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Of unity and peace: Celebrating Eid’l Fitr 2016

DFA Secretary Perfecto Yasay, Jr. with wife Cecille, and HE Japanese Ambassador Kazhide Ishikawa and Mme. Yuko

Members of the diplomatic corps, government officials, prominent members of the Muslim community, and corporate executives recently gathered together to celebrate the Eid’l Fitr Festival recently at Samsung Hall, SM Aura Premier.

Hosted by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Office of Middle East and African Affairs (OMEAA) in partnership with SM, and the Magbassa Kita Foundation, Inc. (MKFI), the festival shares a better understanding and appreciation of Muslim culture among Filipinos of ethnic, racial, and religious diversity in the country.

Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay, Jr. graced the event, sharing a special Eid’l Fitr message from President Rodrigo Duterte who hoped that “all the members of the Muslim Filipino communities unite with other Filipinos to achieve lasting peace, political stability, economic growth, and development.”

Members of the Diplomatic corps from Middle East and African Countries lead by the dean of Islamic Ambassadors to the Philippines Her Excellency Malai Hajah Halimah Malai Yussof, Ambassador of Brunei Darussalam likewise graced the event, as did their counterparts from North America, Europe, and Asia.

The works of National Artist Dr. Abdulmari Imao and his son Toym were showcased during the event, while cultural performances mirroring the traditional Muslim culture through dance and music by the DFA’s very own Ang Klung Ensemble and the Ramon Obusan Folkloric Groups were also a big hit among the audience.

Resident Embassies from Muslim countries Kuwait, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Oman also displayed mini-exhibits for this occasion, providing the international context of the global Muslim community.

Eid’l Fitr also known as the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast, is an important celebration for Muslims worldwide. It marks the end of the month-long fast during Ramadan and marks the beginning of the month Shawwal. During Eid, Families and friends reunite to celebrate and offer thanksgiving to Allah. Eid’l Fitr has been proclaimed a national holiday in the Philippines since 2002 to foster peace and goodwill between major religions in the Philippines.

DFA Secretary Perfecto Yasay, Jr. with wife Cecille, and HE Japanese Ambassador Kazhide Ishikawa and Mme. Yuko

DFA Secretary Perfecto Yasay, Jr. with wife Cecille, and HE Japanese Ambassador Kazhide Ishikawa and Mme. Yuko

Former Lanao Gov. Saidamen Pangarungan, PCID President Amina Rasul-Bernardo, Lee Imao, Former Senator Santanina Rasul, Fatima Rasul and Ahmed Tillah

Former Lanao Gov. Saidamen Pangarungan, PCID President Amina Rasul-Bernardo, Lee Imao, Former Senator Santanina Rasul, Fatima Rasul and Ahmed Tillah

South African Ambassador Martin Slabber and Sri Lankan Ambassador Aruni Ranaraja

Danish Ambassador Jan Top Christensen, DFA OMEA Director Germinia V. Aguilar-Usudan, and Israeli Ambassador Ephraim Matityau

Bangladeshi Ambassador Major General John Gomes, Laos Ambassador Phoxay Khaykhamphithoune, and Myanmar Ambassador H.E. Mr. Ye Myint Aung

NCCA International Affairs Office Head Mary Anne Luis, NCCA Executive Director Ms. Adelina M. Suemith, DFA Office of Middle East and African Affairs Asec Hjayceelyn Quintana, SM SVP for Marketing Ms. Millie Dizon, and Sculptor Toym Imao

Brunei Ambassador Halimah Malai Haji Yussof and Cambodian Ambassador Tuot Panha

Iranian Ambassador Mohammad Tanhaei, Saudia Airlines Country Manager Abdulrahman Alabdul Wahab, the Qatar Embassy’s Hamad Yousef Almalki and State of Qatar Charge D’Affiars Abdulla Ali Alajaj Al-Kubaisi

Saudi Arabia Ambassador Dr. Abdullah Bin Nasser Al Bussairy

Panamanian Ambassador Rolando Aníbal Guevara Alvarado, Indian Ambassador Lalduhthlana Ralte, and US Ambassador Philip Goldberg

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