Approximately £7,000 was raised towards the Palestine Appeal.
Thousands of people from all over the UK turned out on Sunday 28th July 2002, for Islamic Relief's Sports & Cultural Fair. The fair was held at Small Heath Leisure Centre in Birmingham on a rare sunny day, perfect for the outdoor events taking place.
Mohammed Imran gives an interview outside one of the Afghan refugee tents.
The fair offered something for all the family, and children were especially spoilt for choice. Their activities included organised races, bouncy castles, arts and crafts, 'Splash the Clown', face-painting and more. For adults the fair offered stalls selling food, clothes, perfumes, and books. Original calligraphy and hand-painted glass items were also on sale.
One unusual exhibition featured live falcons, trained to hunt but tame enough to handle. The falconer spoke to groups of fascinated children about the ancient tradition of falconry in the Arabian Peninsula, where the sport is still as fashionable as ever.
The 7-a-side football competitions proved especially popular, with over 29 teams entering from as far as Bradford. In the Open Age group the Birmingham team "Who Cares" defeated 'Punjab Sweethouse' of Bradford to win the Grand Final trophy. However Bradford's pride was restored in the Under-16's competition by 'Leeds Road Bradford' who conquered 'Blackburn United' in the final.
Throughout the day Islamic Relief staff presented talks about the humanitarian crisis in Palestine, describing the daily suffering of Palestinian families. The sharp contrast between the peaceful atmosphere of the fair and the desperation of the Palestinian situation served to emphasise the message.
Two Afghan refugee tents, complete with ration packs and bedding, provided an educational exhibit at the fair. The tents housed an information display about life as a refugee. Visitors experienced a glimpse of the hardships of life in cramped conditions endured by millions of refugees.
Enthusiastic volunteers joined IR staff in working hard to make the fair entertaining and informative for all the visitors. The rare sunny weather and the pleasant family environment ensured that the day was a memorable event for all. Approximately £7,000 was raised towards the Palestine Appeal.