When it comes to legacies, those centred on communities are the most powerful. Of particular significance are people who start, sustain, maintain and inspire communities by bringing people together while caring and looking after collective and individual interests at the same time.
Ustaz Chalidin Yacoub founded the Ashabul Kahfi Islamic Centre (AKIC), a non-profit religious organisation in Sydney. AKIC supports the welfare and education of the children, families, and other Muslim communities in Sydney with various Islamic events, performing a cultural exchange between Muslims and the wider Australian community in Sydney.
Having arrived in Australia with his wife and children in 1993, Ustaz Chalidin saw an opportunity to educate, empower and inspire a young, budding Muslim community. A community with an urgent need of schooling.
It was only five years later, in 1998, that Ustaz Chalidin would go on to establish a centre for Islamic learning in Lakemba, Sydney, New South Wales – and the rest is history.
The Ashabul Kahfi Islamic Center has grown rapidly ever since. Starting with only 6 students who sought to learn to read the Quran, Ashabul Kahfi has supported more than 500 students to study the Quran, Islamic studies, Arabic, and culture classes.
The main purpose of the Ashabul Kahfi Islamic Center is to take an active role in organising educational and cultural activities following the Islamic teachings and to show the beauty of Islam to the people of Sydney and its surroundings, where the majority are non-Muslims.
Led by Ustaz, for well over twenty years, the Ashabul Kahfi Islamic Center has imparted knowledge while building the hearts and needs of our youth around a fundamentally Muslim, yet uniquely Australian, identity. Thus, enabling generations of the future Ummah to live and breathe Islam, and practice their faith in the West authentically, while feeling integrated into the Australian community and showing non-Muslims the beautiful nature of Islam.
This is the incredible legacy that Ustaz Chalidin has built for his community. What will you build for yours?
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Talal currently serves as a Non-Executive Director on the Whitlam Institute and Western Sydney University Foundation Council Board. He also serves as Chairman of First Quay Capital and Chairman of the Australian Arab Dialogue. Talal has also served on the Australia Post, Board of Sydney Ports, Macquarie University and the Western Sydney Area Health Service and the Chairman of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Council of Australia Arab Relations. In an executive capacity, Talal spent 10 years at PwC as a director and strategist, and at investment firm Babcock & Brown in the Corporate Finance Group and later in the Technical Real Estate Division. Later Talal held leadership positions in Better Place Australia, Platinum Hearing and Star Transport Australia.