Interreligious Dialog & Sustainable Development: How Can Women Contribute to the Interreligious Dialog and Harmony

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WFWP Albania, by Mrs. Katerina Minollari, February 6, 2015, Tirana, Albania: As the first week of February was declared by UN as the World Interfaith Harmony Week, a joint event was held on the afternoon of February 6th in the Peace Embassy in Tirana, co-organized by WFWP and UPF.

As part of the program, moderated gracefully by Mrs.  Manjola  Vasmatics,  the  local  Tirana  UPF/FFWPU coordinator, various speakers presented the issue of interfaith harmony from the perspective of their specific beliefs. First, a representative of Muslim religion, Ms. Bukurie Selimaj, a student of Beder University in Tirana, and a member of the “Friends of Knowledge for Peace & Understanding” Association, who spoke on the importance of women in Islam and their contribution to interfaith harmony as good mothers, who raise children in the spirit of values of respect and kindness towards others.

Then Mrs. Liljana Subashi, a member of Baha’i community, shared about the respect this community has towards other faiths and about the main Baha’i temple, which has nine doorways referring to various religious traditions.

The discussion was summed up by Mrs. Katerina Minollari, WFWP president, who spoke on the value of international and interfaith marriage in overcoming differences and barriers between cultures and traditions through practical daily interaction, humility and self-denial. She also elaborated on the history of Abrahamic religions, as coming from one common root and the providential value of all religions from the standpoint of Divine Principle, and the need to unite as One Family under God in our times.

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The second part of the program for that evening was a promotion of a book of poems of Mrs. Mina Caushi, an Albanian author who spent many years as an emigrant in Greece, contributing to the education of Albanian children there. Mrs. Caushi is a friend of one of our AfP, Mrs. Fatime Kulla, who guided this part of the event, making a connection between the issue of 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 a Muslim 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 invited actor, Mr.  Xhelal Luca moved the audience and brought a very lively touch to the program. The event ended as usually by refreshments and free sharing. Altogether around 40 people participated. The positive aspect was the presence of a few new guests, between them Mrs. Meleqe Renja, a chairwoman of Roma Women Association, an NGO very active in the field of Roma children education.

At the end, Mrs. Katerina Minollari, as she mentioned interreligious marriages as a tool to reach interreligious harmony, she invited all the participants to attend the blessing preparation workshops on the coming weekends to prepare them for the blessing ceremony which is going to take place on March 15th 2015 in Tirana.

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