President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali has once again called for collective effort for the country’s betterment regardless of differences that may exist.
The head of state made the call on Friday morning at the observance of Eid-al-Fitr held in the Muslim Youth Organisation (MYO) Building, Woolford Avenue, Georgetown.
Eid-al-Fitr, translated as “festival of the breaking of the fast,” marks the end of Ramadan, the ninth and one of the most important months in the Muslim calendar, marked by a period of fasting.
The dates for this observance vary each year according to the lunar calendar.
President Ali said during the month of Ramadan, Muslims are taught the virtues of patience, obedience, and acceptance and reminded those gathered of the importance of contentment, and appreciation for their blessings.
“One in three persons in the world does not have access to safe drinking water. Ten per cent of the world’s population goes to bed hungry. But what is unfortunate is that 25 per cent of all the food that we waste globally can easily feed that ten per cent who go hungry. Twenty-five per cent of the world lives in conflict. Of the world’s two billion youths, one-third are unemployed, not in school, or any formal form of training. Four hundred million people have no access to health care.
“This is the reality of the world we live in. But I mentioned these realities, because sometimes… we are not thankful and grateful for the way in which we are blessed,” the president pointed out.
He noted that contentment is an important part of Islam, and quoted the Qur’an, noting that the lack of contentment leads to destruction.
“The foundation of togetherness, unity, equality of humanity, is embedded in Islam. It is an important part of understanding who we are… we cannot have the ability to hate, or dislike each other,” the president emphasised.
Further, he alluded to the concept of ‘corporate social responsibility,’ which aims to have companies contribute to societal goals through philanthropy, activism, pro-bono community development programmes, and the administration of monetary grants for public benefits.
“The Qur’an acknowledges that we are created differently by design. Not so that we may hate each other, nor compete against each other, but that we may know each other. We cannot know each other if we do not share…. Communicate…reach out…respect, and if we do not have tolerance.”
He reminded people to be proactive in seeking betterment for themselves and others, urging them to grab hold of the opportunities ahead.
“We need, as a country, all of us as Guyanese, to get our act together. This Ramadan must reinforce in us that we have the ability to be better…[and] do better,” President Ali encouraged.
On Eid-al-Fitr, Muslims traditionally gather with family and friends, wish them “Eid Mubarak” (Blessed Eid), share meals, exchange gifts, and engage in charitable acts.