National honour for ACT Muslim volunteer

Graham Cooke 14 December 2009

The Canberra Multicultural Community Forum is delighted to learn that the ACT’s Ahmed Youssef has been named Australian Muslim Volunteer of the Year.

CMCF Vice-Chair, Diana Rahman, said the award was richly deserved.

“Ahmed is a founding member and former president of the Canberra Islamic Centre (CIC) at Monash which over the years has established itself as a focus of Islamic learning and religion, not just in Canberra but in the region and indeed throughout Australia,” Ms Rahman said.

“He has worked tirelessly there as a volunteer Iman, running regular Islamic classes, dawah [preaching], marriages and funerals.

“Ahmed has been active in the Canberra community, meeting government officials, overseas visitors, serving on the ACT Pastoral Care Board, as a telephone translator and chaplain to Muslims in prisons.

“I feel one of his greatest achievements has been to successfully promote the CIC as a place where non-Muslims with an interest in Islam are always welcome.”

Ms Rahman said Mr Youssef continues to work towards his dream of establishing an Australian National Islamic Library in Canberra.

“His aim is to establish the library as the largest repository of material on Islam and Muslims in the Southern Hemisphere, to be made available locally, nationally and internationally to scholars and researchers,” she said.

“In these often difficult times, Ahmed has devoted his life to promoting harmony and mutual understanding among Muslims and people of different faiths. CMCF congratulates him and wishes him well in the future.”

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