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

Imam El Sadi

Honourable Members

Excellencies

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.

Huwa ta’ pjaċir kbir għalija li nkun hawn illum biex flimkien magħkom niċċelebra din il-festa tant sabiħa ta’ Eid Al Fitr u nerġgħu nġeddu t-twemmin sħiħ tagħna fid-djalogu, integrazzjoni, u l-paċi. Nixtieq minn qalbi nifraħ lill-Imam El Sadi talli ħaapproċċ miftuħ fil-kalendarju tradizzjonali Musulman u qed ikompli jippromwovi l-għaqda permezz ta’ dan l-invit lilna lkoll

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.

F’dan ix-xahar, Musulmani f’Malta u madwar id-dinja jkollhom vjaġġ spiritwali qawwi ħafna permezz tar-Ramadan. Għad-dinja hemm barra, ir-Ramadan jista’ jiġi interpretat mill-lenti dejqa tas-‘sawm’, u s-sagrifiċċju li ma tikolx u ma tixrobx għal ġurnata sħiħa. Madanakollu, kif intom tistgħu tgħiduli tant aħjar, ir-Ramadan ifisser ħafna iktar minn hekk.

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.

Ir-Ramadan huwa żmien ta’ dixxipina awto-imposta, awto-kontroll. Huwa żmien ukoll meta l-qalb tinfetaħ għall-ġenerożità lejn dawk anqas ixxurtjati minna. Dawn it-tnejn flimkien joħloqu opportunità għal riflessjoni personali u maturazzjoni personali . Li naċċettaw ideat differenti, persuni u twemmin differenti huwa ċ-ċavetta għall-unità u paċi għal ġenerazzjonijiet preżenti u futuri.

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.

L-empatija u li sseddaq ‘il dawk inqas ixxurtjati m’humiex prinċipji uniċi għall-Iżlam jew kwalunkwe reliġjon oħra, iżda jiffurmaw parti minn valuri komuni u li jinsabu wkoll fl-Innu Nazzjonali Malti..

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).

Miktub fl-1922, u l-Innu Malti tagħna għandu messaġġ viżjonarj li jkompli jkun ċentrali anke llum. Miktub f’forma ta’ talba, il-poeta nazzjonalit Dun Karm għamel biċ-ċert li jinkludi messaġġ qawwi favur l-armonija u talab lil Alla sabiex ‘iseddaq l-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.

Nemmen li din hija turija ċara kemm il-kunċetti tal-unità u l-paċi huma dejjiema. Dawn ġew ikkultivati minn missrijietna u mkebbsa mill-ġdid minna llum.

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.

Dawn il-prinċipji universali u li naqsmu bejnietna għandhom ikomplu jiggwidaw lil moħħna u qalbna b’kumpassjoni u b’approċċ fratern lejn dawk ta’ madwarna.

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.

Din il-festa spiritwali hija għalhekk opportunità għall-komunità Maltija sabiex tirrifletti fuq dawn il-prinċipji u sservi ta’ riaffermazzjoni tat-twemmin tagħna lejn l-unità u l-paċi.

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.

Għaldaqstant, nistedinkom sabiex tikkultivaw  dawn il-prinċipji fi djarkom, fuq il-post tax-xogħol, u fid-diversi postijiet ta’ divertiment madwar Malta. Nħeġġiġkom sabiex tgħożżu, tiċċelebraw, u tippromwovu relazzjoni ta’ ħbiberija bejn il-komunitajiet diversi fuq din il-gżira.

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.

Biex nikkonkludi, ejjew nerġgħu nsaħħu t-twemmin tagħna fid-djalogu, r-rispett reċiproku u l-inklużjoni, u nawguraw sliem (salaam) bħala l-għan aħħari tagħna bejnietna.

Eid Mubarak to all!

Eid Mubarak lil kulħadd!