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Eid Milan 2005

Eid Miilan 2005 was to bring locals together no matter what their background, to socialise & feel that there was a mutual respect, to be tolerant & understanding of all members of the community. Being a Muslim, Saj & Abdul Ghafoor felt that to celebrate their Muslim festival of Eid would be the first step to encompass all that is good in the world & to remember that the most important gift we have is humanity itself. No matter what our religion, nationality, ethnicity etc we all need a sense of belonging, & need to feel that we have friends that accept & respect us & vice versa. That is what a community is all about. But you can only get out what you put in. So the Ghafoors, with the help of their 4 children & their friends were about to change Carlisle in a way, that even they could not have imagined.



Eid Milan 2005 raised money for the Asian Earthquake Appeal. The generosity of Cumbrians was beyond question. A local lady came to the event & brought her two young granddaughters along. The girls had been saving up copper coins, and decided to donate to the appeal. As the old saying goes, if you look after the pennies, the pounds look after themselves. It applies to people too. If each one of us works together, however small the contribution, the potential is huge. One person may have started it but others agreed & contributed. HDM Spice Shop raises over £750 from Eid Milan 2005 food sales held at Greystone Community Centre On 6th November 2005, organised by Saj Ghafoor, owner of HDM Spice Shop, CarlisleParish Priest Monsignor Gregory Turner From Our Lady & St Joseph’s Church, Warwick Road Collected from the congregation Raising approximately £900 Zaid from Islamic Relief received a cheque totalling money raised by joint efforts


HDM Spice Girls

HDM Spice Girls perfomed Bollywood dances choreographed by Samina Ghafoor.  They spent many hours practicing.  They had a fundraising fashion show & Bollywood dance at Trinity School in June 2005 (more info below), & were keen to have another chance to perform at Eid Milan 2005.


Why did the Eid Milan Event happen?

On 21st January 2005 HDM Spice Shop opened it’s doors to the citizens of Carlisle. Two weeks previously Carlisle had suffered the worst floods in over 50 years. Just a few hundred yards away homes had been devastated. It quite quickly became a point of call for many Minority Ethnic people living in and around Carlisle. Individuals were coming in and asking if there were people from their background living in Carlisle. Saj Ghafoor (owner) got a red notebook & started to write people’s names, country of origin & telephone numbers to pass on to potential friends. A growing picture of isolation & also the lack of accessibility for locals to learn more about other cultures. Many professionals were frustrated that despite ethnic diversity being high on the government’s agenda, there was little being done practically at grass roots level. There were conferences & meetings to discuss what could, should,, will be done, but nothing developed into positive action. One of the key stumbling blocks was communication & the language barrier. Many migrants couldn’t speak English, and could not afford language lessons. It was and is easier to produce leaflets in foreign languages that to try to engage with people, with a good possibility that the migrants may not be able to read or write in their mother tongue.


Locals were keen to experience more authentic culture, instead of the put on stuff by the council. They were also keen to have the chance to talk to people from different backgrounds without worrying about being offensive. They were genuinely interested in knowing more. Minority Ethnic individuals felt lonely, unwanted & regularly had racial abuse. There were only two places that were safe. Home & work (or School). For many Minority ethnic people the only time they were outdoors would be travelling from one to the other. There is no where to go for Black & minority ethnic people to socialise regarding their culture & communities, where, there is no need to explain oneself & where they are from. We all like to have fun & enjoy our selves. There were no regular foreign films.  Five years on there still isn't.  It i about having the opportunities for all members of the community to be proud of thier heritage & be comfortable in their own skin.  Life would be very boring if we were all the same.


Bollywood dancers are a fundraising success

SCHOOL on a Monday morning is usually not the brightest place to be. But this week Trinity School came alive with Bollywood dancers dressed in dazzlingly colourful silks and satins. Pupil Samina Ghafoor, 15, showed great initiative by organising a fashion show in aid of Make Poverty History. She gave up a week of her time along with six fellow pupils who had seven days to learn how to dance Bollywood-style: Eleanor Heald, Stephanie Musgrave, Lisa Begum, Becky Jobling, Rachael Skingley and Sophie Lennon, all aged 15. Over 100 pupils, parents and teachers gathered to see them strut their stuff on the stage in genuine Asian dresses belonging to Samina’s family. More than £100 was raised from the sparkling event.

Samina said: “We did it all ourselves, with some help from my mum. We had to practice the dance for two hours every night after school. “The catwalk was the easy part. It was the choreography the girls found difficult. I showed them how to move their hips and we watched a Bollywood film for some tips.” Bollywood beats Hollywood, according to Samina. It was her love of the movies which inspired her to put on the show. English teacher Mrs Jones came up with the idea of giving the proceeds to a school in Africa she had visited and felt desperately needed their help. All money raised will be used to buy science equipment there.


Tuesday, 19 July 2005 - JArmstrong


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