On Saturday, 19th October 2019, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, the Gambia, hosted the 2nd Peace Conference Africa at The Kairaba Beach Hotel. This was the second of its kind, the first having been held in Ghana in 2018.
The theme for this year’s peace conference was ‘The Islamic Solution to World Peace’. Mr. Karim Asad Ahmad Khan QC, Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations, was the Keynote Speaker for the Conference.
Mr. Khan Quoted extensively from the Holy Qur’an, the Ahadith of the Holy Prophet Muhammad of Islam (Peace and blessings be upon him), the writings of the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi (AS) and his successors. He spoke of the Qur’anic teaching of equality of human beings citing Ch. 49 verse 14 which talks of the creation of tribes and subtribes but then says that we are all equal and the most honourable in the sight of Allah is the one who is high righteousness.
He quoted the sayings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW), especially the Farewell Sermon which spoke of the equality of men regardless of race, tribe, gender or nationality. He said that had the world followed the instructions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW), we would have been rid of wars and strife.
He spoke of the current Spiritual and Supreme head of Worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V Mirza Masroor Ahmad(May Allah be his Helper) who delivers speeches and lectures in various parts of the world on the subject of peace. He said the Khalifa continuously calls for the promotion of justice in international relations saying that it is the only way to attain world peace.
The Amir of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, The Gambia, Mr. Baba F. Trawally called for peace and unity in the world. He called on all and sundry to promote a peaceful and harmonious coexistence knowing that it is only in peace that there can be development.
He highlighted the Ahmadiyya Muslims Jamaat’s role in the drive to promote world peace and justice stating that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at’s global drive to spread the message of Peace is not something new and we are grateful to Allah Almighty to say that our beloved and supreme head His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad is Championing the Global Drive for the attainment of not just world peace but for the realisation of the observance of the rights of each individual and also for global justice.
The Honourable Minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure, Mr. Ebrima Sillah delivered a message on behalf of the President of the Republic of the Gambia, His Excellency Mr. Adama Barrow. He reiterated Government’s stance on promoting peace and progress through good governance. He registered the Government’s acknowledgement and appreciation of the efforts of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at in the areas of education, health and agriculture. He assured the participants of the Gambia Governments readiness to continue working with the Jama’at in the interest of the peace and progress of the Gambia.
The Chairman of the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) Justice Cherno Sulayman Jallow also spoke on the need to be united and work together to chart a course for the progress of the country. He spoke of ways and means to eradicate social injustices which are mostly the cause for conflicts in the world.
The Lord Rt. Rev. James Allen Yaw Odico, Bishop of the Anglican Church of the Gambia, Senegal and Cape Verde also spoke at the event calling for interreligious dialogue in the world. He quoted from the Bible to show how all mankind should love one another to attain peace.
The Imam Ratib of the Kanifing Mosque, Imam Baba Leigh who is also a commissioner in the National Human Rights Commission of the Gambia also spoke at length on the teachings of the Holy Qur’an on the equality of mankind in the sight of Allah. He called on everyone to be tolerant and accommodate divergent views. He said each should respect the views of others for us to live in peace and harmony.
This year’s Africa Peace Prize winner was Dr. Evan Atar Adaha of Sudan. Dr. Atar, 52, is the senior and only surgeon at Maban Referral Hospital, a 120-bed and two-theatre facility in Bunj, in the south-eastern corner of South Sudan’s Upper Nile State. The hospital, more than 600 kilometres from the capital, Juba, is the only functioning surgical facility in Upper Nile and includes a neonatal section and a 20-bed tuberculosis ward. Open 24 hours a day, it serves a population of more than 200,000. Dr. Atar is so well known that many just refer to it as “Dr. Atar’s Hospital”, and patients travel for days so they can be under his care.
A Christian by faith, Dr. Atar, who is fluent in the region’s main language, Arabic, prays with patients before they are put under anaesthetic and, according to their religion, recites the Bible or the Koran. Dr Evan Atar Adaha is dedicated to bringing health care to the neediest in a tense and volatile region of South Sudan. It is with this dedication to serve the people that he has been chosen as the winner of the 2nd Africa Peace Prize 2019.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at wishes to express heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all those who took part in the organization of the conference. It also wishes to thank all the participants.
May Allah, the Almighty grant the world peace and stability. May He bless us all with His Choicest blessings and grant peace and progress to the Gambia and world at large. Ameen.
Baba F. Trawally