As we approach the end of yet another holy month of Ramadan and prepare to welcome the Eid-ul Fitr celebrations, it is an appropriate time to reflect on the history of Islam in Guyana. According to geographer and historian, Al Bakri, Islam reached Africa by the 8th century through the trans-Sahara trade that included the Kingdoms of Mali, Kanem Bornu, Songhai and Ghana. By the 16th and 17th centuries Islam had firmly taken hold in North, West and other pockets in Africa. Al-Bakri “painted” the following picture of the Empire of Ghana (from where the majority of our Afro-Guyanese ancestors came from) – By the year 1068 Ghana was highly advanced, economically and a very prosperous country. The “city” of Ghana consists of two towns lying on a plain, one of which was inhabited by Muslims, and possessing 12 mosques (one was a congregational mosque for Friday Jummah namaaz), each with its own Imam, Muezzin and paid reciters of the Koran. Bakri also wrote about the later influence of Islam in the Malian Empire (which included Ghana) in the 13th century under Mansa Musa, whose fame spread to Sudan, North Africa and all the way to Europe. Musa was the wealthiest ruler during that period in Africa.
This is an extremely important book as it gives a snapshot of British Guiana almost 160 years ago…. in 1853. It is interesting, even with its biased analysis of the colony as viewed by a landowner and colonist.
The writer gives a brief history of the three colonies – Essequibo, Demerara and Berbice – that were combined to form British Guiana now Guyana.
He highlights the difficult geography, drainage and irrigation problems and the shifting coastlines are expalined in detail, and the use of steam pumps for drainage. Many of the same problems of drainage remain to this day.
Most of all he notes the falling production of sugar, coffee and cotton after abolition, and the efforts to recruit workers to fill the labour needs. Workers were recruited from other West Indian islands, Africa, Madeira, China and most of all India.
170th Anniversary of the Arrival of the First Hindustani Muslims from India to British Guiana
Dinner and Awards - Queenstown Masjid Restoration Project
On September 12th 2010, a Dinner is being hosted by expat Guyanese to raise funds to support the Reconstruction project. Your financial contribution to the project will be through the purchase of tickets. The “Net Proceeds” of all tickets will go directly towards the project fund.
At the dinner, a presentation will be made by the Chairperson of the Project Building Committee, Br. Naeem Nasir on the development and status of the project. The dinner will also feature a keynote speaker Maulana Siddiq Nasir, Quranic recitations by the World Renowned Qari, Syed Sadaqat Ali and nasheeds by Nadir Khan. A feature presentation will be made to recognize the Lifetime Achievements of Imams, Scholars and Community Workers from Guyana.
As reported in Guyana Chronicle:
Outgoing, brave, and sensitive Zimeena Rasheed gives credit to Mr. Wilfred Success of West Ruimveldt Primary School at C. V. Nunes Primary School for her success. She said her best subjects are mathematics, science, and she like participating in debates and dramatic poetry.
She said that by phone Mr Success, a close friend of the grandmother, would discuss the various areas of study with her, sometimes for long periods.
Like her classmate her parents are to decide whether they would further their education in the city.
As reported in Starbroek News:
Eleven-year-old Zimeena Rasheed of Queenstown, Essequibo Coast, and pupil of CV Nunes Primary, who is also in fifth place, told Stabroek News that she feels contented since she worked very hard towards her success. The confident and well spoken Zimeena said she took extra lessons and studied early in the mornings leading up to her exams. She said her siblings along with her parents stayed up late and encouraged her throughout her studies.
She said the exams were not all easy; Science, Mathematics and English were okay, but Social Studies was very challenging.
Zimeena expressed sincere gratitude to her family, teacher and friends. She also congratulated her colleague, top pupil Yogeeta Persaud, with whom she had always competed.