The Dawoodi Bohra Community of Melbourne organised a conference titled ‘A Peaceful Mind for A Peaceful Society’ at the Australian Indian Community Centre in Rowville on February 19, 2023.
The conference was organised on the occasion of Yaum al Mab’ath – the day on which the Prophet Mohammed received his prophethood. It was a multicultural event attended by members of various faiths and backgrounds. The attendees were traditionally welcomed with the offering of sweets. After the recitation of the Holy Quran, Mr Mustafa Poonawala, a community organiser spoke about the significance of the day and details regarding the conference. A minute of silence was observed in respect of and to pray for the victims of the earthquakes in Turkey, Syria and New Zealand. Some guest speakers were invited to give a speech, including the Hon. Will Fowles MP who attended the event on behalf of the Minister for Multicultural Affairs the Hon. Colin Brooks MP and Ms Vivienne Nyugen, Chairperson VMC.
The highlight of the event was a poem on ‘peace’ recited by the children of the Dawoodi Bohra community. Their innocent young voices painted the picture of a harmonious world filled with peace, tolerance and acceptance, that touched the audience. Later, an interesting panel discussion took place around two important questions; what is being done? and what more could be done to create a peaceful society? Members of the Dawoodi Bohra community and other guests took part in the discussion and presented their views.
Towards the end of the programme, everyone was requested to make a ‘Peace Pledge’ by posting their names on a pledge board. Lunch was served during the break, and as they were leaving, guests were offered a light dab of ittar, a natural perfume oil typically applied to the hands. Offering ittar to guests is a traditional Islamic gesture of hospitality and respect.
As proud contributors to the city of Melbourne, the Dawoodi Bohra community consists of approximately 160 families who actively participate in several local community projects.