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‘Islam is going out and helping each other’: Muslim youth group cleans up downtown Calgary

Muslim youth group cleans up downtown Calgary
Dozens of volunteers from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association cleaned up downtown Calgary Wednesday morning after the city’s New Year’s Eve celebrations. Michael King reports.

While many in Calgary were taking Wednesday off, dozens from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association hit the streets to clean up after Calgary’s New Year’s Eve celebrations.

It’s part of a world-wide day of community service, where members of AMYA from across the globe help tidy up the streets following New Year’s Eve.

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Akbar Ali – a spokesperson for Calgary’s chapter of AMYA – said it’s a good way to give back to the city.

“After all the people were out here watching the fireworks and doing different types of things, there’s a bit of a mess left,” said Ali.

“We thought we could give back to the city by helping clean it up.”

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Among the volunteers was Mowaz Shweri, who only arrived in Calgary in October.

Shweri and 11 family members came to Canada as Syrian refugees. He and his brother worked to clean up the city they now call home.

“You should be making something good for the city and for our community,” said Shweri. “[Cleaning] is the duty of Islam and the teachings of Islam [say] you have to make everywhere clean.”

Ali said community service helps display what his faith means to him.

“Islam as a religion is misappropriated and misunderstood,” said Ali. “It’s our responsibility if people don’t understand. All Islam is going out and helping each other.”

Along with community cleanups, Ali said Calgary’s AMYA also donated food to the homeless and gave blood over the holiday season.