24th Annual Cultural Week begins at IIUI

* Students urged to pay attention to research, modern knowledge

Staff Report 

ISLAMABAD: The 24th Annual Cultural Week started at the International Islamic University, Islamabad (IIUI) on Tuesday with Higher Education Commission (HEC) Chairman Dr Javaid Laghari in the chair. 

Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Sardar Yaqoob Ahmad Khan was the guest of honour on the occasion. IIUI Vice President Dr Sahibzada Sajidur Rehman was also prominent on the stage.

The ambassadors of the 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 culture.

The most attractive stalls were set up by students of Afghanistan featuring different aspects of Afghan life, food and literature.

At stalls of other countries, students showcased their cultural symbols and dresses of different cultures.

Similarly, students from all the four provinces of the country set up their stalls to highlight culture of their areas. There was a special focus differentiating the culture of rural from urban areas.

All departments of the university also set up their stalls offering insights into subjects like international relations, Islamic art and architecture, Shariah and law, psychology, sociology, mass communication, etc.

Addressing the opening ceremony, IIUI President Dr Mumtaz Ahmad said 9/11 was a watershed because after this event the world started looking at Islam as a religion of violence.

In 1980s, some forces preached only jihad in Muslim countries, but after 9/11 the same forces changed their direction and emphasised that Islam is a religion of peace. He stated it was true that Islam is a religion of peace but at the same time jihad is part of it.

Dr Javaid Laghari said he was impressed to see comity of different cultures at the campus. He said the students should work together to tell the world that Muslim youths were peaceful and productive part of it. He urged students to pay attention to research and acquisition of modern knowledge and called upon students and teachers to embrace new technology. He said World Bank had placed focus on higher education, skilled knowledge, technology, innovation and research and universities should tap into this interest of the international monetary institution.

He said the HEC would encourage all innovative ideas so that those seeking employment start creating employment. He reiterated that the 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 Ummah. He said his country was contributing in the improvement of falling economies of Muslim countries. Thousands of Pakistanis are working in the UAE, which they take as their second home, he said, adding that the UAE had established 22 universities in 40 years and now students from all over the world come to the country for studies.

He said the UAE was running a project for development of infrastructure, healthcare and education in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

IIUI Rector Prof Fateh Muhammad Malik urged Muslims not to forget their duties and the facts that Islam was a religion of peace and harmony.

Dr Sajidur Rehman prayed for the troops still unaccounted for at Siachen. Student Adviser Dr Safeer Awan also addressed the ceremony and thanked the guests. Iranian ambassador will open the ceremony on female campus today (Wednesday). The event will continue until April 2.

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