “felt experience’ of millions of other pilgrims.

Especially poignant is the sub-text of this life giving text visually detailing his pilgrimage of the ‘spirit, heart, head and hand’.

These ethereal qualities of the ‘heart and spirit’ is captured eloquently in the way the pictures foreground random acts of spiritual kindness and fellowship.

The balanced style of the text is commendable.

One notices for instance, a guard cooling off a pilgrim, by generously spraying water in the air, given the heat.

This is counterpointed with visuals which show how Yusuf mobilised South Africans to generously feed other pilgrims and his deeply absorbed visitation to the Prophet Muhammad’s Mosque and later his hadj rituals .

Broadly, the pictures document through moving and uplifting visuals the actual Hadj, showing the protocol of the hadj rituals and their spiritual, transformational and existential significance, place, value and function.

Here is a text that also celebrates the vision of the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques, His Excellency, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, to facilitate and enable the pilgrims to perform hadj with ease and comfort.

The pictures in the text bear testimony to the enormous amount of financial resources spent in the organising and provisioning details; including crowd control, infrastructure, transport, medical support services, helping the aged and disabled to be on Arafat for their supplications and invocations to God Almighty Allah (SAW), translation services, honoring the comfort of female pilgrims by facilitating their access to perform hadj rituals, etc.

Yusuf’s photographs bear testimony to the work of a consummate professional- his selection, ordering, cropping and point of view is socially constructed-as it has to be – but its uniqueness lies in its celebration of the implacable quest of the human spirit to do the Hadj, for the pleasure of Allah alone.

It presents as a text that is accessible, and illuminating, with an astounding visual richness, subtlety, and inspiring depth.

It is an invitational text, with a ‘conversational instructional’ focus – the visuals ‘converse’ with you through their composition and ‘instructs’ you, even as you use your own values to interpret the visuals sub-text.

This is a valuable and fresh contribution to the range of texts on Hadj.

It was a joy to review and I’m certain it will be likewise for others.

May it inspire other pilgrims to perform the Hadj.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia welcomes you. Insha-Allah ameen (God willing)

End:
With kind regards

Yusuf Abramjee
Cell 082 4414 203
Twitter: @abramjee

MESSAGE BY THE MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE, MINISTER NATHI MTHETHWA, AT THE CAPE TOWN LAUNCH OF THE BOOK

MESSAGE BY THE MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE, MINISTER NATHI MTHETHWA,
AT THE CAPE TOWN LAUNCH OF THE BOOK,
#HAJJ 2016,
CENTRE FOR THE BOOK,
CAPE TOWN, 6 NOVEMBER 2016

It was twenty years ago, in 1996 that the Constitution of a democratic, non-racial and non-sexist South Africa was born, having been promulgated by President Nelson Mandela.

Our Constitution was granted approval by the Constitutional Court on 4 December 1996 and signed into law on 18 December 1996.

Our Constitution is still today widely regarded as the most progressive Constitution in the world.

Section 6 of the Constitution states that everyone has the right to participate in the cultural life of his or her choice – though no one may do so in a manner inconsistent with any provision of the Bill of Rights.

Of significance to the gathering here today is also our Bill of Rights, which ensures cultural diversity; and the first section of our Bill of Rights reads as follows:

We, the people of South Africa,
Recognise the injustices of our past;
Honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land;
Respect those who have worked to build and develop our country; and
Believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity.

It is in this context that I believe that today we celebrate the launch of a book that provides insights into the lives, the desires, dreams and journeys taken by the Muslim people of South Africa and Muslims around the world.

It is a book rich in colour and culture.

It is a book that tells a real story that is full of Ubuntu and the gift of giving and sharing with others.

It is a book about comradeship and friendship between different peoples.

It is a book that provides insight of the journey that every Muslim who can afford, will take at least once in his or her life.

It is a book of varied landscapes, from the Highveld of South Africa to the desert landscapes of Saudi Arabia.

It is a book about a pilgrimage to sacred spaces and to sites of great heritage and spiritual value.

Mostly it is a book that pays homage to the HAJJ and is peopled with faces, places, and all those who lent a helping hand to others, all who were not content only to be there for themselves but also for all others.

It is a journey from Africa to its sister continent of Asia, to that part of the world that indeed straddles Africa and Asia.

It is a route taken first thousands of years ago, before today’s air travel.

Some say it was the site of early human migration from Africa to the Arabian Peninsula and of movements too and fro at a time when climatic conditions were favourable and when the land was verdant before the Sahara became desert and before the Arabian Desert. Some say the Red Sea was shallow then enabling such crossings.

But what is important is the inextricable connections that we have between Africa and Asia as geographic and cultural spaces that have influenced the course of history over thousands of years.

What is important is also our own history of the earliest Muslims in South Africa especially in the Cape who did so much to fight against colonialism and to those who participated and gave their lives in the liberation struggle of the 20th century against oppression.

We pay homage to all those who contributed to the rich cultural fabric and social and economic life of South Africa and who asserted themselves even when forcibly removed from their own countries to be brought here through slavery.

This initiative of Yusuf Abramjee and the publisher offers fellow Muslims who may not yet have taken this journey a visual experience of what it is like for South Africans to go there as pilgrims.

And beyond this, the book celebrates our cultural diversity as South Africans, because such a text also reaches out to others to understand what it means to be Muslim, to be South African, to be African, all at the same time and also to be at one with the world and with one’s religious beliefs.

Therefore it is my view that the book belongs to all and has meaning across cultures, religions and can inspire people in this country to give more to others, to build a more inclusive society and to work towards an egalitarian world.

This approach could only have come from one such as Yusuf Abramjee who we in the Ministry and Department of Arts and Culture are pleased to have as a Social Cohesion Advocate, who has given freely of his time to help others and to build cohesion in our country.

We are pleased that this book is being donated to public libraries at no costs. This itself is done in the spirit of generosity and knowledge sharing.

Together inspired by this work of art, let us continue to strengthen this journey to a better life for all and a more peaceful and prosperous world.

I thank you

MINISTER NATHI MTHETHWA
NOVEMBER 201

TOURISM MINISTER SUPPORTS HAJJ BOOK

hajj2016-a-journey hajj2016-a-journey-openMEDIA STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday 24 October 2016

TOURISM MINISTER SUPPORTS HAJJ BOOK

#AbramjeeOnHajj coffee table book launches

Tourism Minister, Derek Hanekom, says the publication of a coffee table book on Hajj by a South African, “captures the heart and soul” of the annual Muslim pilgrimage.

Hanekom was speaking at the launch of the photo journal #AbramjeeOnHajj.

Social activist, Yusuf Abramjee, who undertook his first Hajj this year, released the high-gloss A3 landscape coffee table book in Johannesburg. It has over 400 photographs, all taken with his iPhone 6 Plus, of #Hajj2016 which took place last month.

Hanekom said: “Tourism, including Hajj is about discovering new things, making a difference and meeting people.”

The Minister said “every Muslim I know, even those who are not religious, dream of going on Hajj. It is a life-changing experience.

“We thank Yusuf for sharing his experience. You captured the heart, soul and meaning of the Hajj. I studied the over 400 photos and they tell a rich story,” said Hanekom.

He praised SA pilgrims who fed thousands of people during the this years Hajj. Abramjee led the feeding scheme.

“Tourism between South Africa and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is growing steadily. It is not only good for our economy, but it contributes to tolerance, peace and friendship.”

Addressing almost 500 guests, Abramjee said he decided to share his journey to “inspire, motivate and educate people of all religions.

“Hajj unites us. The book is also about promoting social cohesion and it promotes religious tolerance,” he added.

“Muslims are often labeled as terrorists and we are wrongly associated with groups such as Al Qaeda and Boko Haram. We need to change this. Islam is a peace-loving religion…Hajj, which attracts millions of people, shows that,” Abramjee added.

Abramjee said Hajj “is indeed a journey of a lifetime. It is more than a physical journey. It was a journey of the inner soul towards self-purification and the awareness of the presence of God Almighty.”

The book sells at R750 and proceeds will go to two charities- Awqaf SA and Crescent Lifestyle for “Hajj Waqf”. The funds will be used to sponsor destitute pilgrims to travel next year.

Abramjee said he and Vision Branding publisher Yaseen Theba would be donating books to libraries and NGO’s. Over R275 000 was raised at the launch to sponsor books.

South Africa’s acting Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed Abbas Khan, said “the coffee table book tells a unique story and the photos are outstanding.”

In the foreword, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to South Africa, Abdullah Mohammed Almadhi, said #AbramjeeOnHajj “presents a text that is accessible, and illuminating, with an astounding visual richness, subtlety, and inspiring depth. “May the book inspire other pilgrims to perform the Hajj,” he added.

Former Public Protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela, said #AbramjeeOnHajj “opens a window into an inspiring and insightful spiritual journey that is enlightening about the essence of true Islam. The photo journal is also an intriguing visual feast.”

Activist and former Robben Island prisoner, Ahmed Kathrada, said Abramjee’s book “will not only evoke memories of spirituality, but will show why ‘unity in diversity’ – wording that reflects on our own Coat of Arms.”

World renowned Islamic scholar, Mufti Ismail Menk, said: “From moment Yusuf Abramjee embarked on the #Hajj2016 journey, there was a lot of excitement. He promised to keep the world update with regards to the blessed journey. As the days passed we saw how his journey quickly became filled with great compassion towards others especially the under-privileged.”

The coffee table book has also been endorsed by, amongst others, Gauteng Transport MEC, Ismail Vadi, Secretary General of the Jamiatul-Ulama SA (Council of Muslim Theologians, Moulana Ebrahim Bham, Monique Strydom – SA hostage survivor and founder of Matla A Bana, Janine Hills founder and CEO of Vuwani Reputation Management and Brand SA director as well as businessman and former cabinet minister Tokyo Sexwale.

The book has photos of the Grand Mosques in Madinah and Makkah, historical Islamic sights and the five days of Hajj- the “tent city” in Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah. The Jamarat, where the symbolic pelting of the Satan takes place, is also highlighted.

Some 1,8 millions went on Hajj this year- the lowest figure in many years.

#Hajj2016 #AbramjeeOn Hajj
can be ordered on-line: www.abramjee.com

End

PHOTOGRAPHS:
Media can request images and digital book
media@visionbranding.co.za
VIDEO: (Launch Event – Houghton Golf Club)
www.visionbranding.co.za/hajj2016-book/

Order Link:
www.visionbranding.co.za

ENQUIRIES:

*Yusuf Abramjee cell 082 4414 203
*Yaseen Theba (publisher) 064 4 000 000

SOUTH AFRICAN MUSLIMS UNITE

avfaMEDIA STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sunday 16 October 2016

SOUTH AFRICAN MUSLIMS UNITE
#UmrahVisaFeesMustFall

Hundreds of Muslims met in Crosby, Johannesburg today to voice their opposition at the introduction of excessive visa fees for Hajj and Umrah (pilgrimage).

The Saudi Arabia Government recently announced the introduction of visa fees of SR 2000, or some R10 000.

This has caused worldwide anger.

Speaking at the public meeting, Social Activist and co-chair of the newly formed Anti Visa Fee Committee SA, Yusuf Abramjee, said: “We are all opposed to the visa fee hike. It is exorbitant. Today we are joining the international outcry against the high visa fees for Hajj and Umrah.

“Hajj and Umrah is a religious obligation and should be performed by any Muslim who can afford it. This new visa fee will be an added burden on pilgrims,” said Moulana Moosa Akoodie, co-vice Chairperson of the new body.

Various representatives from SAHUC, SA Muslim Travel Association, religious bodies and NGO’s were co-opted to the new committee. Others have been invited to join in.

Moulana Ebrahim Bham, Secretary-General of the Jamiatul Ulama SA, (Council of Muslim Theologians) who co chaired the meeting with Abramjee, said: “We are standing united on this issue. These visa fees must be scrapped and we will engage the Saudi Embassy embassy in Pretoria and SA Government to also get clarity.”

Umrah season is expected to open within days.

The SA Hajj and Umrah Council (SAHUC) also expressed its opposition to the visa fee hike and said it had already written letters to the Saudi Embassy and DIRCO to oppose it.

Fazila Malek from the SA Muslim Travel Association was was elected co-vice chairperson with Moulana Akoodee, said “the R10 000 visa fee will make it difficult for many to travel to the holy land. We want it scrapped.”

Abramjee said the meeting unanimously resolved to engage the Saudi and SA government urgently. “We are also circulating petitions and thousands of people have already signed it. We are going to continue mobilizing.”

The meeting adopted this declaration:

We, the Muslims of South Africa and after consultation with the Muslims present today, Sunday, 16th October 2016 at JISA Centre, under the auspices of the ANTI VISA FEE COMMITTEE (SA)

RESOLVED:

1. We oppose the Hajj and Umrah visa Fees;
2. We call on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to immediately scrap the fees for Hajj and Umrah;
3. We call on the South African Government via DIRCO and the Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to take up this call on behalf of the Muslim Community;
4. We call on the South African Government via DIRCO and the Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to present our call to scrap the proposed visa fees for Hajj and Umrah;
5. We call on all the Muslims of South Africa to sign the petition to scrap the proposed visa fees for Hajj and Umrah;
6. We do not support the call to boycott Umrah and Hajj as it is our right and religious obligation to perform Hajj and Umrah;
7. We join the International Community in this call to scrap the proposed Hajj and Umrah fees;
8. We will work towards regulating the agent’s admin fees that are being charged for obtaining of visas;
9. We will look into the issue of Health Insurance that is being circulated currently in social media;
10. We will have effective engagement with the authorities to re-look at the visa fees and discuss the reasonableness of such fees;
11. We will call on the South African Government to engage in bilateral agreements specifically for Hajj and Umrah on behalf of the Muslims of South Africa;
12. We will join the International forum to further the call for the scrapping of the visas for Hajj and Umrah;
13. We will use any other effective ways in going forward to challenge the visa fees for Hajj and Umrah.

End

Enquiries;

*Yusuf Abramjee cell 082 4414 203

*Moulana Ebrahim Bham cell 083 786 2859

*Moulana Moosa Akoodie cell 084 668 8199

*Fazila Malek cell 082 554 2292

*Yaseen Theba (Communications) 064 4 000 000

South African Hajj pilgrims feed the destitute

MEDIA STATEMENT
Sunday 4 September 2016
South African Hajj pilgrims feed the destitute

Over R250 000 has been raised by South Africans to assist destitute pilgrims in Makkah Saudi Arabia ahead of the annual Hajj.A collection drive spearheaded by social activist, Yusuf Abramjee, who is on his first Hajj, saw many of the 1950 South African pilgrims in the Kingdom and scores of locals donating to feed hungry pilgrims from various parts of the world.

“Hundreds of pilgrims in Makkah simply sleep along streets and outside the Grand Mosque. A few of us decided to do something and within minutes we raised R70 000 amongst SA pilgrims.

“Back home the message fast spread on social media and we raised a further R180 000. Cash is still coming in for the feeding schemes,” Abramjee said.

After Friday prayers, the South Africans distributed over 400 food packs and some 1000 bottles of water.

“Within minutes it was all gone. Pilgrims lined up for the food and water. We are making a small difference…And in true South African tradition, we are again opening our hearts,” Abramjee added.

The group was planning to feed a further 500 pilgrims on Sunday evening near the Grand Mosque.

Abramjee said pilgrims in Azzizia outside Makkah will be fed next week and thousands of bottles of water would be distributed during the 5 days of Hajj which starts next Saturday.

“Temperatures are over 40 degrees. People need to be hydrated,” he said. “Heat stroke and exhaustion are major concerns.”

“Charity is part of our religion and we are doing our bit to make a difference. We are keeping the SA spirit of Ubuntu alive here,” Abramjee said.

Abramjee, a social cohesion advocate was involved in the launch of Operation Hydrate earlier this year.
Volunteers distributed millions of liters of water to drought-stricken parts of South Africa.

Pilgrim Mubeen Adam from Pretoria said “I was touched when I saw how many people needed food. They scrambled for it.”
Rahim Haroon from Johannesburg said he and his wife Aisha volunteered to donate and distribute the food with other SA pilgrims. “While we are fortunate and living in top class hotels we cannot sit back and watch people going hungry.”
Yasmin Johnson from Cape Town said she also contributed to the feeding programme. “I am so delighted that SA pilgrims took the lead and are assisting the less fortunate.”
Abramjee said the food was being distributed to pilgrims from across the globe including Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
EndPhotos available on request.

IMG_0721