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The Kokni Muslim Jamaat of Canada came to being in the late 1990s. We are a small growing community, currently comprised mostly of Koknis with East African heritage; from countries such as Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. At present we are made up of between 40 - 50 families with many new members from the Middle East and India.
I have had the pleasure of serving on the KMJ committee since its inception in 1997. The journey getting here was an experience I will never forget. When I migrated to Canada in 1972, I did not know of any Kokni families living here. My parents, Abdul-Rashid Sangrar and Ashraf Mukri arrived soon after.
My late father, Mr. Ibrahim Bapoo Mukri loved to meet with people and make new friends and consequently tried hard to meet Koknis wherever he went. Unfortunately, there were not many Kokni immigrants at that time.
As more families migrated to Canada we began to congregate at someone’s house for Eid festivities. As people started moving out of Toronto Mrs. Sherbanu Mukri suggested we congregate together at a common place close to all.
Our first ‘Eid function’ was held in the basement of Ashraf and Arica Mukri’s home. This was a huge success. There were gifts for all the children and the cost was shared by all. As time went on, more Koknis migrated here and we started to hold the functions in the party room of my condominium, which was where we met Mr.Abdulkader Zalgaonker and Bashir Mukadam who had contributed generously to the event. We then began hosting the functions at the Peace Lutheren Church after a few years. Our community kept growing and we decided to form the official Kokni Muslim Jamaat of Canada (Toronto), held elections, and registered in 1997.
Over the years, I have had the opportunity of working with many wonderful individuals in our community. They have given way to the new young committee, which is full of new ideas, energy, dedication and a willingness to promote our Jamaat. Today, our children are following in the footsteps set by our late fathers and our grandchildren will confidently do the same.
The mission of our Jamaat is to build bridges, recruit new members, make us known to Koknis, and build a strong community. We should all play a constructive role and support ourselves for the better and for the bright future of this community. I pray for the success, prosperity, and achievements that we have yet to accomplish.
Remember, WE ARE KOKNIS AND KOKNIS ARE WE!
Past President (1997 - 2006)
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