UAE Embassy in Kigali Hosts Interfaith Iftar during Ramadan

By Esther Muhozi
On 3 April 2024 at 12:42

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Embassy in Kigali hosted an Interfaith Iftar during the holy month of Ramadan, attended by leaders from several religious sects, high-level officials, and Ambassadors to the Republic of Rwanda.

During the event, His Excellency Hazza AlQahtani, UAE Ambassador to Rwanda, delivered a speech on the importance of the values of tolerance, co-existence, and human fraternity that are embodied in the holy month of Ramadan and are unwavering principals of the UAE.

His Excellency said: “The UAE is home to over 200 nationalities, and multiple faith communities, who live side by side in freedom and harmony. The UAE believes in the importance of bringing people together during the month of Ramadan, and reinforcing values of compassion, and peace. The UAE and its leadership are particularly keen on promoting the values of tolerance, peaceful co-existence, acceptance and interfaith dialogue”.

The leaders of other religious sects in Rwanda expressed their appreciation for organizing the Interfaith Iftar initiative during Ramadan.

For his part, Reverend Hesron Hategekimana, Deputy Legal Representative of the Free Methodist Church in Rwanda stated that this dinner “is a proof that we are all human beings despite our different faith denominations. It is a also proof of our commitment to work together in order to have a community where tolerance, cooperation and mutual respect and understanding are very important”, he indicated.

Father Samuel Fekry of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Rwanda, in his remarks said “it is a beautiful coincidence this year that we share together in fasting, as the first day of the month of Ramadan was the first day of The Holy Fasting for the Coptic Orthodox Church, the oldest church in Africa. We also come together today in the spirit of unity, compassion, and understanding. Regardless of the forms of our religious practices, we all participate in fasting for one goal, which is to be closer to God and we are bound by the values of love, peace, and tolerance. So let us use this opportunity to raise our prayers to God to protect all of our countries and its people”, he added.

Sheikh Salim Hitimana, Mufti of the Rwanda Muslim Community, said that the initiative to organize this Interfaith Iftar during Ramadan is a testament to the UAE’s commitment to fostering unity and harmony among people of diverse faiths.

“In a world often divided by religious differences, the UAE’s dedication to bringing together individuals from various backgrounds is truly commendable. By hosting events like this, the UAE exemplifies the values of tolerance, respect, and understanding, which are essential for building bridges between communities. We extend our deepest appreciation to the UAE for their exemplary leadership in promoting interfaith dialogue and cooperation”, he said.

The Representative of the Rwandan Government, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation, Mrs. Clementine Mukeka noted that the great values of unity, togetherness, and peace, which represent this month, are of great importance for all of us.

“Especially, as Rwanda marks the 30th Commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. These shared values between Rwandans, the Muslim community and the faiths represented today should always prevail, regardless of nationality or other parameters. Rwanda takes seriously the religious freedom and tolerance as stipulated in article 37 of our Constitution. No discrimination or intolerance against minority groups shall be tolerated. We wish for both citizens and residents to express and live their faith fully, in accordance with the law”, she said.