While waiting for my train at London Bridge Station a small group of commuters huddled around one particular poster got my attention, blood red with bold white letters, is today your day? It asked me. A man, it told me named Hussain, stood for justice. Despite being born knowing Hussain and growing to understand the greatness of his sacrifice as my age progressed, I understood that this campaign was to let other people know of Hussain, to share him with the rest of humanity, too see him inspire the masses that were otherwise unaware of his mere existence yet alone his plight and message. The sole aim and purpose of this campaign was to get the name of Hussain to the masses, there was no propaganda plans, or the desire to favour one religion over the next, only to show Hussain to the world, to spread his message in today’s society.
(Who is hussain stall at Brunel University)
Universities all over England, held stalls for the campaign, holding conversations with their peers about Hussain, showing his message and its importance, as well as giving out water bottles and wristbands. I attended this event held by Brunel University, over 15 volunteers stood outside regardless of the weather, and gave out 500 water bottles, and held many interesting conversations with their peers, and many people were intrigued and asked many questions about the campaign after visiting the website. Other universities who also held the similar event are; Queen Mary, SOAS, Roehampton, Hertfordshire, Kings, Portsmouth, UCL and City.
Thousands of bottles of water with the campaign name written on them, accompanied with methods in which one could find out more about the campaign. These were distributed at underground stations, universities, as well as in the annual procession which occurred on the 25th of November where hundreds of Muslims gathered at Marble Arch to peacefully walk to mirror the tradition of walking to the shrine of Hussain. These water bottles, served as an answer to the questions of onlookers who were wondering about what was going on.
(Dear neighbour greeting cards I gave to my neighbours)
The greeting cards, thousands of printed greeting cards were printed, these were addressed to neighbours and their success was due to the volunteers who took it upon themselves to go out despite the cold and give these cards to their neighbours. Going out with 20 cards I gained the opportunity to speak to 10 of my neighbours on each side of my home, I found I was able to connect with them and build friendships with them while explaining more about this campaign.
(Campaign poster at London bridge station)
There were 13 platforms in the popular stations in the London Underground which held the 25 posters. stations like Kings Cross, Oxford Circus and Liverpool Street hosted these posters on their platforms. these posters were placed strategically in locations were it can be seen by the maximum amount of people, ranged from tourists to the every day commuting business man/woman.
(Bus poster courtesy of a member of the twitter followers of the campaign)
Buses all over the popular locations in London, were not exempt from this campaign, 60 buses had banners across the side or back with the who is Hussain message.
(Member of the public participating in the campaign at Brunel University)
People who had opinions unto what the campaign is about, were able to send in short videos on YouTube in which they state who is Hussain to them and why he is important to them. It was beautiful to see the diversity in the responses and to see the backgrounds of those who sent these videos in. it was also but a small indicator as to the acknowledgement of the widespread response to the campaign.
(twitter page of the Who Is Hussain event)
Social networks played a huge part in the campaign, with 9,326 likes on Facebook, 3,285 followers on Twitter, 440 subscribers and 62,664 views on YouTube. People have been able to use the #WhoIsHussain hash-tag on social networks twitter and Instagram to share photo’s and comments of what they have been doing to get involved, as well as to share their own views on who Hussain is.
(A billboard in Tanzania. Picture courtesy of twitter responses to the campaign.)
To say that the campaign was a great initiative and a huge success does not give justice to what it has really achieved, the mere fact that it has managed to go beyond the intended audience of Britain and has go international proves this. Countries like India, Tanzania, Africa and many others. I would like to congratulate the organisers for the national and international success of the Who Is Hussain campaign, and while it is still on-going I am not alone in hoping that this beautiful initiative continues to prosper.