Cultural Awareness Talk to Gardaí
On Wednesday, January 16th, Summayah Kenna and Amilah Ali from the ICCI’s community welfare office attended the Wicklow Garda station and delivered a cultural awareness talk to a group of An Garda Síochána. Sr Summayah has more than 15 years’ experience in delivering such cultural awareness talks to many organisations and groups outside of the Centre. It is an important part of her work. She spoke to the Gardaí about how to break down barriers from the first meeting e.g. the greeting of Salaam (peace), shaking of hands, putting the hand to one’s heart instead of offering a handshake where a handshake is not appropriate and then went on to talk about male and female interactions and the importance of having a female Garda present when Muslim women are involved, fear of law enforcement by new migrants, culture clashes where parents heritage Vs Irish heritage amongst the youth, prayer, fasting, halal food, alcohol and drugs. Sr Amilah touched briefly on what happens when a Muslim dies and if Garda involvement is needed what they need to be aware of regarding the Muslim belief around funeral arrangements and the quickness of preparation for burial, who should touch and have access to the deceased person’s body etc. The floor was open to questions and answers. It was a very relaxed and engaging talk for all and we’d like to extend our thanks to Sgt Dave McInerney for the invitation to talk to this wonderful group of Gardaí.