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World Interfaith Harmony Week Observed at a Forum in Albania

Tirana, Albania - Women’s contribution to interreligious dialogue and harmony was the theme of a forum held to commemorate World Interfaith Harmony Week.

UPF-Albania, together with Women’s Federation for World Peace-Albania, jointly held the forum on Feb. 6, 2015, in the UPF Peace Embassy in Tirana, the nation’s capital.

As part of the program, moderated by Mrs. Manjola Vasmatics, UPF coordinator for Tirana, various speakers discussed interfaith harmony from the perspective of their own beliefs. First, a representative of Islam, Ms. Bukurie Selimaj, a student of Beder University in Tirana and a member of the association Friends of Knowledge for Peace and Understanding, spoke on the importance of women in Islam and their contribution to inter faith harmony as good mothers who raise children in the spirit of respect and kindness toward others.

Then Mrs. Liljana Subashi, a member of the Baha’i community, spoke about the respect this community has toward other faiths and about the main Baha’i temple, whose nine doorways are a reference to various religious traditions.

Mrs. Katerina Minollari, WFWP president, described how international and interfaith marriages can overcome differences and barriers between cultures and traditions through practical daily interaction, humility and self-denial. She also elaborated on the one common root of the Abrahamic religions and the providential value of all religions, as told in the teachings of UPF Founder Dr. Sun Myung Moon.

The second part of the program was a promotion of a book of poems written by Mrs. Mina Caushi, an Albanian author who for many years lived in Greece, contributing to the education of Albanian children there. Mrs. Caushi is a friend of Ambassador for Peace Mrs. Fatime Kulla, who guided this part of the event, making a connection between peace between religions and the inner peace that Mrs.Caushi fosters through her poems. Mrs. Kulla also inspired the audience by sharing her own life story, as she comes from an Islamic background (her grandfather was a Muslim cleric) and her husband is a Catholic.

The poems, referring to simple moments of life, but recited very artistically by an actor, Mr. Xhelal Luca, moved the audience and brought a very lively touch to the program. The event ended, as usual, with refreshments and the chance for the participants to speak informally. Altogether around 40 people participated, including a few new guests; one of them Mrs. Meleqe Renja, a chairwoman of Roma Women Association, an NGO that is very active in educating Roma children.

At the end, Mrs. Minollari invited the participants to attend seminars on the coming weekends to prepare for the Interfaith Peace Blessing ceremony to take place on March 15 in Tirana.

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