Hassan Abd Alla, GMI: Islam and integration

This article is also available in: Italiano

On the occasion of the 3eid Al Adha (Feast of Sacrifice), we have the honor of interviewing Hassan Abd Alla, who has always been an active member of the GMI (Young Muslims of Italy) and has recently also become its president.

K: Who is Hassan Abd Alla?

H: Hassan Abd Alla is a guy like many others with ambitions, fears, difficulties, passions and convictions, nothing special except perhaps a strong desire to serve others.
I was born in 1993, the eldest son of an Egyptian immigrant family, a simple family that passed me the fundamental values that now inspire me and influence my decisions and behaviors.

K: What is the Gmi and what does it mean to become president?

H: In the eyes of most, the GMI is probably just a youth association with a religious background, but for me the GMI is much more. In my case it was a school of life, the GMI taught me a lot: it taught me to work in a group, therefore to have patience and the ability to analyze people and situations, it taught me humility seeing it personified in many who they surrounded me in this totally voluntary work.
I am convinced that it is among the most beautiful things that have happened to me, it changed my life because it brought me closer to religion through practice and example, this approach is much more incisive than the academic one and I think it has changed my life. many others, because in the GMI you find the answers to the questions that torment you, you find friends and examples to follow as big brothers.
Hassan Abd Alla
Becoming president means first of all believing in it fully, being grateful for all that the GMI has given us, then inevitably it is an immense responsibility before God and the shareholders but also before ourselves, it means returning part of the favors that the GMI boasts about us.
I think that for a young person the presidency of the GMI but also the other offices of the association are a good challenge, beautiful because instructive and at the same time fun, you have to learn to juggle well between personal and associative commitments, between the role of friends and colleagues. in short, a beautiful training ground for life and work in a context of unparalleled quality.
I was about to forget the most important thing, becoming president of GMI means being an example, inevitably people look at you and compare you to the conception they have of this figure and you have to live up to it.
Hassan Abd Alla
Hassan Abd Alla in the company of the photographer Idriss Ela

K: “Young Italian Muslims”, to whom it is addressed is clear but what does the GMI do in terms of integration? Have you noticed particular realities in the many years of Gmi?

H: The various sections of the GMI are active and participate in local integration initiatives, it is a fact that the vast majority of our members are second generation young people, so these are issues that affect us.
In my opinion, one of the most significant initiatives that sees the GMI as an active protagonist and not just as a simple collaborator was the visit to the schools, it often happened, especially in turbulent times, characterized by unpleasant news events, that many members of the GMI they made ambassadors of what is the message of Islam, mainly bringing what is their daily life as the clearest proof that integration is not only possible but is already a fruitful reality.
Hassan Abd Alla
At the presentation of ASM
In the many years of GMI I must say that I have noticed that each reality has its peculiarities, I can give you just a few examples: the communities of Bengali and Pakistani origins are very orderly, they give a lot of importance to the memorization of the Koran and in my opinion the greatest value that they have is the respect that children show towards their parents; the smaller communities like that of Fossombrone are very tenacious and hardworking despite having more obstacles than the Muslim communities of the metropolis and then I noticed that the communities of Moroccan origins are more open minded, more innovative and ready to deal with other realities.

K: When you became president, what objectives did you set yourself and how does it relate to the Italian reality?

H: God evaluates us for the efforts, commitment and sacrifices we make not for the results we have achieved so more than objectives I would talk about crucial points on which I have decided to focus my attention, they are three: people, understood as a balanced development of the individual, our local sections which are our engine and spirituality, a fundamental element for an association inspired by religious values.
Hassan Abd Alla
I think that with the first point a contribution is made to society in general, specifically to Italian society, we are in an era that has lost some of its points of reference and adolescents who are already disoriented are affected a lot, for I believe that balanced and competent young people make society more stable.
We live in a context plagued by the evils of materialism and individualism, without the right amount of spirituality we will not go very far and given that the places where the soul is cared for are increasingly rare I think that the GMI is a bit of a oasis in the desert, after all our work is a work that aims to uplift souls and I am confident that if we do a good job, the young people of the GMI will be a valid support for those around them; it goes without saying that to do all this it is essential that our local sections are prosperous and active.

K: What does 3eid Al Adha mean for Hassan?

H: 3eid Al Adha is a remarkable reminder, God challenges us to raise our level, without exams and tests there are no degrees and certificates attesting to our progress, as the name implies (Adha = sacrifice) this implies a sacrifice , so this feast inevitably puts us in front of a question: what and how much am I ready to sacrifice for God, which in other words is a questioning of how much we believe in it, how solid is our faith.
For me it also means reflecting on the figure of the prophet Abraham, a man who has much to teach us.
Hassan Abd Alla

I thank Hassan Abd Alla for his availability and for the nice interview.

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