Hey, sorry for not getting back to anyone, finishing half-finished posts, or getting back to the comments with questions in them, but I got distracted by the Islamic Cultural Festival that we went to on the weekend:
Yeah, it was alot of cultural (the Saudis had a HUGE section), with dances and stuff (Indonesian little girls, Saudi men from different provinces) but there was Qu'ran recitation, and alot of dawah materials, henna, and a calligraphy/henna area. My purse weighed sooooooo much with the free Qu'rans in different languages. The husband and I always end up with lots of converts/reverts or people inquiring about Islam so I took the oppurtunity to stock up on some dawah materials. MashaAllah the dawah committty managed to help me get a brother and sister a Chinese translation of the Qu'ran, and the only one they were short on was Spanish. Which I needed but... hey. But I forgot to grab a Korean one. So at least I got the group's email so I can order one for one woman asking in the Masjid who has trouble following the arabic/english khutbah.
What I ABSOLUTELY LOVED is that whenever the Qu'ran was recited the clouds did part and it was sunny. Serriously. Ask anyone that was there, subhanAllah. I also found it hilarious that just before the dancers from Saudi were about to preform their tribal dances (they had Mekkah and Medina with their stick dance with a video available here
, the interior represented with a very dull sword waving dance, and the South with a very enthusiastic jumping hand-waving dance [this is my husband's and it always makes me laugh but it isn't that elegant] , a dog walked by homeless people decided to urinate on their preformance place. They announced to the crowd that they were having technical difficulties until a brother bought a water bottle and poured it over the cement:D. Yeah, hear a dog bark and watch a predominately Muslim crowd freak out:D
They had henna to draw in people, and snakes you could hold, and lots of little booths to tell you about different Islamic countries. We spent about four hours there, and then went out for lunch after dhuhr. We happened to run into a sister we had lost contact with, and alhamdulilah she is well. I was also happy to see the brothers dressed in their Islamic clothing. I wish the ones from my city did not feel they had to take it off, returning on the ferry. To all the brothers out there, I am proud of you for your thobes and your beards and your long tunic shirts, and your loose pants, and your kufis. We are supposed to dress as believers and that is not just the women, so mashaAllah to the brothers that came out visibly as Muslim men. You made me proud to wear my niqab:p
For more on the Van. festival, check out their webpage http://www.cice.ca/location.html.