My Visit to Toronto, Canada


The Niagara Falls is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the world with over 14 million visitors each year. The Niagara Falls are located between the twin cities of Niagara Falls, Ontario, and New York, consisting of three different falls, the American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Horseshoe Falls. The Horseshoe Falls are located on the Canadian side while the others are located in New York. The Niagara Falls was the most anticipated aspect of my trip and something I had been looking forward to since I was a little girl. Waterfalls have never failed to amaze me; their beautiful natural flow of water to such depths makes them a fascinating sight. 

My stay was in the Ahmadiyya abode of peace where my mums Aunt lives in Toronto. We began our journey in the afternoon around 12pm, as the journey was one and a half hours long. The weather was beautiful and it was incredibly sunny with temperatures going to 35 degrees. Once we arrived at the Niagara Falls, after parking up, we began the trip with some cold iced frappes from Tim Hortons, a very well known and popular café in Canada. The Niagara Falls attraction is made up of a small funfair with many restaurants and cafes surrounding the area, leading to the waterfall.

As we took the last stride towards the waterfall, I tried to keep my eyes down to ensure I would only see the magnificent sight once it was right in front of me. I opened my eyes to one of the beautiful and scenic places I had ever seen. The noise of the water rushing down with such force embraced my ears and the pleasant rush of breeze across my face made me close my eyes and lean my head forward. I took a while just letting the pleasant sound of the water and the breeze play at my ears, as I turned my head to take in the whole view of the falls. Saying I was “mesmerised” comes somewhat close to describing how I felt standing in front of one of the world’s most beautiful places.

After taking many photos of the view which in no case did justice to the actual beauty of the falls, we went to queue up for the boat ride of the falls. I saw people drenched in water as they were leaving the boat, wearing disposable jackets with caps. We were each handed an orange jacket which we put on as we got into the boat. As the boat started moving we could view the Niagara fall from a different angle from the bottom and see the rush of water falling down, giving off white smoke. As we neared the center of the falls, we felt light spritzes of water fall on our faces. The wind got harsher as we started getting wet with heavy droplets of water the nearer we moved to the falls. The boat took us right up close to the centre of the falls at which point we were all drenched in water from head to toe. I quietly stood at the edge of the boat looking up as far as my eyes could reach to take in the falls and the white smoke. The boat then turned, and we started distancing from the falls. I turned to face the waterfall one last time to take in the last few moments of being at such close proximity.

Once we got off the boat, we roamed around the funfair for a while, enjoying the colourful setups and displays before having a scrumptious lunch of burgers and fries at Wendy’s. We decided to walk back and stand at a different point to view the falls and take some more photographs. For me, I just wanted to cherish a few more moments quietly as I stood and watched the falls. It was definitely a day I will not forget, and I have wonderful memories and pictures to take me back to this trip, allowing me to cherish it forever.

Article by A.M Hadi               Pictures by A.M Hadi and S.K Cheema  

My Visit to Washington DC, USA

Our arrival in the USA was a little more complicated and delayed than was expected. Having missed our direct flight to Washington, we were handed alternative boarding passes for a connecting flight from New York to DC. A further misfortune was the fact that our beloved Aunty had boarded our initial flight… without us. It’s safe to say the air hostesses got an earful once she realised they were nearing take-off and she was still seated amongst three empty seats. On the other side… we sat watching from behind the airport windows as our flight began to take-off… praying our Aunty was alright. Nevertheless, eventually we reunited at the DC International Airport and it’s safe to say, we had never been happier to see our Aunty.

The rest of our stay in DC was eventful, to say the least. We stayed with my Aunt’s family in Maryland, who are extremely blessed to have a house right by Bait Ur Rehman Masjid. Taking us from central DC to every shopping mall possible, our family sure kept us moving and entertained. Seeing the White House in real life felt surreal, although it was rather difficult to get a good glimpse of through the dozens of security measures surrounding it. Capitol Hill as we hear it in all the American shows, had the inner tourist in me going wild- it felt as though I could finally draw a personal connection to all the American TV I had watched. The food and the portion sizes lived up to their expectations and certainly did not disappoint! 

With the grace of Allah, we also had the opportunity to attend our second Jalsa of the year after having attended Jalsa Salana Canada only a few days prior, we were now blessed to be making our way to Pennsylvania for the 70th Jalsa Salana USA 2018. The American Jalsa Salana was a different kind of experience altogether, but regardless, the sense of familiarity I felt despite being from across the globe, remains very close to my heart. From sitting amongst sisters listening to the inspirational speeches, having duty holders request us to stop talking, estimating what toilet queue will end faster, to queuing up for the delicious langar food; the sense of familiarity was comforting, to say the least. But that is the blessing of our Jamaat, no matter which part of the world you travel to, you know one thing will always remain the same, and that is the love and unity of Khilafat. Alhamdullilah for a mesmerising trip.

Author: Aneela Mahmood