By Olimatou Coker
Erudite scholar, writer and publisher, Amir Yaya Sillah of the Al Karaama Society, has said The Gambia needs special days for prayers in order to mitigate depression and anxiety.
An exclusive interview with The Standard ahead of a thanksgiving event organized by the society, Amir Sillah said it is baffling that most people are busy celebrating birthdays, national days, wedding anniversaries, personal achievements, naming ceremonies, religious festivals but no one is thinking of dedicating a special period of reflection once every year “in order to contemplate about the good things that Allah has provided for us throughout the year”.
Amir Sillah, the founder of Al Karaama which promotes Gambian books and literature, said he will this weekend introduce a Thanksgiving Day and will hope that it will be replicated across the country.
“I have decided to do this on Sunday 21 January and would get our members and society to pray and conduct Thanksgiving on good health, caring family and supportive friends, food self-sufficiency and clean material wealth and social harmony and inner peace,” he said.
The Amir told The Standard that such a day is better than festivals and the many birthday celebrations on which huge amount of money is spent.
“Allah said if you give thanks, I will give you more. It is in this spirit that we in the Al Karaama Society are calling on Gambians across the country to join in organizing a Thanksgiving day (eid shukr) to mitigate the problem of depression and anxiety which is prevalent among the youth and adults”, he said.
The event will be held on Sunday from 10am to 8pm at Amir Yaya Sillah’s residence in Kotu where there will be a lecture on the importance of remembering Allah and much more.
“If each year we spend 365 days seeking our livelihood, we should be humble enough to sacrifice just one day to please Allah without expecting any reward because his mercy is greater than everything else,” Amir Sillah concluded.