so I was busy on a Wednesday afternoon posting in the homeschooling Group I opened in 2003 when I expressed the interest to visit the Islam EXPO. Now who knows me, also know that I don't like to attend or visit any place without having the purpose for me and my kids to learn and benefit from it. So I started to look in their website and see what I could gain from visiting such an exposition and if my kids would enjoy too!
While at it, a dear sister called me and offer a free family ticket to go and see, guess what? The Islam EXPO!
So I guessed i had it. We set off on Friday morning. Weather was ok, no great but we didn't mind as the Islam EXPO is inside this big venue called Olympia.
We took the usual train from our area and went. My kids always enjy the train. My older one learnt the names of all the station from our home to central London. He also knows how many voltage are in the tracks. He is aware of the dangers and look out for his two smaller brothers. Mash'Allah!
We arrived in Earl's Court at perfect time as the sister was awaiting for us in Olympia and I don't like to let sisters wait.
While at the station we were approached by another sister who was extremely nervous and we were asked to help her out taking the train for her destination. So we got to talk and she said she was going to Olympia too! So there we were all 5 of us, me and my 3 kids and her waiting for the next train to Olympia. We wwaiting for about 10-15 minutes when we heard from the loud speakers that all the trains to Richmond and Olympia were cancelled!!! Again! Already when we went to the Battersea zoo we had such a problemw ith trains! Hamdulillah, qadr'Allah!
The poor nervous sister got even more worried. She told that she doesn't like to take trains and doesn't like to travel on her own but had because she was going to volunteer to raise money for Muslim Hands. Mash'Allah.
On our way out the station we saw another sister busy looking around and she was wearing one of them badge from the Islam EXPO clearly stating her name and her work at the place 'VOLUNTEER'. So I stopped her and explained her that no trains were leabing to go to Olympia as signalling problems.
We all 6 left to take the bus. Mash'Allah!
The day was starting to be fruitful for me and kids. I enjoy company and felt very happy to travel with two sisters, stragers, I never met, but SISTERS! Mash'Allah. Islam=UNITY!
We reached Olimpya very late (for me was 30 minutes for my meeting with the other sister) after a long walk and one bus!
So the dear sister that offer a free family ticket was waiting for me, I am sorry Umm S. Next time I will leave at 8am ok? (we left at 9am and still couldn't make it for 11am, subhan'Allah!)
When we enter inside this big building, Olympia, I could see immediately the warmest of welcome. The staff at the very entrance greeted us with Salam and gave few nice bags full of goodies, including resources for us and our kiddies. So off we were.
We wantting to see everything, all at the same time! The place was cleaned and made up in the best of way. There were workshops, stalls, a small theatre were islamic plays were on evry 1 hour or so, a large hall with bouncing castle and genrally games for the children, even a soft football pitch, 4/5 areas were food was been sold and lots more!
We decided first to eat as the children were hungry. I enjoyed asian cuisine and lovely smoothies prepared with fresh fruit on the spot.
At the right time, all the Muslims left to pray Jumuah together. the prayer was led by Sheik Jebale from Egypt, mash'Allah.
We then looked around the stalls. Our kids had their faces painted by an artist, not just a face painter but a real artist. Mash'Allah.
For me the best part was to spend another day with homeschooling mums, looking at new resources for me such as books and educational toys, and meeting so many new muslims all there for the same cause, spreading the message of al-Islam. I also enjoyed the Islamic plays. My kids went few times to watch more plays and they learnt about the Muslims from the past and the new Muslims. Very informative.
Also I was happy to go on a Friday as I heard that Saturday and Sunday there will be having Muslim rappers and music a go-go...That's a no, no for me and kids. In my home, and at my own time I like to listen to anasheeds but not getting crazy and dancing wild if you see what i mean.
So all together another nice day. I brought back home so many resources and all for free. In fact thinking carefully, all I paid was the food!
And now the pics.
Saturday, 12 July 2008