The Words of the Amare Family
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia -- After a pilgrimage to Mecca at the beginning of Ramadan, Mr. Aftikhar Ahmed visited Ethiopia June 11-13, 2014, continuing a tradition of annual tours in East Africa by an interfaith delegation of UPF-England and Scotland.
He lectured on the principles of Islam to 20 trainees of the Vision Ethiopia Congress for Democracy, a local NGO, explaining that Islam is a faith of tolerance and respect towards all. At one point he emphasized that Muslims may offer their "salat" (prayers) in any religious place, because Muslims believe that Allah is present everyone and in all holy places.
The trainees were impressed by the principles of peace, and Mr. Aftikhar advised them to learn more from UPF and dedicate themselves as Ambassadors for Peace.
Mr. Aftikhar met with six Young Ambassadors for Peace and talked about the principle of living the sake of others. He said that everyone has talents, and he encouraged them to combine them and work together to sustain themselves and benefit others as well. "We are gifted so we can help each other," he said. "That's the best way a nation can grow."
At a meeting with Sheikh Kiyar Mohammed Amman, newly-appointed president of the Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council, Mr. Aftikhar explained about the interfaith purpose of his visit. They discussed plans to meet in Germany after an upcoming conference.
The Islamic Affairs Supreme Council states that its vision is "to see a peaceful, just and prosperous world in which the society is well developed spiritually and physically." This resonates with the UPF founders' vision of a society in which all human beings living in freedom and prosperity without barriers.
Before continuing on to Uganda, Zambia, and Malawi, Mr. Aftikhar invited his hosts to a meal at an Indian restaurant, and they expressed their gratitude to him for all his sacrifices for the sake of peace and love.