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Thursday, 9 February 2017
Page: 571

Mr GEORGANAS (Hindmarsh) (16:39): Mr Speaker, like the member for Canning, I welcome you back to the chair for the 45th parliament in 2017. I would also like to say what an honour it is to serve with you on the Speaker's panel.

I rise today to speak about a wonderful event that took place in Adelaide on 28 January. This particular event took place for the third time in South Australia. It was the Al Salam Festival, or Festival of Peace—a festival organised by the Islamic Society of South Australia. One of their mosques is in my electorate—the Park Holme mosque. This is a wonderful event that promotes peace. It is about dialogue and opening up to the community to have people come along and not only enjoy the festivities in the Al Salaam Festival but see how the Islamic Society of South Australia operates and how open they are. They set up kiosks around the parkland where the festival was held for people to ask questions—anything they wished to know about the community. All questions are welcomed and answered, and nothing is out of bounds. I was lucky to attend both the inaugural festival in 2015 and the 2016 festival. I must say it gives me great joy to see members of different communities attending this particular event—an event which promotes wonderful harmony, peace and dialogue, and involves different communities getting together.

I have been honoured to attend many of their previous festivals, and I wish to extend my sincere thanks to the organisers and the army of volunteers who make this event fantastic. There are far too many to name, but I can name the main people. Ahmed Zreika, the president, is a fantastic community person involved in all walks of life in my electorate of Hindmarsh and across South Australia. He does a wonderful job as the President of the Islamic Society of South Australia. I would also like to acknowledge the vice-president, Nur-Muhamad Siddique, who does a wonderful job. Another person who is very well known in South Australia is Dr Waleed Al-khazrajy, who is the treasurer and is involved in medicine in South Australia. I also acknowledge the secretary, Saleh Baltagie, and the executive members who work tirelessly, including Adnan Abu Ajamieh, Ahmed El-Sayed, Ali El-Sayed and Mustapha El-Sayed. The imam of the Park Holme mosque, Riad El-Rifai, does some tremendous work. He is always there, welcoming anyone of any faith to attend and talk to him. He is such a wonderful character and a wonderful person. He works tirelessly. I would also like to mention Professor Abdalla. Professor Abdalla is a professor at the University of South Australia. He came over from the Griffith University, where he was a professor of Islamic studies at the School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science, where he established the Griffith University's first Islamic Research Unit. He does a lot of work in reconciliation and works with different communities.

The Park Holme mosque in my electorate is a wonderful organisation. A couple of times a year, they open up the mosque to the entire community, their neighbours. It is wonderful to attend, as I did earlier this year, to see different community groups visit and have a tour of the mosque. For example, we had different Probus clubs, different senior citizens' clubs and the neighbours. It is a really festive day with lots of food and lots of different activities. It is a wonderful event that promotes peace and inter-community dialogue and that endeavours to answer all the questions that people may have about the particular mosque in Park Holme. They are people who work tirelessly to ensure that they are integrated and part of the community. They do great volunteer work, not just for their own community but also in the broader community. I congratulate them on their wonderful work. I congratulate them on this year's Al Salaam Festival and for their open days, and I wish them all the very best for the future. I am sure that the foundations they are building will last them a very long time and will be an integral part of multicultural South Australia.