Neighbourhood Week Closing Ceremony 2018
Neighbourhood week came to a close on Friday 12th of October with a standing reception. Summayah Kenna (head of community wefare) MC'd the afternoon. Sheikh Muhammed Ibrahim opened the reception with a beautiful recitatin of Qur'an. Ahmed Hasain gave a welcoming address to the guests, who included the guest of honour Cllr Lettie McCarthy, HE Mr Lassen Melrouai, Senator Gerry Horkan, Superintendent Anthony O'Donnel and dignitaries from various embassies.
Cllr Lettie McCarthy gave a lovely speech which has been copied below:
I am delighted to welcome you here this afternoon to the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland to celebrate “Neighbourhood Week 2018” as part of Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council’s annual ‘Festival of Inclusion’, which actually finishes tomorrow.
The main purpose of Festival of Inclusion is to raise awareness and interest in community engagement and participation and to celebrate and recognise the often invisible, quiet, behind the scenes work which happens throughout the year and across the county. This work supports vulnerable groups and communities to engage and participate in the social and cultural life of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County, which in turn makes our entire county more attractive and inclusive for us all.
Ireland is a rapidly changing country, but some things remain constant. As a country that has, for generations, seen our children emigrate and travel abroad, we know the importance of inclusion and integration. We, as a people, also know the damage caused by fear, resentment, racism and the unknown. It’s why events like this are so welcome and the work is critical to building better communities and strengthening our links with all those who make their homes in Ireland. Many things have changed in our country, but I am thankful that one of the worrying trends we’ve seen in other countries, namely the rise of the anti-immigrant sentiments, hasn’t happened here. Principally because of events like this, where people are encouraged to get to know, and meet each other.
We embrace difference and change, and engaging with our neighbours is at the heart of that. We all want strong communities, for our local sport team to succeed, for our children to be safe and the chance to meet their potential. Long may it continue, where we have shared ideas, dreams and goals - knowing each other is the first step.
We have had over 70 events taking place during this year’s festival and we were especially to have the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland’s “Neighbourhood week” feature within our Programme of Events, with the fantastic displays of woodcraft, calligraphy, jewellery making, metalcraft and henna. And I know that there has been fantastic interest throughout the week, with many schools visiting the Centre during “Neighbourhood Week”.
I would like to take this opportunity to once again congratulate you all on such a fantastic event, and in particular, I would like to thank Dr. Nooh Alkaddo, Imam Hussein Halawa, Ahmed Hasain, Summayah Kenna and their team.
A big thank you to all involved and to the schools and guests who attended over the course of the week.