JUWAQUTA workshop in Morogoro - Foundation Office Tanzania
Among a number of about 80 Quran School Teachers, the Regional Commissioner for Morogoro Region, Hon. Joel Bendera, the General Secretary for Morogoro Region, Sheikh Masudi Abdallah Kilago, the Regional Sheikh of Morogoro, Sheikh Mustafa Shabani Rajabu and the National Chairman of JUWAQUTA, Sheikh Alhad Mussa Salum were present. KAS was represented by Programme Coordinator Richard Shaba and Timon Fellner for his assistance.
Already on the eve of the one-day-workshop, the national leadership of JUWAQUTA, the leadership of the Morogoro Region and the representatives of KAS met for a preparatory briefing to discuss the main themes and the methodological and didactic approaches for the next day.
The workshop started with a warm welcome to the participants. Special attention was given to the guest of honor Hon. Joel Bendera, Regional Commissioner for the Morogoro Region. It was followed by an opening speech of the Chairman of the Morogoro Region, Sheikh Abdallah Masudi Kilago, in which he presented the current work of JUWAQUTA. Afterwards, a short prayer was held and Richard Shaba presented a paper explaining the history and work of KAS in Tanzania emphasizing the important role of JUWAQUTA with regard to the peaceful coexistence of religions and the interreligious dialogue, stating "... this is how you promote peace and harmony ...".
Thereafter a keynote speech was held by the National Chairman of JUWAQUTA, Sheikh Alhad Mussa Salum. He stressed the importance of the Quran school teachers for the preservation of religious peace, went on to discuss the future perspectives for the association and gave the floor to the guest of honor. Hon. Joel Bendera welcomed the participants of the workshop and highlighted that the work of JUWAQUTA should not only focus on the big cities of the country as especially the rural areas and smaller towns and villages were of particular importance. Finally, the Regional Sheikh, Sheikh Masudi Abdallah Kilago welcomed the guests. After the welcome speeches it was time for a short health break in which there was time to discuss and to refresh a little.
In the first presentation of the day, Sheikh Shomari Mchongoma described the importance of the influence of the Quran school teachers to the social, political and economic fields. This influence brings a lot of responsibility as well, which the JUWAQUTA should be aware about. Besides the religious aspects of their work, there are also other social-political tasks, e.g. in the field of education and health, which should not be neglected. Directly after that, Richard Shaba held the second presentation of the day. He stressed the importance and usefulness of an open and free communication within the organization. Especially in the difficult working environment in which JUWAQUTA is moving, it is important to work transparent as an organization. The speech was followed by the last presentation of the day, held by Sheikh Alhad Mussa Salum on peace and tolerance and the compatibility of these values with the Holy Quran and the Sunna. At the end of the workshop, Sheikh Ebrahim Tawfiq summarized the main findings of the day and gave the opportunity to all participants to take part in a discussion, which was moderated by Sheikh Shomari Mchongoma. The noon prayer followed and the participants had lunch together, giving them the opportunity to further disuss and network.
Discussions and follow-up talks with the participants after the wokshoüp revealed, that the event was very useful and informative for the further work of JUWAQUTA. By bringing together the JUWAQUTA members of the national and regional level and thanks to the support given by KAS, an open and intensive dialogue could be held which also had space for critical self-reflection and an evaluation of the previous work. The progresses which were made in the workshop were proved on the day and certainly will be proved in the future work of JUWAQUTA. The participants thanked the organizers and KAS for the opportunity to take part in such a symposium to discuss and to exchange information. The Regional Commissioner for the Morogoro Region, Hon. Joel Bendera, thanked JUWAQUTA and KAS as well for the initiative and motivated the organization to show further commitment in aspects of the interreligious dialogue.