Afghan club aims to make a difference while building a community

Club partnered with other Toronto groups to raise money for clean water in Afghanistan

A year since the Afghan Students Association Club (ASA) came into existence, the group is still punching above its weight.

Club president Naqeeb Omar, who also serves as the Student Association’s Casa Loma campus director, said it can be hard to find people interested in joining cultural clubs. “I can’t just point at somebody and be like ‘Hey! You’re from this culture or you’re from this country.'”

The Student Association funds The Dialog.

The club currently has two executives and five active members. Omar described how reaching even this small number was a difficult task. He had planned to start the club last fall, but difficulties in bringing people together meant the ASA didn’t form until the winter semester.

In the past, Omar was actively involved in Afghan clubs at the University of Toronto, Ryerson and York University. Omar said that Cameron Wathey, the clubs co-ordinator at George Brown, came to know of Omar’s participation in those clubs through a mutual friend and encouraged him to start a similar club at George Brown.

Last year, by the club helped raise more than $4,000 by co-organizing the The Royal Masquerade charity gala with other ASA clubs from Ryerson, the University of Toronto, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and Durham College. The money raised was donated Zam Zam Water which help bring clean drinking water to communities in Asia and Africa.

“(Charity founder,Yusuf Nessary) builds wells in developing countries. He built a well in Gaza and a couple in Afghanistan. So he’s trying to build a fully engineered community with pipelines and electricity (in Afghanistan). Our money was going towards phase two; the actual construction process of it.”

Looking forward to raising interest in the club, Omar said that the ASA is open to anyone intrigued by Afghan culture and is not exclusive to students of Afghan descent.

“I have Indian friends, I have a Greek friend, they are all in the Afghan club at University of Toronto,” Omar said adding that he wants to do more charity events to help the Afghan community.

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Afghan club aims to make a difference while building a community