Part of the Engaging Newcastle exhibition, the series of photographs by Conor Ashleigh titled ‘Crescent Community’ offer a glimpse into Newcastle’s multicultural Muslim community.
Here are Conor’s accompanying words:
Mohamed Ehsan first introduced himself to me in 2010. He was the inspiration for the photo documentary project I worked on ‘My Friend Mohamed’. Ehsan is a total Superman. In 2010 he was the University of Newcastle Islamic Society’s (UNIS) President, in addition to studying Medicine full time and also being a great example of what it means to engage with community. Ehsan has time for everyone no matter how busy he is or how many other people are waiting.
The Muslim community in Newcastle is a brilliant illustration of real multiculturalism. Muslims from most continents attend prayer at the Mosque. While language and culture differ, it is the common belief in Islam that unites their community.
The holy period of Ramadan is currently underway, the five-week fasting period is very special as it draws together the community each day, to break the day’s fast – or iftar as it’s known in Arabic.
Iftar is a shared meal in the evening after prayer, and the culinary delights from the Middle East, throughout Asia, the Indian subcontinent and parts of Africa highlight the cultural diversity of our local Muslim community.
Since graduating from the University with a Bachelor of Medicine, Ehsan is currently completing his intern year at a local hospital. And he’s still a Superman with a heart of gold: after all his tireless study he plans to volunteer in Asia once his internship is complete.
To see the full Crescent Community photo series, visit Engage Newcastle on Flickr.