At entering the main Ladies marquee, we were stopped and offered a beautiful little piece of art. Yusra Fateh Dahri has been standing at the entrance of the gate, gifting a token to represent the auspicious occasion of 100 years of Lajna Imaillah UK (Women’s auxiliary organisation), in the form of little paper trees which you unroll to read quotes take from various addresses of beloved Huzoor (aba) (His Holiness, the Caliph).
Yusra describes them as ‘Jalsa leaves of wisdom.’ She explains, ‘We have leaves of wisdom all the time because Huzoor (aba) in his Jalsa addresses always imparts that wisdom to us. So I thought it would be great to also have the quotes written inside so people can unroll it. And also, the idea was whilst Lajna are planting trees in parks everywhere, we can also give people a sort of plant for their homes to have as a reminder and a souvenir of Jalsa.’
We ask Yusra how she chose the quotes. ‘I went through the Press Releases which have selected key points of the Jalsa addresses [delivered by His Holiness (aba)] and I picked the ones that I felt most resonated with young people and my generation, as well as what Jalsa is all about. I thought it would be nice to give out some to Jalsa workers, reminding them of how Huzoor (aba) says we should be grateful for the Jalsa workers and how we should behave at Jalsa.’
We enquire how she came up with the idea, ‘We were thinking of ideas for the Press & Media team to do and one thing we talked about was how it was still important to reach people internally and use old, traditional methods, even though now everything is on social media. It would be cute to give people something tangible that they can take with them.’
This unique effort took her around 2 weeks to complete, as she created 300 of this little gifts to share. Though there are thousands of workers, she tells us that a good word travels far and wide, just as a tree spreads out it’s roots, reflecting the connection between the caliph and its community- and after the initial puzzled looks on the faces of the guests and workers after she hands them a mini tree, the reactions have been really positive. As we sat down inside the marquee, we saw ladies holding the little green leafy pieces in their hands, we see Yusra walking around handing them out to faces that lit up with delight at receiving these.
Yusra tells us ‘Today is Lajna’s special day at Jalsa so I thought it would be a nice time to do it.’