Islam Channel celebrates its annual Eid Gala Dinner
Islam Channel hosted its 4th annual Eid Gala Dinner, a flagship occasion in London’s Eid events calendar, on Friday evening, May 12th 2023 at the London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square, located in the heart of Mayfair.
In partnership with the Muslim World League and ILM, it brought together over 500 leading members of the Muslim community, supporters from all backgrounds and representatives of the not-for-profit and business sectors.
Islam Channel Founder Mohamed Ali Harrath said: “Our Eid Gala Dinner is an opportunity to celebrate not only the Islamic Festival of Eid but also the outstanding achievements and contributions made by Muslims in the UK and around the world."
Inspirational speakers highlighted the importance of Muslims in public life
The occasion was a fitting celebration of Eid al-Fitr. There were many inspirational speakers who drew on a number of common themes, underlining the importance of Muslim contributions to public life and discourse, in the UK and worldwide and highlighting the responsibilities which we bear as Muslims.
Speakers included Sir Iqbal Sacranie, OBE, Founding Secretary General of the MCB, who focused on the duty of Muslims to speak out on behalf of the global Ummah and the importance of speaking up when something is happening which is not in line with our deen. This theme was explored further by Naz Shah, MP, who spoke about an event which she had attended to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Palestinian Naqba, and highlighted the continued suffering of the Ummah, not only in Palestine but also around the world, including in Kashmir and Pakistan, referring to herself as a "daughter of Kashmir". She also spoke about the significant contributions of Muslims in her Bradford constituency.
The Lord Mayor of Westminster, Cllr. Hamza Taouzzale (pictured in the main image with Islam Channel Founder, Mohamed Ali Harrath), spoke about the importance of representation and his pride in being accompanied by his hijab-wearing mother to the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. Islam Channel Founder, Mohamed Ali Harrath meanwhile, highlighted the importance of Muslims defining ourselves in a positive framework, "as what we are, not what we are not". He praised the work of the headline sponsors: the Muslim World League, in improving worldwide understanding of Islam and promoting friendship and co-operation; and charity ILM UK for its vital work helping those in need throughout the world. He also thanked the other event sponsors including online peer-to-peer financing platform Nester, sneaker care brand Crep Protect, Pan-Asian quick service restaurant brand, Chopstix, charity sponsor, Al Mustafa Welfare Trust and catering partner, Greenleaf Catering.
A video message which had been recorded especially for the occasion by HE Dr. Sheikh Muhammad bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, Secretary General of the Muslim World League stressed the important role which the media and platforms such as Islam Channel had to play in ensuring that "good triumphs". He drew attention to the shared goals of the two organisations and highlighted the instrumental role which the MWL had played in initiatives such as the UN International Day to Combat Islamophobia. Muslim World League was also represented by its CEO, UK and USA, Muath Alamri.
Guests enjoyed world-class entertainment
Hosted by Islam Channel’s Sajid Varda and Ayesha Tariq, guests at the evening enjoyed fine dining, provided by award-winning Greenleaf Catering and world-class entertainment including comedian Prince Abdi, the Al Nour Band and inspirational 13 year-old poet, Ayman Tasleem. There was a rousing end to the evening from Nasheed artist Safe Adam, who also spoke about his decision to leave mainstream music to focus more strongly on his faith.
Over £60,000 raised by ILM UK to rebuild Pakistan
Islam Channel's charity partner and headline sponsor, ILM, asked for guests' support to rebuild destroyed lives and homes in Pakistan, following last year's floods, which devastated much of the country, affecting the lives of 33 million people.
Lord Qasim Zafar, UK Director of ILM UK, praised the generosity of Islam Channel's viewers and said that "the event was an important opportunity for us to share the work of ILM with Islam Channel viewers". He said that help was needed now more than ever "to rebuild devastated lives and homes for those suffering to regain the security and comfort of having a roof over their heads - something which many of us take for granted." ILM UK was delighted to be able to raise over £60,000 to continue their vital work rebuilding the region.
ILM UK's Ambassador Faraz Yousufzai, a familiar face to Islam Channel viewers, who led the fundraising, highlighted the importance of continuing good habits of giving, after Ramadan. He described the event as "a great halal get-together of like-minded people wanting to work together, support and listen to each other." He said it was "a great demonstration of the verse in the Quran where God (SWT) says that he created us to know each other and that's exactly what the Eid Gala Dinner is all about".
This year's event was the 4th annual Eid Gala Dinner. Over 500 people attended last year’s sold-out event. Speakers included Leader of the Liberal Democrats Sir Ed Davey MP, Senior Advisor to Islam Channel Sir Iqbal Sacranie OBE, Kuwaiti Ambassador HE Khaled Al-Duwaisan, MCB Secretary-General Zara Mohammed, and MPs Afzal Khan and Naz Shah.