Ref:  AK/PR/2013/73

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With a resounding success of the 2nd Spouse Selection, Marriage and In-laws workshop held in Dar-Es-Salaam in November 2011, The Tabligh Board of Africa Federation (AFTAB), and The Youth Network of Africa Federation (AYN) in collaboration with Dar Es Salaam Jamaat Marriage Support Group organised their third workshop, which was held from 8th to 10th February 2013 in Dar Es Salaam, sponsored by AFED and hosted by KSI Jamaat of Dar es Salaam. For the first time a unique Parents of Teenagers Workshop was also incorporated. Similar workshop was also held in Mombasa on Sunday 17th February 2013 for the in Laws and on Parenting.

The parent's module was the first of its kind and was held following the feedback received from previous workshops and the increased challenges facing parents in a rapidly changing dynamics in the world with the impact of technology and social media (Face book, Twitter etc) has had on our lives affecting adversely the lifestyles.

A record of over 175 participants attended the workshops; the overall discussions were very interactive, educative and thought provoking with the participants discovering their own answers and solutions in the process.

The workshop and seminars were divided into four sessions and were held at Mehfil-e-Abbas and Imambargha in Dar-Es-Salaam:

The four workshops have been briefly outlined below:

1. Parents of Teens Workshop: "How to bring the best out of our teenagers using a 7 step approach" Facilitated by Abbas Merali.

Testimonials from the Parents of teens Workshop;

"It made me realise how sometimes unconsciously I use disconnecting behaviour and discriminating words against my children and how I need to be more conscious."

"I can't thank you enough for having these workshops which are helping us become better people, better parents and better children. I hope you continue to do these workshops and continue to organise such events."

"We have read a lot about parenting, but this workshop gave me more perspective on how to go about it. Really appreciated the letter writing; getting a letter from my better half brought tears to my eyes."

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2. In-Laws Workshop: "How to build a long lasting bond with our children and their spouses" Facilitated by Fatim Shabbir Somji and Abbas Merali.

Testimonials from the in Laws Workshop:

"This workshop created real self-awareness but was too short; I realised how I was making all the same mistakes and how I need to be less protective over my son and daughter-in-law and let them make their own mistakes."

"This was one of the best workshops I attended; it reminded me of how I felt when I first became a daughter-in-law."

"I really learnt not to be a proper Indian mother-in-law; but to let them make their own decisions and build their own self confidence."

"I came with my wife, I thought I knew it all, but this workshop woke me up from deep slumber."

3. Finding your life partner workshop: "A five step process to help you find the right spouse" Facilitated by Abbas Merali.

Testimonials from the spouse selection workshop:

"I found this workshop very motivational and inspiring! Thank you for organising this workshop; it was a super duper workshop. I gained a lot of insight over the two days; the most important insight I got was how important it is to first focus on myself before I start focusing on my future spouse."

"I found this workshop mind-blowing and extremely challenging! By far this is the most instructive marriage seminar that I have known, was very deep and really made us explore as to who we are and knowing the self and the difference between requirements, needs and wants."

"This was the second time I attended this workshop but it still felt very fresh, different and new, I once again gained a lot of insight about myself and self discovery."

"This really changed my view completely about how to approach this step of marriage."

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4. Couple Marriage Workshop: "How to ride the highs and lows of married life as a super effective team" Facilitated By Ashiq Damani and Fatim Shabbir Somji.

Testimonials from the couple workshop;

"It is from this workshop that I realised that I am responsible for my own actions, so I have to change from within, accept people as they are and try and do everything with the intention of the Almighty. The mentors and facilitators were outstanding, beyond expectations and very supportive."

"This workshop was a real eye-opener and very practical. Before attending this workshop I thought I knew the differences between men & women, but this workshop really rang a bell in me and made me aware of many things."

"This workshop was of great relevance and very comforting, it really gave me an idea where I stand in our marriage, and realised a lot of the issues were common issues and found the solutions very relevant. I could really relate to a lot of the workshop and found the facilitators connected with us all very well! I wish this workshop would have been advertised better as a lot of people had mentioned that they had no idea about it."

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On Behalf of Africa Federation, AFTAB and AYN we wish to acknowledge the immense contributions by Br. Abbas Merali and Br. Ashiqali Damani and for sparing their valuable time to travel from UK to facilitate these workshops in Dar es Salaam. Our Special thanks go to Sister Fatim bai Shabbir Somji of Zanzibar for conducting and supporting the sessions. We commend the Facilitators who performed brilliantly throughout the three days sessions.

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We wish also to record our appreciation to the dedicated volunteers who provided support to the facilitators. We are also grateful to KSI Jamaat of Dar es Salaam for once again hosting the workshop and to its Marriage Support Group for their support and cooperation. We thank the participants for their keen participation and for their openness and suggestions.

We also wish to thank the Organizing Committee and the Volunteers for the wonderful arrangements made making this a successful workshop once again.

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