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Islamic centre in Burnaby donating food, hand sewn masks on Persian New Year

Last Updated Mar 17, 2021 at 9:29 pm PDT

(Courtesy M.T.O. Shahmaghsoudi)

BURNABY (NEWS 1130) — The M.T.O. Shahmaghsoudi School of Islamic Sufism in Burnaby is celebrating the Persian New Year by handing out food and PPE to those in need Thursday.

Jamak Golshani says they’ll be donating 258 tote bags to Burnaby Neighborhood House, who will then distribute them to the neighbourhood.

He says each bag will contain non-perishable food items, including cereal, pasta, mac and cheese, canned beans, canned fish or canned chicken, along with a face mask hand-sewn by M.T.O. Volunteers.

“We’re hoping that in this uncertain time that we’re in, it helps bring some joy to our neighbours,” he adds.

Since last March, the group has been helping the community and Golshani says the women sewing the masks have not stopped working, something the community greatly appreciates.

“It’s been amazing, people have been brought to tears,” he says. “They’ve told us over and over again how they love what we’re doing in the community,” adding their efforts have been recognized by the province and City of Burnaby.

This week the province announced outdoor religious services will soon be allowed and Golshani says he is happy to hear the news.

“We definitely look forward to it but we all we all still have to be safe and make sure we observe the guidance that we’re getting and so that we don’t go back,” he says.

RELATED: B.C. to allow small outdoor religious services, in midst of COVID-19 pandemic

For now, since M.T.O. students are unable to gather together for the occasion, they will continue their efforts through the #MTOCovid19Response initiative.

The Persian New Year, which falls on the first day of Spring, is considered a ‘day of unity, a day of reflection and hope for the new year’.

He says it’s part of a global day of action undertaken by M.T.O. students in Asia Pacific, Europe, and North America.

– With files from Marcella Bernardo