The President of Malta

Speech by HE George Vella, President of Malta at the Multi-faith gathering breaking of fast, 24 May 2019.

Imam El Sadi

Honourable Members


Ladies and Gentlemen

Salam alaikum

It is indeed a great pleasure to be here today to celebrate this wonderful feast of Eid Al Fitr and to reaffirm our strong belief in dialogue, acceptance and peace. I wish to congratulate the Imam El Sadi for taking an open approach to the traditional Islamic calendar and promote unity by inviting us all here today.

In the past month, Muslims in Malta and around the world embarked on a deep and very personal spiritual journey of the Ramadan. To the outside world, the Ramadan might be interpreted only through the ‘fasting lens’ and the sacrifices of not eating or drinking for a whole day. Nonetheless, as you very well may teach me, the Ramadan is much more than that.

Ramadan is a time when self-discipline, self-control and a redirection of the heart towards empathy and generosity for those less fortunate create an opportunity for personal self-reflection and personal growth. Empathy and acceptance of different ideas, people and beliefs is key to fulfil our common human purpose, that is: the preservation of life and the promotion of unity and peace for present and future generations.

Empathy and caring towards those less fortunate are not principles unique to Islam or any singular religion, but are shared common values which are also included in our national anthem.

Composed in 1922, the Maltese anthem holds a visionary message which continues to be central today. Written in the form of a prayer, the national poet Dun Karm made sure to include a strong message in favour of harmony and invoked God to confirm us all in unity and peace  (Seddaq il-għaqda fil-Maltin u s-sliem).

I believe this is proof that unity and peace are timeless principles cultivated by our forefathers and rekindled by us today.

These universal and shared principles should continue to be our guiding stars that illuminate our hearts and minds with compassion and an open fraternal approach towards those around us.

This spiritual feast is therefore an opportunity for the Maltese community as a whole to reflect on these principles and reaffirm our mutual belief and commitment towards unity and peace.

I therefore invite you all to harbour these principles in your homes, at work and at the different places of entertainment around Malta. I call on you all to cherish, celebrate and promote the peaceful and amicable relationship between different communities found on our common islands we call home.

To conclude, let us once more reaffirm our strong belief in dialogue, mutual understanding and inclusion and reconfirm salaam (peace) as our interchangeable and longstanding goal.

Eid Mubarak to all!


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