Friday, October 20th, 2017
Advertisements
Advertisements

AFRICOM Imam leads first Iftar with U.S., SNA leaders

Published on June 11, 2017 by   ·   No Comments

Sunday June 11, 2017

U.S. Navy Cmdr. Abuhena Saifulislam, U.S. Africa Command deputy command chaplain, leads a prayer before an Iftar with members of the Somali National Army at the Mogadishu International Airport, Mogadishu, Somalia, June 5, 2017. This was the first Iftar held between U.S. and SNA military personnel. Additionally, it was the first led by a U.S. Imam, who is a leader in the Islamic faith. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Eboni Prince)

 


The setting sun over the western skies of Mogadishu, Somalia, on June 5, 2017, not only signaled the end of the daily fasting over the month of Ramadan, but also marked an important step in building relationships between the U.S. and Somali military leadership.

This was the first time a U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) Imam led an Iftar at the Mogadishu International Airport for U.S. personnel from AFRICOM, Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), the Mogadishu Coordination Cell, as well as Somali National Army leaders.

U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Miguel Castellanos, deputy commanding general for CJTF-HOA in Somalia and Mogadishu Coordination Cell director was the senior U.S. military host of the event.

The event required close coordination between the U.S. hosts and the SNA partners. Using a pair of headphones, Col. Nuuraani Ali Dirir, Liaison Officer for European Training Mission in Somalia, listened intently for the international Islamic call to prayer, which announced the moment when Muslims should line up for the beginning of each prayer.

After Ali Dirir gave the cue to begin, U.S. Navy Cmdr. Abuhena Saifulislam, U.S. Africa Command deputy command chaplain, led six other Somali National Army guests to a designated area in which they would pray before partaking in the Iftar feast.

Saifulislam, originally from Bangladesh, India, served as the Imam for the evening prayers.

Per the Islam faith, Ramadan is a time of spiritual reflection, improvement and increased devotion and worship. The act of fasting is said to redirect the heart away from worldly activities, its purpose being to cleanse the soul by freeing it from harmful impurities.  The prayers proclaim Muslims’ belief and trust in God as they fast.

Immediately following, the guests gathered around a table to break bread with one another.

“To have American and Somali military members praying and feasting together during Ramadan has never happened here [in Mogadishu] before,” said Ali Dirir.

Saifulislam shared that finding common ground through fellowship, in spite of differences, can do nothing but build towards the ultimate goal of a better, more peaceful Somalia.

“It is human nature to find things that differentiate ourselves from one another,” said Saifulislam. “When we take time to overcome that, look for similarities and share our values to those who work closely with us, we can develop a mutual understanding.”

It is this understanding that all hope will aid in accomplishing many other shared goals and coordinated efforts, including enabling the Federal Government of Somalia to defeat al-Shabaab in Somalia and successfully transition security functions to the Somali National Security Forces.

This combined Iftar also afforded Castellanos, the senior U.S. military officer in Somalia, to meet with many of the SNA leaders he will continue to work with to strengthen the U.S.-Somalia relationship.

“In the U.S., there are many traditions and observances that mean a lot to us,” said Castellanos to his Somali guests. “It is also our military tradition to celebrate and observe all faiths with those who serve with us so I am very thankful for the opportunity to share in this tradition with you.”

Saifulislam highlighted the message of reconciliation and inclusiveness.

“Any struggle and fight is not against a religion,” said Saifulislam. “We are with you in this and both are striving for the same goals– peace and stability.”

Wixii Faahfaahin Dheeraad Ah Nagala Soo Xiriir

hiranweyn@gmail.com

makaran@hiiraanweyn.net

radiohiranweyn@gmail.com

Readers Comments (0)




TOOS U DHAGEYSO RADIO HIRANWEYN

Hiran Media Center

latest News

Idaacada Hiiraanweyn Ee G,Hiiraan Oo Maanta Bilaawday Dhaqaalo arurin Lo sameynaayo Dadkii ku waxyeelobay qaraxii Ka dhacay Muqdisho

October, 20, 2017
Gudiga iskugu jiro Dhalinyaro iyo Culumaa u diin ayaa reer Baladweyne ah ayaa ku sugan Xarunta Warbaahinta Hiiraanweyn ...

Madaxweyne Farmaajo oo si KMG ah ugu guurayo degmada Afgooye.

October, 20, 2017
Guluf colaadeed iyo dhaq dhaqaaq Ciidan aan nuuciisa hore loo arag ayaa ka bilaawday magaalada Muqdisho iyo Guud ...

Haweeney bastoolad ku hubeysan oo markii ugu horeysay dil ka geysatay Muqdisho

October, 20, 2017
Haweeney ku hubeysan bastoolad ayaa xalay nin ka tirsan dadka degaanka ku toogatay xaafada Xamar bile oo ka ...

Ciidanka ammaanka Puntland oo Qarax ku qabtay Boosaaso

October, 20, 2017
Ciidanka ammaanka maamulka Puntland ayaa gelinkii dambe ee shalay fashiliyey Qarax la dhigay isgoyska Gaaca ee magaalada Bosaso ...

Kuuriyada waqooyi oo Australia uga digtay siyaasadaha Trump

October, 20, 2017
Dowlada Australia ayaa sheegtay in Kuuriyada waqooyi ay u soo qortay warqad furan baarlamaanka dalkaasi. Warqadan ayaa dowladda Australia ...

{DHAGEEYSO} Madaxda Dalka Oo Ku Dhawaaqday Dagaal Ka Dhan Ah Al-Shabaab

October, 20, 2017
Xasan Cali Kheyre Ra’iisul Wasaaraha Jmhuuriyada Soomaaliya ayaa sheegay in xiligaan wixii ka dambeeya dalka oo dahn uu ...

Taliyaha Ciidanka Xoogga Dalka Oo AMISOM Kala Hadlay La Dagaalanka Al-Shabaab

October, 20, 2017
Cabduweli Jaamac Gorod taliyaha Ciidanka Xoogga dalka Soomaaliya ayaa kulan la qaatay Saraakiisha ugu sareeysa Ciidamada Midowga Afrika ...