Canadian Festival Celebrates Islamic Art

MuslimFest 2006, the third annual Muslim summer festival, will open Saturday, August 12, in the Greater Toronto area to showcase Islamic art, music, film and culture.

Canadian Festival Celebrates Islamic Art

"Amidst rising global political tensions and the division of people into races and ideologies, events such as MuslimFest, serve to remind me of my own humanity and the need to help mend people's fears and hopes through artistic expression and entertainment," Taha Ghayyur, MuslimFest Director, told IslamOnline.net.

The event is organized mainly by youths in the Toronto Muslim community and coordinated by Young Muslims, SoundVision, and DawaNet.

The program will include a family variety show, children's puppet show, Sister's Extravaganza, an international art exhibit, a film competition, artist demonstrations and workshops.

Over 50 Canadian and international artists will participate in this year's the daylong event.

The artists featured in this year's variety show will include international comedian Preacher Moss, who is known for the Allah Made Me Funny tour, Canadian singer Dawud Wharnsby Ali and the American group Native Deen.

Being featured in the festival for the first time is the group Sound of Reason, spoken word artist Sofia Baig and singer Mariam Sobh.

The Greater Toronto Area is home to one of the highest percentages of Muslims in North America and the community forms a unique mosaic of individuals from different ethnic and racial groups.

Film Competition

Mahfuza Rahman, MuslimFest co-chair, expects between 10, 000 and 15,000 people to flock to Mississauga Living Arts Centre.

"We are encouraging everyone to come and enjoy the art and entertainment that the community has to offer," she added in a press release.

A film competition is being introduced at this year's event.

"The goal of this Film Competition is to inspire aspiring film makers and producers in the Muslim community to utilize this medium to serve God and our community," said Amer Meknas.

"It aims to expose the artistic and cultural beauty of Islam to a public that is continuously bombarded with negative stereotypes."

The festival will also include the very popular multicultural bazaar which is a collection of booths featuring international artwork, fashion designs, jewellery, mosaic of multi-ethnic food, wireless technologies, financial services, books and DVD's on a variety of topics, social services and youth organizations.

The organizers are also hoping to show support for people of Lebanon at the festival by collecting donations.

They are also hoping to issue a declaration asking the Canadian government to proactively condemn the aggression against the Lebanese people and to call for an immediate cease fire.

More than 1,032 Lebanese civilians, a third of whom were children, have been killed and around one million have been driven homeless since Israel launched a large-scale offensive in Lebanon on July 12.

Canadian Muslims make 1.9% of Canada's some 32.8 million people, according to the CIA online world facts book.

Islam has become the number one non-Christian faith in Canada.

Source:Islamonline.net

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