first_imgPrint Yasmin and Ruhida Nazari.Alan Jacques brought his three young sons to an Islamic cultural exhibition in Limerick where they got an insight into the nature of friendship.Adam Sabbagh, Garda Michael Hennessy, Salman Mahad, Imam Abdullah Jaribu, Umer Shirdel and Garda Kevin Balfe at the Islamic Cultural Exhibition in Limerick.BUILDING bridges and friendships was the simple message conveyed at an Islamic Cultural Exhibition held in Limerick recently.Arriving at the Al Furqan Muslim Community Centre on Windmill Street I was greeted by nothing but smiling faces and warm words of welcome.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up I also brought my three young children along to broaden their PlayStation-filled minds with a new cultural experience.Imām (spiritual leader) of the city mosque, Abdullah Hassan Jaribu, beaming as always, was happy with the steady stream of visitors coming to check out the exhibition.One man, he tells me, arrived with a box of dates and tells the Muslim Community that he would like to find someone to teach him Arabic. After being lead to just the man who is willing to help him with his language lessons he skips off delighted with himself.A group of women also travelled in from County Limerick to show their support and learn more about their Muslim neighbours.Yasmin and Ruhida Nazari.“Today is about building bridges and closing the gap. I tell my community ‘you all have neighbours, get to know them’. That is what our faith is all about. We want to live lives together filled with laughter,” Abdullah tells me.The exhibition was organised by Discover Islam, a group that serve the non-Muslim community in Ireland by hosting events to give an insight into the Islamic Faith. In an atmosphere conducive to openness and willingness, the event provided visitors with an opportunity to learn about Islam, ask questions or simply clarify a point.The exhibition also showcased the Islamic Culture by displaying various artifacts, paintings, Islamic Calligraphy, Arabic name writing and Islamic cultural dress. Various copies of the Holy Quran in different translations were also on display.Discover Islam has to date organised over 100 exhibitions in Ireland and the UK with over 20,000 visitors.“There are massive misconceptions and so much rhetoric about Islam. There are black sheep everywhere,” Faisal Farooqi of Discover Islam commented.“This is a real opportunity for people to come together and ask questions on a one to one basis and bridge the gap. Everyone is welcome.”That was certainly my experience.Saratu Garba and Annet Birabwa.While my children were stirred by the warmth and affection showed to them by Limerick’s Muslim community. They tried spicy dishes that their potato-loving palettes were unaccustomed to. They had their names written in Arabic calligraphy, which they were very excited about, and mixed with children their own age of a different faith.But it was the warm welcome that stayed with them on the drive home.“That was so awesome. Everyone was so friendly,” my eldest boy enthused.Touched by their childlike innocence and openness to accept others, a quote from Roman philosopher Seneca came to mind.“One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood.”The Islamic Cultural Exhibition certainly laid the foundations for such friendships to Alan [email protected] Abdullah Jaribu, Saed Lahem and Adnan Ialjamie.Brothers Ghamai and Mirhama Ahmeday.Sulaiman Hashmy, Waheed Uddin, Garda Kevin Balfe, kneeling Bahaeddin Tarabulsi, Ryma Halfaour and Aisha Angarib. Advertisement Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live NewsTO UNDERSTAND AND TO BE UNDERSTOODBy Alan Jacques – October 6, 2016 1819 WhatsApp Twitter Linkedin WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads Facebookcenter_img Predictions on the future of learning discussed at Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Limerick Artist ‘Willzee’ releases new Music Video – “A Dream of Peace” Previous articleGood news keeps coming on the Limerick jobs frontNext articleLandmark venue in receivership Alan Jacques TAGSAl Furqan Muslim Community CentreDiscover IslamfeaturedIslamlimerick Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed live Email Billy Lee names strong Limerick side to take on Wicklow in crucial Division 3 clashlast_img