Shiraz Bhai Walji’s Address – Ayyame Fatimiyah

Respected Scholars

Elders of the Community

Members

Ladies and Gentlemen

 

Salamun Alaikum.

 

I begin by conveying condolences to our Present Imam (A.F.) on the death anniversary of the Lady of Light Bibi Fatema (a.s.)

 

It is with a heavy heart that I also offer the families of

Marhum Zahid Kanji,

Marhum Yusuf Shafikali Khaki,

Marhum Salman Salim Damji and

Marhum Suhailali Karim

Our heartfelt condolences on behalf of the entire Community on the sad and tragic demise of these young aspiring boys of our Community.

Let us remember them and all the other people who lost their  lives  due to this incident with a Surah Fateha.

I come here to offer love and prayers of our community. I am very mindful that mere words cannot match the depths of your sorrow, nor can they heal your wounded hearts. I can only hope that it helps for you to know that you’re not alone in your grief; that our community throughout the world has wept with you.

And you must know that whatever measure of comfort we can provide, we will provide; whatever portion of sadness that we can share with you to ease this heavy load, we will gladly bear it.

Our hearts are broken by sudden passing way of 36 people including 4 of our own boys. However we should also thank Almighty Allah for the 18 who survived the tragedy.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

On that Friday morning at 8:25 a.m. while sitting in front of the TV watching the news, I got a call to rush to the mosque.

I came within 10 minutes and what I saw and what transpired in the next 72 hours was unprecedented.

For 72 hours I watched our community rally to a communal disaster of an unprecedented magnitude in the history of Khoja community . I witnessed our brothers and sisters work tirelessly and with all their hearts and I thanked Allah for making me part of this wonderful community.

It was amazing to see how everybody worked in unison and how much was achieved.

It is no mere task, to clear a sixteen storey building in 72 hours flat, in a congested area with dozens of people to recover including four of our own children with limited human expertise and machinery.

The whole world has applauded our efforts and the amazing results. And indeed this requires recognition.

At this juncture I want us to recognize all the communities and organizations that helped, the Hindus, the Sikhs, the Bohoras, the Ismailis, the Sunni, that fall under Tada Umbrella,  the Red Cross, the Tanzania Defense Forces, the Tanzania Police Force, the Fire and Rescue Services, Ambulances services,  the Ultimate Security Services, Muhimbili Hospital and all the construction companies that came forward to assist us in the rescue mission.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank  community members who assisted in whatever way possible, without a pause for their comfort, be it the Jamaat volunteers, medical professionals, Task Force team or just a member of the Community.  Each one played a unique role in this  difficult circumstance.

We must not forget the work done by the Chairlady and her team, the counselors and all those who were working behind the scenes to ensure that our operations run smoothly.

We must also thank all those who came forward without asking, delivering food and drinks during the crises, people who helped us in getting cutting  disks, oxygen, pipes and equipment on the spur of the moment.

Last but not least, I will fail in my duty if we did not honor Anwerbhai Dharamsi, wearing the cap of Africa Federation and  also the cap of TRH  for his and his team’s  tireless support during these difficult times.

The way the community worked together shows us the capacity that  is in our community – that of UNITY!

I want us all to understand that its this capacity that needs to be maintained for us to build upon in our over all vision .

Losing this capacity, would be another tragedy for the development of a better future of our community

On a greater picture, we should  not also forget how all the communities came together in time of need and we should strengthen this bond and be ready to support each other in times of crises.

Let us not ponder on the shortcomings of an event, as we may then lose sight of the bigger picture and the future.

Let us not yield to personal egos as we cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about the progress and prosperity for our community.

Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.

Yes in this crises we did manage to understand where our weaknesses are and what our strengths are.

We will look into this and make the necessary changes where required.

I was pleasantly surprised to see new faces doing voluntary work.

I would like to also take this opportunity to thank you all for your co-operation and support during this difficult moment whilst  some parts of the complex remain closed.

I would also like to thank you for all your donation  for the victims and we have requested other communities to donate so that we can distribute the total funds to the families who lost their family members in the tragedy.

Today we have opened the funding for the restructure of our complex. Let each and every one donate for this cause so that we can all be part of the reconstruction.

WHAT  NEXT

  • The plot where on which the building collapsed, we are working with the authorities that their should not be any construction on this plot and it be kept as an open area.
  • The building across, which is still standing, Government experts are already doing their investigation on the site and we will keep you  posted.
  • In the mean time, we have still kept the hospital closed and also have requested that Kanji Damani building is also not safe.
  • We would like you all to bear with us, due to inconveniences caused in the mean time. We are taking advice from experts on what areas to operate and what areas to remain closed.
  • Last but not the least, I advise you all to refrain from sending messages on face book, whatsapp and  e mails regarding the tragedy .
  • These messages not only reach our community but other communities and Government departments, hence making our task of achieving what we want, very difficult and infringes on the privacy of the families.I pray to the Almighty that the issue in hand is sorted out soon to enable us get back to our normal routine programs.

I pray to Allah (s.w.t) through the wasila of Bibi Fatema (a.s.) to grant the parents and families of our young Marhums patience and courage to bear this irreparable loss.