IN THE solemnity and dignity of the observance of the Holy Month of Ramadan, our Muslim brothers and sisters fulfilled the five pillars of Islam in various fields of life. After a month-long solemnity of one’s mind and heart from the temptations of the world and performance of one’s obligations, all Muslim all over the world celebrated the Eidil Fitri.
Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ) in collaboration with the Muslim Youth Assembly for Peace (MYAP) of Mariki, Interactive Society for Leprocy Association of Muslim (ISLAM)-Muslim Youth Functionaries (MYF) of Pasobolong and Youth Solidarity for Peace (YSP)-youth arm of the office conducted two various “Children and Youth Hariraya Festival” in two different communities in Zamboanga City.
Last October 1, ISLAM-MYF together with PAZ staff and YSP volunteers graced the occasion at Pasobolong this city highlighting various activities like AZAN, dubbed in local dialect as Bang referring to call to Prayer, Ayatul Qur’an (Reading of the Holy Book of Qur’an), Treasure Hunt and other energetic games that manifested a very colorful and meaningful celebration of the festivity. First time in partnership, ISLAM-MYF President Ms. Lheilani Hashim expressed full support in the conduct of future peace-related activities. She mentioned “the community is very happy of the assistance that flourished smiles among children and youth.” Indeed, the spirit of Ramadhan was felt by all who really created an atmosphere of solidarity among faith in Zamboanga City.
Meanwhile, MYAP celebrated the same festivity last October 3 at Mariki Elementary School covering hundreds of children, enjoining the youth sector in commemorating the success and peaceful observance of the holy month of Ramadhan in the community. Highlighting the activity were their annual peace activities of TARASUL (Poetry for peace), AZAN and Ayatul Qur’an as well as poster-making. TARASUL has been an opportunity for poetic Muslims to express one’s feeling for peace through local dialects in Tausus, Yakan, Sama and Badjao. MYAP Over-all MYAP Coordinator, Sulaiman Jailani humbly inspired youth leaders to really dedicate one service for a peaceful coexistence of religion not just during the month of Ramadhan onwards other days of our lives. He stressed that “the Mariki Community is blessed with lots of opportunities nowadays. Amidst the struggle of daily living, still with Allah (PBUH) supervision and guidance, it is still surviving”.
The dreams of the young people always serve as the inspiration to gather smiles amidst sacrifices and grow strong from reflections and prayers. The support of all made the children and youth Hariraya festivals a meaningful one with cooperation from every stakeholder of the community.
PAZ through the Interreligious Solidarity Movement for Peace (IRSMP) is continuing its efforts to advocate peace as a way of life amongst the communities in Zamboanga City. Through simple Hariraya festivals to children and youth, the spirit of peace is felt that enlightens people’s hearts and minds in developing one’s future. Thus, the light of peace is now starting to glow as everyone awaits the Mindanao wide Celebration of the Week of Peace set forth on the last Thursday of November onwards the first Wednesday of December.