A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed to establish Pakistan’s first Madrassa based business incubation center in Lahore. The MoU was signed between Jamia Naeemia Lahore and Shaoor Foundation for Education and Awareness (SFEA), Islamabad.
Pakistan’s first ever state of the art madrassa-based business incubation center will be established at an area of 6500 square feet in the new building of Jamia Naeemia in Mughalpura, Lahore. The purpose of this initiative would be to serve the cause of economic mainstreaming of the madrassa students and graduates and create more socio-economic opportunities for otherwise marginalized populations. The incubation center shall provide basic entrepreneurial trainings, incubation facility, mentorship and networking opportunities to madrassa students and graduates. Moreover, it would serve as a knowledge center for peace and civic education along with enhancement of employability and soft skills.
“There have been many discussions about mainstreaming madrassas and their inclusion. In my opinion, preparing students to take entrepreneurial journeys, providing skills to secure jobs and economic opportunities for themselves and others meanwhile inculcating sense of civic and peace education is the best madrassa reform one could think of – and we have taken the first tiny step in the right direction”, said Syed Ali Hameed who’s the executive director of Shaoor Foundation and Islamabad based serial entrepreneur. “No young person should be left behind because of his or her social backgrounds, religious affiliation or gender – this incubation center would be inclusive in all domains”, he further said.
“Madrassas are meant to impart Islamic education to the students and make them effective part of the society. Providing them economic opportunities would not only empower the young people who do not get opportunities otherwise but also prepare a pool of responsible citizens contributing in country’s economy. Young men and women need society’s patronage and we must do everything in our capacities to provide them so” said Dr. Allama Raghib Hussain Naeemi, principal Jamia Naeemia.
Shaoor Foundation aspires to strengthen the process of socio-economic development and empowerment of the disadvantaged sections of the society at the grassroots level, especially women and youth. Jamia Naeemia and Jamia Sirajia (female branch of Jamia Naeemia) have male and female students from across Pakistan and have associated madrassas as well, besides being based in provincial capital. The inclusion of Jamia Naeemia and Jamia Sirajia within the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Pakistan would start a new era for madrassas.