۱۵ آذر ۱۴۰۱ |۱۲ جمادی‌الاول ۱۴۴۴ | Dec 6, 2022
'I've spent decades supporting Australia's vulnerable Muslim women I won't stop now'

This story is part of a special series featuring older Australians looking back on their lives.

Hawzah News Agency (Lakemba - Australia) - Abla Kadous started life in Egypt before moving to Australia and helping set up the country's first welfare service for Muslim women. At 70, she reflects on her career and why she would "never send anyone away".

This story is part of a special series featuring older Australians looking back on their lives.

In the backyard of a women's welfare centre, a feast is taking place.

Falafel, Japanese dumplings, samosas, Egyptian lasagne and numerous desserts are laid out across two tables.

A group of about 50 women and children are enjoying the feast.

The Islamic Women's Welfare Association (IWWA) is a not-for-profit organisation in Lakemba, an area of Sydney dotted with Bangladeshi and Middle Eastern restaurants, and where about half of the residents identify as Muslim.

At the helm is 70-year-old Abla Kadous.

"If anyone comes with a problem, I never send anyone away. First of all, I sit with them and I discuss it with them and I see which area,” she tells SBS News.

“If it’s a small issue, not physical abuse, if she has problems with raising the children or just a little disagreement with the husband, I can help them here. But if it's bigger than that, I refer them to the correct service."

The IWWA was set up in the year 2000 and provides programs and services for about 150 women and 300 children each week.

They include childcare, camps for teenage girls and Arabic language schools, as well as welfare and referral services for at-risk women who need extra support.

Abla is one of the centre's 50 or so volunteers and has been the president for almost 20 years.

She and her family migrated from Egypt to Australia in the late 1960s when she was a teenager. It was a time of political unrest in her home country.

Comment

You are replying to: .
8 + 5 =