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The Africa Federation Women Board in collaboration with KSI Jamaat of Arusha organized a Seminar titled “OUR MARRIAGE, OUR HAPPINESS” on 8th and 9th February 2014 in Arusha and was attended by 122 participants.
 
The Seminar was conducted by Sr. Fatema Shabbir Somji (daughter of Bwana Ali Sheriff) from Zanzibar and Br. Hameed Sheriff from Arusha, which was held jointly for ladies and the gents. The topics discussed were as follows: 

  • Ladies Session:         

Communication between a husband and a wife, parent and child/sister/ brother/ friends and other problems encountered in relationships. 

  • Ladies and Gents Session:  

Men’s Brains, Women’s Brains; How We Think; What We Mean and Say. 

  • Session for Youths (Boys and Girls - 14 – 25 Years):      

Taking Ownership of Life (Issues discussed were relationships, substance abuse, media, technology etc.)

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The Ladies Session “My marriage My happiness” was divided in two parts, one was to understand ones responsibilities as parents, to build a child of character and the other was to understand a man's brain and a woman's brain in order to make a successful marriage.
 
In the Ladies only session, the Speaker talked about the current problems our Community is facing in bringing up children of character.
 
Comparison was done of the challenges faced in olden days and in current times, whereby ladies actively responded by saying that in the previous era poverty, limited resources, early marriages etc. were the challenges while presently the phenomenon has flipped into more towards the challenges caused by the technology, media, peer pressure, ego, lack of quality time spent together.
 
It was also felt that parents sometimes neglect their children due to poverty or stressed life. A suggestion as made to parents to raise the kids in the Islamic 7- 7- 7 way but with them being more practical and active themselves.
 
The cases like early pregnancies, abortions, drugs, and depression are becoming quite common in our youths of today.

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An exercise to understand your spouse better for a happy life was also conducted and the common response from the ladies was that the husbands did not give them enough time as they are busy in their addicted hobbies and work whilst others said that the men did not involve the women in important decision making issues.
 
In the gents and ladies combined session the Speaker explained how a man and a woman's brain works and said that although a man’s brain is 11-12% bigger than the woman's, but  a woman can concentrate on multiple chores at one time.
 
The Guest Speaker explained that the most important but never discussed issue in open by both men and women of our community is the intimate relation between the husband and wife and the verbal, physical and mental abuse between the couples.
 
The Seminar also discussed on the five basic needs every human wishes for, which are: 

  • Quality time spent with each other
  • Physical touch necessary in a relationship
  • Service rendered by both partners for each other
  • Appreciation for the work done
  • Gifts to show love towards each other.

During the Session for the Youth, the Speaker asked them to write down their fears, expectations and belief are and what their parents' fears and expectations were from them.  These were later compared and the youth were made to realize how dissatisfied they are, and how content their parents were. She then spoke of the problems youths face today, including drug abuse, pornography, media influence and peer pressure, and how to deal with these issues.
 
The youth said that due to the mistakes done by them in the past, the society and family had labeled them as “bad” and did not give them a chance to change themselves.  Many of the Youth agreed that they did not make their decisions rather they let the society decide how they would act, to which the speaker motivated them to make their own decisions on how to act, change, and live i.e. how to take ownership of their own lives.

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The response to the Program was very encouraging with requests to have such programs organized more frequently. The youth requested for such programs to be held every three to six months in different Jamaats.
 
The AFED Women Board is thankful to Sis. Fatema Shabbir Somji and Br. Hameed Sheriff their selfless services and for their valuable time in sharing their knowledge to enlighten the participants on the natural differences that occur between the genders and how to live harmoniously with one’s family, despite the differences. May Allah (SWT) reward them amply and grant them tawfeeqat to continue serving for His pleasure - Ameen.
 
The Board is also thankful to KSI Jamaat Arusha for their support and co-operation and to the Board’s Representative Sis. Azra Sheriff for her tireless efforts in organizing and coordinating the Program.
 
 
SECRETARIAT
Africa Federation Women’s Board (AFWB)

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