Canada Unveils Syrian Refugee Resettlement Program — Muftah org| Canadians Can Privately Sponsor Refugees

Despite committing itself to welcoming 25,000 Syrian refugees by January 2016, Canada’s government unveiled a slightly less ambitious resettlement program earlier this week.


While the Trudeau government insists it remains committed to fulfilling both objectives, Liberal ministers have introduced a slightly altered plan to the public, including an updated timeline and increased reliance on private sponsorships. Under the new plan, Canada’s government will increase efforts to resettle 10,000 refugees by December 31, with a promise for another 15,000 by the end of February 2016.

In a second announcement on November 26, the Trudeau government announced an additional $100 million in humanitarian assistance funding to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in order “to help respond to pressing needs, including shelter, protection, education and health for those affected by the Syrian crisis.”

Read more: How Canadians Can Privately Sponsor Refugees

Over the coming weeks, the government will prioritize processing the applications of privately sponsored refugees, under a program that allows Canadian citizens and organizations to sponsor family members or other asylum seekers. Of the 10,000 Syrians expected to arrive in Canada by December 31, 8,000 are to be privately sponsored.

For refugees permitted into Canada under government sponsorship, emphasis will be placed on admitting Syrian women and families currently displaced and living in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, according to Immigration Minister John McCallum. Some restrictions have been placed on single males seeking asylum in ,Canada,according to a CBC report. As the report suggests, while the government has condemned the recent outburst of domestic Islamophobia, some of its policies may be playing into these same fears toward the Muslim community.

More on Canada’s Response to the Refugee Crisis

For these applicants, the government will work in cooperation with UN agencies and national governments to process and screen individuals before they board chartered flights to Montreal and Toronto, where they will attain permanent residency and be ferried to host communities. The federal government has identified thirty-six host communities across Canada that are preparing for the arrival of thousands of Syrians in the coming weeks. The military has reserved 6,000 housing units in the event of a shortage. All refugees will have access to a range of health care providers upon arrival, including pharmacare, dental, as well as mental health services.


Read full on: Muftah org


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From Beirut, This Is Paris: In A World That Doesn’t Care About Arab Lives 

Originally posted on A Separate State of Mind | A Blog by Elie Fares:

When a friend told me past midnight to check the news about Paris, I had no idea that I would be looking at a map of a city I love, delineating locations undergoing terrorist attacks simultaneously. I zoomed in on that map closer; one of the locations was right to where I had stayed when I was there in 2013, down that same boulevard.

The more I read, the higher the number of fatalities went. It was horrible; it was dehumanizing; it was utterly and irrevocably hopeless: 2015 was ending the way it started – with terrorists attacks occuring in Lebanon and France almost at the same time, in the same context of demented creatures spreading hate and fear and death wherever they went.

I woke up this morning to two broken cities. My friends in Paris who only yesterday were asking what was happening in Beirut were now on the opposite side…

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November 27, 2015 · 16:37

Occupation of Palestine: Zochrot (remembering) the Nakba — Video


Uploaded on 11 Dec 2007

Presence of Palestinian refugees brought to Rotchild Ave. in Tel Aviv on the 29th of November 2007, to commemorate 60 years to the UN’s Partition Plan.


Some archives Posts on Nakba on PBSJ Blog

Palestinians are commemorating the 1948 exodus of hundreds of thousands of their kin [AFP]

Bedouin women cry as they watch their house being destroyed during the demolition of the unrecognized Bedouin village of Al Arakib

Bedouin women cry as they watch their house being destroyed during the demolition of the unrecognized Bedouin village of Al Arakib in the Negev desert. Israeli authorities have demolished the village over 70 times since 2010, June 12, 2014. (Oren Ziv/Activestills)


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Clean and pure: Potable water project kicks off in Hunza — Tribune com Pakistan

GILGIT: A potable water and hygiene improvement project was launched in Murtazaabad in Hunza Valley to improve the general quality of life in the area. At least 3,500 people are expected to benefit from the project launched by USAID and the Aga Khan Planning and Building Service (AKPBS), Pakistan.

The village comprises five schools, other communal buildings and is home to 430 households

The village comprises five schools, other communal buildings and is home to 430 households. PHOTO: FILE


In Murtazaabad, the entire population accesses drinking water from open sources; most of which are believed to be contaminated. When temperatures drop below freezing in winter, getting water becomes an arduous and risky task. The village comprises five schools, other communal buildings and is home to 430 households. The average household income is said to be Rs3,000 a month.

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The Institute of Ismaili Studies Launches Seminar for its Doctoral Scholarship Recipients

The first Seminar for the IIS Doctoral Scholarship recipients was held in London at The Institute of Ismaili Studies on 23 -24 October. The Seminar provided a platform for the Institute’s scholarship students to network, share knowledge and information, and learn more about the work of the IIS and how they can further contribute to its work.

group-shot-2Twelve scholarship recipients who are at various stages of their doctoral studies gave their colleagues an overview on their individual research areas, whilst connecting with other recipients and IIS scholars who had an interest or level of expertise in the field. Subjects covered by the presenters included alternate views of ethics in Islam, hadith literature, study on the recent history of Salamiyya, places of worship, and artistic and musical expressions.

Dr Omar Ali-de-Unzaga, Deputy Head of the Department of Academic Research and Publications and Coordinator of the Scholarships and Fellowship Programmes, commented:

“Bringing our PhD scholarship recipients together has highlighted the wide range of topics covered in their research. This includes history, manuscript studies, anthropology, ethnomusicology, and literature. The geographical spectrum reflects the breadth of interest of the IIS, from Syria to Central Asia, from Iran to the Sub-Continent.”

Many of the scholarship recipients developed their interest in Islamic Studies at the IIS, whilst undertaking the Graduate Programme in Islamic Studies and Humanities, before specialising in a specific aspect of Islamic Studies.

The seminar was hosted by the Department of Academic Research and Publications, in collaboration with the Alumni Relations Unit, and facilitated by Dr Ali-de-Unzaga. It is expected that this event will be the first of many opportunities for scholarship recipients to showcase their research.

The Institute of Ismaili Studies Doctoral Scholarship Programme was established in 1997 and has since granted forty-two scholarships. Twenty-seven of these recipients have completed their PhDs and have established careers in academia, not-for-profit and media sectors, to name a few. Some scholarship recipients have continued their academic career with the IIS and are playing integral roles in furthering the research agenda of the Institute.

For further information and to hear what some of the participants had to say about the scholarship programme and their areas of research, please watch this video:

Source: Institute of Ismaili Studies UK


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Damascene Sufism: The Antidote to ISIS — by Sami Moubayed on Huffington Post com

When the Islamic State stormed the city of al-Mayadeen in the eastern countryside of Deir ez-Zour along the Euphrates River, they struck with particular vengeance at the homes of Syrian Sufis. Members of the Sufi order were arrested; their clerics were flogged, their spiritual corners torn down. Sufism, after all, is the exact opposite of ISIS and its distorted interpretation of Sunni Islam. Both are Muslims of course, just like Hitler and Churchill were Christians. If allowed to run society, Syrian and Iraqi Sufis can probably rally millions, crafting a wide power base for themselves that exposes the religious flaws and deficiencies of ISIS.

Only Sufis have the religious tools, intellectual skills, and political cunning to dismantle ISIS. That is precisely why they are excommunicated by ISIS, seen as far more of a threat than Christians, Alawites, and Muslim Shiites. Warplanes and smart bombs alone will never succeed at eradicating ISIS and nor will God-loving Sufi clerics armed with nothing but religious hymns, chants, and copies of the Holy Quran. Hand-in-hand, however, military might and spiritual Sufism might–just might–spell out the physical and ideological destruction of ISIS.


Sufism is an order of peaceful mystics that once reigned in both Damascus and Baghdad during Ottoman times. It discards ISIS Salafism as un-Islamic and bases all of its teachings on the Sunni Muslim version of Islamic History. Sufi Mujtahids (diligent scholars) have wide authority to interpret religious issues, and take action when not otherwise explicitly mentioned in the Holy Quran. Among those things is how Muslims ought to pray five times a day. Even the form of prayer is debatable for Sufis; connectivity to God can also be done through spiritual dance and music. In ISIL-land, music and dance are a capital offense, punishable by death.

Read more on Huffington Post com


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The European Union (EU). Govt launch programme aimed at rural uplift in Sindh — The News com Pakistan


The European Union (EU) delegation to Pakistan, the government of Sindh and the Rural Support Programmes Network (RSPN) launched the European Union funded six-year Sindh Union Council and Community Economic Strengthening Support (SUCCESS) programme in Karachi on Wednesday.

According to a statement, the objective of the SUCCESS programme is to reduce poverty through undertaking the Community Driven Development (CDD) based on the proven social mobilisation approach of the Rural Support Programmes (RSPs).

The programme will cover eight districts, namely Tando Muhammad Khan, Sujawal, Matiari, Tando Allahyar, Larkana, Kambar Shahdadkot, Dadu and Jamshoro.


Dr Rashid Bajwa said the SUCCESS was a historic programme in terms of poverty reduction as milestones had been achieved earlier, including the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) experience, setting up of the NRSP by the government of Pakistan and other provincial rural support programmes.

He was of the view that the programme would change the dynamics of the lives of poor in rural Sindh and would transform them into productive citizens.

Read full on The News com Pakistan


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