Q8india.com, The well-known news portal in Kuwait recently had the pleasure of having a chat with Mr. Masood Shahab, President of Indian Muslim Association-Kuwait (IMA), one of the largest and most disciplined Indian community Association in Kuwait.
Q: Please tell us a brief about you and your journey to Kuwait
Mr. Masood: I belong to the city of Mumbai; I did my graduation in Arabic and English literature from Mumbai University. From the same university I did my post graduation in Arabic literature. During my student life, I was involved in social and welfare activities. I started my professional career at Mumbai airport with the Gulf Air. In year 1987, I moved to Qatar to work with Ministry of Interior as Interpreter. From 1989 to 1991, I worked with Saudi Arabian airline at Mumbai airport. I come to Kuwait on 1991 after the liberation of Kuwait to join Kuwait Airways. Since then I have been working with the Kuwait Airways for the last 21 years at the Airport with the Weight and Balance department. We prepare weight and balance sheet before the departure of the flights to be handed over to the pilot.
I have three kids, eldest son did engineering and working in Kuwait while two are still pursuing their education.
Q: As you are current president of Indian Muslim Association of Kuwait, our reader would like to know what IMA is and what its objectives are.
Mr. Masood: IMA was formed during early nineties with the objective to serve Indian community in Kuwait. IMA works under the patronage of Ministry of Awqaf and Masjid Al Kabir.
It is registered with the Indian Embassy and Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs and conducting its various socio cultural, educational activities.
IMA has conducted several interfaith get-togethers all over Kuwait inviting many prominent personalities of Kuwait and Indian Ambassadors during various occasions. Its social service activities include blood donation camps, medical camps, job cell, hospital visits, addressing the problems faced by expatriates and so on and so forth. With the permission from ministry of Awkaf and Islamic Affairs, it is conducting various discourses and Friday sermons in various parts of Kuwait. It has six units at various localities of Kuwait in addition to Ladies wing, youth wing and children’s circle. It is also conducting summer Islamic Classes for children from last many years from which several thousand students were certified so far on Islamic studies.
Q: What do you feel about Kuwait as a Country ?
Mr. Masood: Kuwait hosts large number of Indian expatriate community, which is a result of strong bilateral relationship and historical friendship between the two countries. Indian diaspora in Kuwait constitute people from various religious and cultural backgrounds representing multicultural and multi-linguistic fabric of India. Host nation Kuwait in a way has created a miniature India in Kuwait by providing everything an average Indian need to satisfy their psychological and sociological needs.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Amir of Kuwait, H.E. Shiekh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah for proving such a great opportunity for Indian community. May god bless him with good health.
Q: Tell us about IMA’s efforts towards communal harmony among Indians in Kuwait?
Mr. Masood: Communal harmony is a very important aspect in today’s scenario, specially these days when we have much misconception about Muslims and Islam; it becomes our duty to clarify those misconceptions with our fellow citizens. We organize various inter-faith get-together such as Iftar Get-together and Eid Milan; we invite various community leaders for such events.
Q: Any message to Youth on how they can contribute positively to the society.
Mr. Masood: A good number of youth come to Kuwait in search of better life, we at IMA reach-out to such people and try to give them proper guidance, and we educate them to be a better Muslim and to contribute positively to the society. With this objective, we have formed a sub unit called Youth Wing. After 10 years of its formation, today it is one of the most disciplined organisation in Kuwait.
My message to the youth is that, they should try to understand the importance of time and make use of free time they get in Kuwait; they should respect the law of the land and lead an exemplary life. Never do something, which will bring bad name to our country.
Q: Any social service initiatives from IMA
Mr. Masood: Social service is one of our core objective in IMA; we strive hard to help those needy people by providing financial and moral support. We take up emergency medical cases and assist them. We conduct blood donation and free medical camps on yearly basis in coordination with Indian doctor forum.
Very soon, we are going to start members benefit scheme where our members can contribute a small amount on a monthly basis and get emergency financial help when needed. I hope this will bring lot of benefit to our members and associates in future. We also try to identify and help needy people back in India in the form of Ramadan food packet and winter blankets.
Q: Your Indian Independence day message to the Indian community in Kuwait
Mr. Masood: On Indian Independence Day I would like to appeal various communities to come forward and have exchange of thoughts, we should try to spread the message of peace and harmony wherever we live.
I am proud to be an Indian, Happy Independence Day.