Ateneo celebrates World Interfaith Harmony week; welcomes Islamic scholar to interfaith talks
Ateneo de Zamboanga University will be one with the global community in celebrating the World Interfaith Harmony Week(WIHW) with this year’s theme “Celebrating Harmony: The Wellspring of Hope and Peace,” from Feb 1 to 7, 2016.
Led by the Ateneo Peace Institute (API), the World Interfaith Harmony Weekin AdZU kicked-off with the Mary Forum held last January 25 to 26, where invited guests with different religious affiliations got to know the Blessed Virgin Mary with a fresh perspective.
The WIHW celebration opened this morning, February 1st, at the BC Quadrangle, Salvador Campus, with the unveiling of the WIHW info graphic exhibit at the BC Lobby.As part of API’s info-educ campaign, tarpaulins containing the history and purpose of the celebration are currently on display in the two campuses, to raise awareness among members of the Ateneo community, on the significance of the WIHW.
On February 02, youth leaders in Zamboanga City will converge at the BC Lecture Hall for the SYNERGY Conference on promoting peace through social media.
Simultaneous dialogues on harmony among the Ateneo Religious Organizations (ARO) at the Carlos Dominguez Conference Hall, Salvador Campus, and high school moderators at the Kreutz Campus will mark the third day of the celebration.
On February 04, there will be a Peace Convention on Educating Ateneo Youth for Solidarity at the Grade School Audio Visual Room, Kreutz Campus. A symbolic bonfire for solidarity and peace will be the highlight of the celebration’s fourth day, at 5:30PM at the College Lobby of the Salvador Campus. The entire Ateneo community is encouraged to grace the said event.
On February 06, children from Masepla will get to know more about peace and environment in a gathering dubbed as “Harmony with Mother Earth: Care for my environment” at the Mampang transitory site.
The World Interfaith Harmony Week was first proposed at the UN General Assembly on September 23, 2010 by H.M. King Abdullah II of Jordan. Less than a month later, on October 20, 2010, it was unanimously adopted by the United Nations and henceforth, the first week of February will be observed as a World Interfaith Harmony Week.
In a related development, Sheikh Amran Anguila al-Hafiz, an Islamic scholar based in Singapore and a member of the Majlis Ulama Islam Singapura (MUIS), the Muslim organization that handles Islamic affairs in Singapore, visited Ateneo last January 20 for interfaith conversations with different University officials.
Sheikh Anguila’s campus visit is part of the Ateneo’s continuous engagements in interfaith dialogue and understanding. His sharing and discussions with Assistant to the President for Formation Fr Wilfredo Samson, SJ, Campus Ministry Director Joy Tugade, Social Awareness and Community Service Involvement Director John Mayo Enriquez and Student Scholarships and Aid Office Director Conrado Balatbat focused on understanding and respecting different religious beliefs.
Together with Sheikh Anguila were Ateneo Alumnus Ustadz Ahmad Imbing of Shariful Makhdum Institute and Ustadz Abden Abdurahim of Sabiel al Muhtadeen, who also shared insights on Islam and interfaith understanding.