Annual cultural week begins at IIUI

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The 24th annual cultural week started at International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) on Tuesday. The opening ceremony of the cultural week was inaugurated by HEC Chairman Dr Javaid Laghari. Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Sardar Yaqoob Ahmad Khan was the guest of honour on the occasion. The ambassadors of United Arab Emirates and Somalia participated in the opening ceremony. China, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Kenya, Bangladesh, Iran and other countries set up their stalls to highlight their cultures.
Most attractive stalls were set up by the students of Afghanistan, featuring different aspects of Afghan life. Afghan food and literature was also highlighted in the stall. At the stalls of other countries, students showcased their cultural symbols like replicas of the grand mosque and dresses of different cultures.
Similarly, students from all the four provinces of the country set up their stalls to highlight cultures of their areas. Special focus was put on differentiating the culture of rural areas from that of urban ones.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, IIUI President Prof Dr Mumtaz Ahmad said after the 9/11, the world started looking at Islam as a religion of violence. In 1980s, some forces preached only jihad to Muslim countries, but after the 9/11, the same forces changed their direction and emphasised that Islam was a religion of peace. It is true that Islam is a religion of peace, but at the same time jihad is an unputdown6able part of Islam. Foundation is Islam is not peace but justice, he said.
Dr Javaid Laghari said he was impressed to see the comity of different cultures at the campus. He said students should work together to tell the world that Muslim youths were peaceful. He urged students to pay attention to research to create knowledge.
He called upon students and teachers to advent new technology. He said the World Bank has focused on higher education, skilled knowledge, technology, innovation and research. He said the HEC will encourage all innovative ideas. He reiterated that Muslim youths should pull together in the filed of research and higher education.
UAE Ambassador Essa Abdullah said students were the real assets for the future of the Ummah. He said his country was contributing to improvement of the falling economy of Muslim countries, including Pakistan. He said the UAE has set up 22 universities in 40 years and now students from all over the world come to the UAE for education. He said the UAE is running a project for development of infrastructure, healthcare and education in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa. IIUI Rector Prof Fateh Muhammad Malik urged th eMuslims not to forget their duties and the facts that Islam is a religion of peace and harmony.
IIUI Vice President Prof Dr Sahibzada Sajid-ur-Rehman prayed for the troops still unaccounted for at Siachen. Dr Safeer Awan also addressed the ceremony and thanked the guests. The Iranian ambassador will open the ceremony at the female campus today (Wednesday). The event will continue till April 20.