Earlier this week, thousands of Muslims completed a “virtual” long-weekend getaway by attending Family Break Online, which had a jam-packed programme for the whole family. The annual event, usually held during the April bank holiday weekend at a vast, luxurious site in Reading, was cancelled due to the current pandemic.
Many who had booked were said to be disappointed, especially regular attendees who benefit from holistic programme of lectures, “storytimes”, seminars, and fun activities for both adults and children alike. The team who run the event were disappointed to have to cancel, but decided, with just over a week to prepare, to attempt to take the event online instead.
Just days within launching, over two thousand Muslim families around the world registered to attend, enjoying and benefitting from a range of storytimes, lectures, interactive seminars, quizzes, a gameshow, an “Art Attack” session for the youth, as well as a chance for children to recite Qur’ān to a teacher, spanning Friday night to Monday morning – all put together in a matter of days.
The gameshow, featuring special guest nashīd artist Omar Esa and Islam21c’s Editor in Chief Dr Salman Butt, was particularly enjoyable – receiving very positive feedback and plenty of laughs.
Whilst there were teething issues and the occasional delay with technology during the steep learning curve, as would be expected under such time restraints, the event was largely a success and was very well-received, giving families a welcome break from the current crisis. Feedback from guests echoed the sentiment:
“JazākAllahu khairan for this wonderful event, the kids felt it was almost a holiday weekend with the scheduled programmes. My 14-year-old son enjoyed and learned a lot. Alhamdulillāh. May Almighty Allāh bless and reward the entire team. Looking forward to have more like this if thus crisis continues. We are on isolation at the moment. This entire event made us forget the stress a little bit. JazākAllahu khairan again” – Family of 4, UK
“Alhamdulilāh. We really had a family event this weekend without leaving our home. The seminars were wonderful – jazākAllahu khairan to all involved. The family story time really did have us listening as a family – amazing sound effects! We couldn’t wait for the family challenge and we were not disappointed. We still miss the interaction from Family Break but you all did amazing in bringing family events into our home. We’d love some more interactive quizzes – they really had us jumping out of four seats!” – Family of 6, UK
“The events that took place were really fun. Me and my family enjoyed it so much! It was like we were really there!” – Family of 5, UK
The CEO of Family Events, Aadil Ali, felt honoured to provide a feel-good factor to families driven by Islamic values, telling Islam21c:
“It’s great to be able to provide a break during these testing times. The feedback from families across the UK and internationally has been amazing. With Ramadan coming up during the lockdown period, we hope to continue to provide moments of happiness to families, within Islamic guidelines. We’ll do our best to help families love living Islam with an exciting weekly programme during the next month, inshā’Allāh.”
To catch up with the content of the event, every thing has been made available on their YouTube channel.