Non-Fiction Contest Winner - 2011
A Close-Knit World (hypothetical project)
By: Aya Amr Yehia Zaki
Do you know how it feels in winter when you feel your limbs are about to fall off, but then one of your family members covers you with a soft blanket and gives you the cup of hot chocolate that you desperately need, and you feel all warm again? Remember what it felt like to be tucked in bed by your mom or dad? What about playing in your neighborhood or garden with family and friends? Ever felt the joy of a neighborís good morning smile or tasted their delicious plate gesture? Ever had a neighborhood bonded gathering at difficult times that made you feel that itíll all be okay? What about this fuzzy safety and comforting familiarity that you feel once you enter you neighborhood, ever felt that? And many more countless blessings that we take for granted.
Some people donít have the comfort of a home, or the warmth of a family, or the joy of neighbors and friends; while living in a house with their family surrounded by neighbors and friends. And some others lack these things altogether. One Family Foundation is a community center established as a way to not only constantly remind us of the blessings of a warm, comfortable, and joyful community, but also to unite us in enlarging the circumference of such community and replicating it all over the world. Itís a very simple yet deep form of praise to our Creator, the most Generous and Loving Allah.
We realize the significance and multiple virtues of a bonded community yet continue to not give it its dues. It may be because we have given in to the status quo; we have narrowed down our minds to individual eyesight; or we simply are not consciously aware of the impact such community can have in our lives and in the world. The prophet Muhammad, PBUH, clearly shows the importance of such bond in his hadith ďIn relation to one another, believers are like a structure: each part strengthens the other parts" and when he, PBUH, said this, he clasped his fingers together. One Family Foundation seeks to bring to life this awareness and move it into a reality. It is a call for action and a model through which many others will precede. It is the cultural, spiritual, educational, developmental, healthiness, humanitarian, and recreational hub for the city in which it is located, offering its people a closed circle of wellness where they feel at home. The foundation is a place that not only brings people together but also creates an atmosphere that induces much needed positive change towards a warm balanced society. Working on developing the people of the community is most definitely the core of that communityís growth.
The Foundation is a full-spectrum of services offered to the community. From nursery and pre-school to public schooling, the parents are assured their kids are getting quality knowledge and skills that shall empower their characters and instill in them lasting values. The health section merges between free medical services and sport facilities to carefully maintain its peopleís wellbeing. Further along the spectrum lie the educational services that take the form of lectures, seminars, workshops, and courses that provide deeper insights into a wide and diverse range of subjects offered at affordable, at times discounted, prices. A tranquil library, fieldtrips, and developmental camps are also among the educational, recreational and developmental sections of the foundation. A beautiful mosque centers the Foundations courtyard surrounded by a relaxing green area where one can sit down to contemplate and reflect. Surrounding the foundationís larger complex is also a green area where one can gather with friends and family for healthy food and beverages. The foundation cannot be complete without reaching out and helping the poor and underprivileged in the community, thatís why there is a charity fund and monthly projects that are aimed to restore poor areas, educate the illiterate, and teach skills that will help raise peopleís living standards, and serve more humanitarian causes.
Aside from the above projects and sections, One Family Foundation also remains loving and faithful to people who have lost their families and assures them that they have a bigger a family waiting for them, a bigger home. The community complex is constructed and designed as to accommodate people with disadvantages as well. A haven of body, mind and soul for a stronger, more loving familyÖ A stronger, more loving world by trying to fulfill Allahís succession and seeking His love and pleasure. "The person who is loved best by God the Almighty, is the one who is of most benefit to people", said the messenger of Allah, PBUH.