The Ateneo community as a collective group should develop a culture of peace in the Philippines.
This was the main message emphasized by Al Qalam Executive Director Datu Mussolini Sinsuat Lidasan during the opening of the Mindanao Week of Peace, saying that the event can help overcome prejudices and aid those in need regardless of religion.
The launching of the annual celebration, organized by the Al Qalam Institute, Ateneo Organization of Socio-Civic Clubs (AOSC), University Community Engagement and Advocacy Coouncil (UCEAC), Mindanawon and the Theology Department was held last Nov. 28 at the university’s Arrupe Hall.
The event officially launched the Salaam Movement. The launching also featured the “pangalay” dance of the Tausug people as well as speeches and talks from Jboy Gonzales and Marcelino Severino III about unity and the indigenous people. The event also opened the Salaam Peace Village.
The Salaam Peace village was filled with intercultural musical instruments and various drawings and pictures that depicted peace from different perspectives. It also included quotes from Peace awardee Nur Misuari, 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai and the late Pope John Paul II.
Adjacent to the village were booths. The Soka Gakkai International, an organization that started in Japan with the aim to have a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone and achieve world peace also had a booth installed.
Other notable booths included one that highlighted Islamic virtue of wearing a hijab and the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. Another also commemorated the fallen comrades of the 10th Civil Military Operation Battalion and had soldiers to narrate the achievements and objectives of the group.
“It was good because you can see joint efforts from our Muslim and Lumad brothers to make the exhibit and program happen. The concept of the village was also beautiful because it signifies unity amidst university,” AOSC Chairpeson Nikki Delgado said.
The AOSC included the Red Cross Youth, TRIMMOC, Nature’s Watch, AFS, AISEC, Bahaghari, Buklat and Piglasapat.
The week-long event will last until Dec. 2, 2016.