Alipore – the global village 3 -علی پور

May 2, 2010

One thing which people often comment on when they discuss the village of Alipore, Gujarat is the fine quality of the Masjids. Buildings designed to promote spiritual concentration and community solidarity.  One reason for this excellence is the local religious tradition outlined in my last post. Another reason is the generous donations of Alipore people who now live in South Africa, England and elsewhere.

This is Jumma Masjid – the place where Alipore village began:

Jumma Masjid

Jumma Masjid

A view taken at an earlier date before construction work on the minaret:

Construction work on Jumma Masjid

Earlier view of the Jumma Masjid

The Laher Mohalla Masjid:

Masjid Laher Mohalla

Laher Mohalla Masjid

The Khambya Masjid:

Khambhya Masjid

Khambhya Masjid


Alipore – the global village 2 -علی پور

May 1, 2010
Alipore sign

Alipore sign

This is what Wikipedia says about the origin of Alipore, Gujarat and its place name. I have made slight amendments:

“There was a pious (Vali) person named Ali (some sources say AALJI) who migrated to this part of the world many centuries ago. His origin is not known but he is believed to be from Prophetic ancestry (Sayyad). The land surrounding this village was barren and open and mostly uninhabited. He found a lush green land here and decided to live on a high place, where Jumma Masjid stands at present. Gradually people began to gather at this place, which as yet had no name, to seek spiritual guidance. Whenever people visited Ali’s place they would say “Ali ne ta jawana” or “Ali wara gaam ma jaawana.” The people of the surrounding villages spoke mostly Gujarati, hence they would say “Ali-por (gaam) jawaana”. Hence the name Alipore.

As people started living around this holy man the place where he had

Alipore old doors

Old doors in Alipore

his small tent was converted into a prayer area and later became a Masjid. That is how the present day Jumma Masjid came into existence.

With an increasing population of Vohra people moving to this part of the world, they began to build their houses near to the Masjid and soon a new settlement sprung up and they called their village Alipore.”

There are more photos of Alipore village on Ridwan Laher’s blog.

A link to web information about the large Vasudhara dairy in Alipore, located just off route NH8, is here.

A link to web information about Alipore hospital is here. The donations of Alipore people living abroad have helped to support this modern facility.

Alipore hospital

Alipore Hospital

Alipore – the global village 1-علی پور

May 1, 2010
New houses in Alipore

New houses in Alipore

This blog is linked in friendship to the Ahlan wa sahlan blog whose home is in Batley, West Yorkshire. The local community comes mainly from the village of Alipore which lies in the Chikhli Taluka area of the Navsari District in the State of Gujarat, India.

Though it has less than 5,000 people, Alipore is a truly global village, a dynamic community which has sent its energetic families to England, South Africa and elsewhere in the world. The people of Alipore village are mainly Sunni Muslims – many from the Vohra landowner and Mulla communities. There are about 8,000 Aliporeans in South Africa and about 4,500 in England.

Alipore traditional house 1

Traditional house in Alipore

The first Alipore person who came to England was Ebrahim bahi Bilakhdi, back in 1951. Later Alipore people settled at Batley in Kirklees, West Yorkshire; Blackburn in Lancashire and the city of Leicester. Many worked in the textiles and footwear industries. Later many of the  community moved into  business, local government and the professions.

Alipur Muslim Association of South Africa

Click - for South Africa

The Alipur Muslim Association of South Africa has a fascinating website which gives an insight into a side of South Africa which people outside the country rarely hear about. The website contains a slide-show of photos taken recently in Alipore village, Gujarat.

The Batley, West Yorkshire community of people with links to Alipore is centred on the Indian Muslim

Alipore's Karolia Mohalla madressah

Alipore's Karolia Mohalla madressah

Welfare Society (IMWS), established in 1957. This is based at the Al-Hikmah Centre. The IMWS has a really excellent website including video content, for example of the 50th anniversary celebrations at here and at here.

It also produces the monthly Paigaam magazine which you can read online.


Click - for the Indian Muslim Welfare Society

New Asian Voice – read and consider advertising

April 8, 2010
New Asian Voice magazine

Click to read latest edition

New Asian Voice is a new full colour monthly for North Kirklees with a community focus. It’s available locally in print and also as a downloadable e-zine from the website

New Asian Voice and this blog do have a lot in common. In the March ’10 issue on page 3 you will read Empowering Community Voices. A photo article on the Empowering Voices Online (EVO) blogging workshop held at Ravensthorpe Community Centre at which your author was introduced to blogging. Where is he on the panoramic photo of participants? Behind the camera!

On page 5 The Sky is Not the Limit covers the Festival of Flight featured in Signs of Communities posts on February 24th and April 3rd. Their focus is on the Festival of Flight exhibition and event held at Earlsheaton Technology College.

New Asian Voice is a great local venture which deserves your support in these early months of its existence. The best way to support them is to take out a paid advert. To see what they can offer I suggest you could give them a call on 01924 422214 or download the media pack PDF file from their website.

Prime Minister praises Shakeel Hafez

March 25, 2010

In my post of Feb. 24 2010 I outlined the fine new publication Safeguarding Children: guidance for  madressahs and supplementary schools. Now the work of its editor, my colleague Shakeel Hafez, has been recognised by the UK Prime Minister – Gordon Brown. In a letter to Shakeel he refers to the “hard work you have done to engage with those working in Madressahs and Supplementary Schools” and writes that officials from the government’s Department for Children, Schools and Families will be in touch to discuss how this unique publication can be disseminated throughout the UK.

Well done, Shakeel!

Safeguarding Children in madressahs and supplementary schools

February 24, 2010

New publication for madressahs and supplementary schools in the UK

The full-colour guide Safeguarding Children – Guidance for madressahs and supplementary schools is unique in covering the requirements of the many supplementary schools in the UK, as well as the needs of madressahs. It is based on the latest legislation to safeguard children and young people. The editor is Shakeel Hafez, Supplementary Schools Co-ordinator with Kirklees Council’s Children and Young People Service. I recently attended the launch of the 2010 edition at the Al-Hikmah Centre in Batley, West Yorkshire. Shakeel is a colleague of mine who I have known since 2003 when I collected the Community Care magazine’s annual award for the predecessor of the Safeguarding Children guide.

Buy it on-line from:

Safeguarding Children – Guidance for madressahs and supplementary schools

Shakeel also has a new blog of great interest to the Muslim community in Batley, West Yorkshire.