Tuesday, February 26, 2013


             DAY CELEBRATION


            TORONTO: Despite the mounds of snow, slippery ice and strong chilly winter wind, a large number of seniors of various communities participated, danced, entertained and enjoyed the Family Day Celebration for Seniors held on February 20, 2013, at the Seniors Building, 12 Thorncliffe Park Drive. Refreshment was served.
            The celebration was organized by Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office—Settlement Services and New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP). It was funded by Service Canada. The distinguished guests included Jehad Aliweiwi, Executive Director, and Ahmed, Director, of TNO. NHSP Coordinators Syed Iqbal and Linda Verzosa and Settlement Workers Nawal Ateeq and Alberto Rodil put great efforts in making the program successful.
            Members, mostly of Pakistani community, of the Seniors Club including Javed Zaheer, Naseem, Sajid Ali, Aziz Meherali, Azhar Bokhari, Syed Shakil Ahmed (Indian Community) took part. The Seniors Club has been formed by Tariq Rehman and hold weekly meeting at the TNO Youth Centre. It has decided to show presence at other meetings as well in order to remove the propagated bad impression that the South Asian community is not active.
            This club had recently organized a highly successful musical/entertainment program and more are in the pipeline. It has gained great popularity and the members are increasing. The club is based on the policy---Respect each other and share time, experiences and food with love, care and understanding. It gives the touch of a family and home. Nooruddin twice brought from home mouth-watering and very delicious Haleem and Zarda. Others too keep bringing food from home. Syed Shakil Ahmed and Syed Sajid Ali keep entertaining the group with their good voices including songs, ghazals and naat. Shakil plays piano as well.
            Performances in the family celebration included Gujrati dance under the supervision of Hilda. The participants included Shakil Ahmed, Syed Sajid Ali, Sonia, Norma and Dident. Shakil also sang Ghazal (Poetry in song form). The Philippines community members presented a sign language show.  The Sri Lankan community presented a dance show. The Afghan community too presented a show. Certificates were also distributed on the occasion.
Tariq Rehman and Almas acted as MC. Fiza also spoke on the occasion. The convenor was Alberto Ridol.
            The program was to be held from 1:00 to 4:00 but ended before 2:30. Many guests including me coming by this time were surprised and disappointed. Those who invited me were happy to see me and wanted to arrange food for me.
Alberto was giving the food and when one of my friends told him to arrange food for me as well he stared at me and said that he came late and will not get the food. I personally was not interested in the food, refuse to have it and did not ask for it but the way Alberto Ridol stared at me and insulted me really shocked me. My friends who invited me were also shocked. They were not expecting such insulting attitude and behaviour from a responsible worker of TNO.
I told my friends who wanted to introduce me to Alberto that I don’t make such people friend and cannot work with such a person. I was shocked that TNO has such an irresponsible person working on a responsible position. The impression I got from his dirty look and attitude was that `We (South Asians/Muslims) were not welcome’. How would one have trust and confidence in such a person/official when it comes to helping them in TNO?
            Still we are prepared to work with the TNO groups and others provided we are welcomed and treated respectfully and with spirit of togetherness. Sorry Alberto Ridol, we cannot tolerate, support and promote discrimination and insults. You and your group are welcome to our Senior Club, where you will get respect and all.
            You must thank the participants for making the program successful although many were disappointed because of your failure, due to reasons best known to you, to keep the program alive and running from 1:00 to 4:00. Anyway, it happens. Focus must always remain on improvements. It will affect the sponsors and funds. The TNO and community both need them.
            ---Javed Zaheer, Free Expression Award Winner, Desi Idol Recognition Award Winner, Member/Honorary Director of NEPMCC, Veteran Active Member (VAM) of Toronto Press Club, Ex-Member of The National Club and The Ontario Club, Honorary Editor of English Weekly `Pakistan Abroad’, ex-Chief Editor (Honorary) of English Weekly `The Ambassador’, ex-Senior Sub-Editor of English Daily DAWN, Pakistan, Chairman, CANOPI, and Director, Canpak Camber of Commerce, is contributing purely on Voluntary and Honorary Basis in order to serve all people and communities. Contact: (416)696-0981/jazamedia@hotmail.com. To read more JZ’s exclusive articles, please visit: www. nepmcc.ca and nationalethnicpress.com (Editorial Sections. Scan years from 2004 to 2011. Visit www.javedzaheernews.blogspot.com
and www.jazamedia.wordpress.com. 


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