By: Abdul Ali Faiq



The launch of Ariana Afghanistan Community Association (AACA)

New Year and Eid festival





The Ariana Afghanistan Community Association (AACA) was launched in South London on 02 January 2007 after obtaining a license from the British government.

The social and cultural association is hoping to benefit the Afghan diaspora with short and long-term projects, such as classes in the native languages of Farsi (Persian) and Pashto, helping Afghans to understand their duties and responsibilities as well as their rights in this multi-cultural society and provide them with advice and assistance as necessary.


The association also hopes to bring harmony and unity amongst Afghans by holding cultural gatherings and celebrating Afghan and non-Afghan festivals. With this in mind, the head of the association, Mr Jabar Ariayee, chose the Eid ul-Adha festival, which coincided with the New Year, to launch the association at a ceremony on 02 January 2007 at Selsdon Community Centre, South Croydon, and UK. The ceremony was attended by a large number of Afghans as well as a number of officials and politicians from South London.


The programme proceeded as follows:


  1. The programme was introduced and presented by Miss Mojdah Lalzad and Ahmad Mostaqeem.


  1. The programme was officially opened with the recitation of a verse from the Holy Koran.


  1. Mr Abdul Jabar Ariyaee, the Director of Ariana Afghanistan Community Association, spoke about the short and long-term objectives and the future activities of the association. He called on all Afghans to join the community irrespective of racial, linguistic and religious backgrounds, saying everyone should be proud of the multi-cultural Britain and must contribute to this society. He outlined a number of the AACA's objectives, including opening of classes in native languages, maths, and computer and Koranic studies as well as launching an internet radio.




  1.  Ahmad Mostaqeem, a specialist on Islamic studies, spoke about the importance of celebrating such festivals and on the philosophy behind the Eid Al-adhda.


  1.  Then, Mr Abdul Hay Peerzada, an expert on Maulana Jalaluddin Balkhi-Rumi, talked about the teachings of this mystical 12th century Persian philosopher-literary Sufi on self-knowledge, love for humanity, spirituality and education. He overwhelmed the audience with his impressive speech on the teachings of this great scholar. UNESCO has named the 2007 as the "Year of Rumi-Balkhi" to mark his 800th birth anniversary.


  1.  After that, Mrs Shahla Hibib, a well-educated Afghan woman, spoke in Pashto and then read a poem about national unity, harmony and solidarity amongst all Afghans which was inspirational to all participants.


  1.  Afterward, Mr Andrew Pelling, Conservative Party MP for Central Croydon, congratulated the launch of the AACA and promised his support for the association and wished every success for it. His speech was warmly received by the audience.


  1.  Abdul Ali Faiq, an activist of the AACA, thanked Mr Pelling for attending the opening ceremony and Eid festival, saying the community was honoured by his presence. Faiq also welcomed everyone and warmly thanked them for their co-operation. He also praised the British government for promoting multi-culturalism and the government's continued support for all communities without any discrimination.


  1.  Two children, Miss Gete Aryiaee 14 and Hamid Pasdar 14, then sung a beautiful rhyme with the audience applause.



  1.  Latter, a group of 15 kids sung a patriotic song (Watan Eshaq-e tu) in tribute to their suffering country. Without any exaggeration, the song amazed everyone and was heavily applauded.


  1.  After that, a speaker from our Hazara brotherly ethnic group, Rahmatullah Najafi, delivered a magnificent speech about national unity.


  1.  The ceremony was further glorified with the live songs and music played by a young and talented singer, Mr Ahmad Obaid.


  1.  The dinner was then served and, after a short break, the music continued to trill the audience until 11:00 pm - the end of a magnificent ceremony.


For more details you can see the following photos: