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Africa Muslims Agency to host exhibition marking 35th anniversary

Building water wells and boreholes was one of the first initiatives undertaken by AMA in the early years, as the need for water across Africa is critical.

Building water wells and boreholes was one of the first initiatives undertaken by AMA in the early years, as the need for water across Africa is critical.

Published May 18, 2022

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Cape Town - The Africa Muslims Agency (AMA) is marking 35 years of service providing humanitarian aid to the continent and beyond.

Since its formation by the Late Mahomed Farid Choonara and Dr Abdur Rahman As Sumait in January 1987, AMA has been operational in 29 countries in Africa.

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It has stepped in to assist in disaster-affected regions including Somalia, Sudan, Kenya and Mozambique, as well as drought-stricken areas.

In South Africa, the agency provides essentials such as food, toiletries, blankets, sanitary packs and stationery. During the Covid-19 pandemic, it assisted in providing masks, sanitisers, and medication.

AMA regional manager Hussain Choonara said: “The visionary pair understood the plight of people living on the continent of Africa, and it was their mission to make the South African donor community aware of this huge need in order to encourage donations that would change the lives of thousands of people living without food, water and basic necessities.”

The organisation has also assisted in regions outside of Africa, with operations in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Burma, Turkey and Yemen, among others.

Key initiatives include water wells and boreholes, orphan and education sponsorships, building mosques, disaster response, medical assistance and the provision of essentials.

An exhibition will be held at the Lookout, V&A Waterfront, on May 21 from 10am to 5pm, where visitors can view displays of AMA’s work and experience a 360º virtual tour of refugee camps.

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“View a handwritten Qur’an from Africa, a beaded AK47 made in Afghanistan, woven soccer balls from Malawi and incredible photos capturing the impact that AMA donors have made over the years in millions of lives,” Choonara said.

AMA volunteer Ashraf Gangraker said the intention behind the exhibition was to create the opportunity for the public to gain a deeper understanding of how those we see on television, read about, hear about and often avoid or gloss over, actually live.

“We want people to walk away discovering a sense of humanity within themselves, to be inspired to volunteer, to donate and to be part of the solution of creating a better and more just world,” Gangraker said.

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