First Peace Symposium held in Croatia

Rana Muhammad Munawwar, National President Jamaat Croatia

On 10 February 2024, Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Croatia organised its very first Peace Symposium in the Press House (Novinarski dom) of Zagreb, Croatia. The theme was “Voices for Peace” to support and highlight the international initiative to achieve a ceasefire and peace in the current war in Gaza.

The programme started at 17:35 local time with the recitation from the Holy Quran with its Croatian translation, followed by a welcome speech by Elvedin Bostandžjia Sahib about the Peace Symposium initiative and its goals.

A brief introduction was also given about the history of Ahmadiyyat, and its establishment by the Promised Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas. The blessed institution of Khilafat and the peace efforts of Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa, were also highlighted.

The first speaker was Stanko Perica, president of the Jesuit Service for Refugees in Southeast Europe (JRS). He spoke about “Refugee crises as a result of the absence of peace”.

At the end of his speech, he said that our religious responsibility is to promote dialogue, education and solidarity, which are the tools of peace.

The second speaker was Dr Mijo Nikić, a pastor, professor of psychology and author. He spoke about the verses from the Bible “Blessed are the peacemakers because they will be called sons of God.”

The third speaker was Dr Sead Alić, a prominent philosopher and author living in Zagreb. He spoke about how “double standards increase suffering and hinder the path to peace.”

I had the honour of being the final speaker that evening. The topic of the speech was how to halt warfare and move towards peace according to the teachings of Islam. Towards the end of the speech, the horrific situation in Gaza was mentioned. Attention was drawn to the fact that justice and equity have to be established with mutual respect and open dialogue for everyone to bring an end to the conflicts and wars in this world.

The event was concluded by Mišel Androić, who thanked the guests for attending the event and drew their attention towards an exhibition that consisted of posters made by year 7 and 8 students about their message of peace to the world. This exhibition was displayed in the main hall, and visible to the audience. The event ended with a silent prayer.

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