Faces of Yarra: Amina, Yasmine and Selima

Thursday 17 May 2018

Amina, Yasmine and Selima are sisters and current members of the Albanian Australian Islamic Society (AAIS) in Drummond Street, Carlton North.

“Us sisters were all born in Melbourne and we have been involved with the AAIS since birth. We are the largest Albanian Muslim organisation in Australia, made up of members from every Albanian ancestral land, including Albania, Kosova, Macedonia, Montenegro and Chameria.”

Ramadan began this week and is a very special time for Muslim people.

“Ramadan is the most exciting time of the year for us. It’s a great opportunity to connect with Allah (God) on a deeper level and gain extra blessings by doing good deeds.

“Ramadan is the 9th month in the Islamic calendar and is sacred to Muslims. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast (no food or drink) from dawn until sunset for 30 days. Ramadan is also a time to improve us spiritually by spending more time praying, helping those that are less fortunate and spending quality time with family and friends.”

The AAIS was formed in 1963 and construction of their mosque (Melbourne’s first) was completed in 1969.

“Having a mosque in Yarra is fantastic, particularly during Ramadan. It’s so easy to pray the sunset (Maghreb) prayer and then break your fast at a nearby restaurant afterwards. Yarra has an abundance of delicious places to eat at!

“It is a lovely gesture if any non-Muslim people want to support Muslims in their community during Ramadan. Employers can be flexible and allow their employees to start work earlier and finish work earlier in order to be home on time to break their fast with their families. Also, if we are fasting, we won’t be able to eat at a morning tea, lunch or staff meeting. It is also lovely for any non-Muslim people to invite their Muslim friends over for dinner and break the fast together.

“Yarra people are very accepting of our community and always support events at our mosque. We love connecting with the wider community and answering any questions people have.

“We feel very blessed to be able to practice our faith and contribute to Yarra life, adding to the melting pot of diversity and vibrancy. We all come together to make the city a more colourful, tolerant and interesting place to live!

“One big misconception about the mosque is that it is closed to non-Muslims. This is simply untrue! Our mosque is open 7 days a week and we are happy for people to pop in and see how a mosque looks inside and how the worshippers attend to their prayers.

“The AAIS holds events such as religious classes for children, fundraising events, quiz nights, school holiday workshops, family camps, interfaith events, Red Cross blood drives, charity fun runs, school tours and more! Recently we held an afternoon tea fundraiser for the Cancer Council, raising $4,400!”

If you would like to chat to someone at the mosque, you can email [email protected] for further information. 

If you or someone you know would be perfect for our next Faces of Yarra, contact us on 9205 5555 or email [email protected]


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