City of Love


Christmas Carols Party on a Historical Day at Pakistan Muslim Centre

The Pakistan Muslim Centre’s historical ‘Christmas Carols Party’ left almost all of the 600 plus strong guest list with a rather joyful taste in their mouths.

Whilst ‘ Sheffield is a city of love’ appeared to be the most favourite thought occupying most minds, there was a general consensus that something all-embracing had been achieved.

 A diverse range of guests, included  the Lord Lieutenant David Moody, the High Sheriff JC Bramah, Member of Parliament Clive Betts. Police and Crime Commissioner. Dr Alan Billings. City Chief Executive, John Mothersole, local priests, and representatives from the Sikh, Hindu, Bangladeshi, Roma, Slovakian communities attended a memorable Christmas party.

Amongst the many appreciative hands applauding the children singing Christmas Carols were those of the chief guest, the honourable Lord-Lieutenant, David Moody who said, “The Atmosphere here is remarkable, it’s interesting to what extent PMC are taking the Slovak Roma community under their wing, recognising their problems on arrival and doing so much to help them. It’s then intriguing to see these cultural cross currents, we have just heard the Roma community sing Silent Night in their language but in the tune we use all across Europe. It’s quite wonderful”.

The Pakistan Muslim Centre’s Christmas Carols Party was organised by the Operation Manager Mukhtar Tufail and Chairman Muhammed Ali. It is part of their ongoing commitment towards empowering the local Roma Slovak community and bolstering healthier community ties.

Over the past six months the centre has played a pivotal role in creating role models from within that community and during the historical Christmas Carols Party, the Pakistan Muslim Centre launched The European Roma Community Forum (ERCF).

The European Roma Community Forum is a forum made up of individuals from the Roma Slovakian community who take their civic responsibilities very seriously and want to bandage the badly bruised community cohesion concept.

Commenting on the success Chairman Muhammed Ali said, “This has not been done before, we needed to dispel the myths people hold about migrants, but also about Muslims. I was very keen to lead on this and also promote the cardinal principle of life, namely that everybody has a right to practice their religious beliefs.”

One of the ingenious empowerment strategies implemented by PMC was to improve communication skills amongst the newly arriving Eastern European Community by teaching them Christmas Carols in the English language.

A mesmerising performance on the day saw a group of extremely passionate Slovakian children performing Away in a Manger, Silent Night, and Jingle Bells. There was also live dancing, local singers, and presentations on how Christmas is celebrated in the Eastern Europe. The evening was concluded with various foods being offered by Santa Claus and his Elves. As the crowds indulged into traditional Slovakian Goulash, Asian Chicken Biryani and English Mince Pies, local singers performed some all-time Christmas classics such as Shaken Stevens ‘ Snow is Falling’ and Wham’s ‘Last Christmas ‘.

The organiser and Operations Manager Mukhtar Tufail stated, “When you see people for whom English is not their first language come on the stage and sing ‘Away In A Manger’ in English with such passion and devotion, then there really isn’t much left to say, This event has taught us that the Christmas festivities can truly bind us all together. The myths that Christmas offends some communities have certainly been dispelled here today. This is a proud day for Sheffield, a memorable day in the history of multi-faith community cohesion.”

The event concluded with the chief guests joining Santa Claus and his Elves with the whole audience singing Jingle Bells. There was a real sense of love and togetherness with one member of the audience commenting, “Muslims teaching Christians Christmas Carols! Feeling the love, Sheffield truly is the city of love”.


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