In a time where we are surrounded with news of religious violence, religious sectarianism fighting in the name of religion, a rise in Islamophobic sentiment and discrimination against faith-based groups, the World Interfaith Harmony Week, a United Nations endorsed initiative aims to tackle this. In the words of the author of the resolution, Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, “We aim to co-ordinate and unite the efforts of all the interfaith groups doing positive work with one focused theme at one specific time annually, thereby increasing collective momentum and eliminating redundancy.” This time the event will be held in the first week of February, with a clear holistic message: “Love of God and Love of the Neighbor, or Love of the Good and Love of the Neighbor.” A message that invites everyone excludes no one and is purely voluntary.
Individuals, organizations and interfaith groups are welcome to submit events, as little as a small gathering at their local community, an interfaith dance, poem, lecture, film, and as large as a big fledged event promoting the core message during the first week of February. Last year, over 400 submissions globally were entered and up to four winners were chosen to fly down to Jordan to attend a Ceremony at the Royal Court, where King Abdullah II of Jordan handed out prizes worth 50,000 USD to the winners selected by a panel of judges that’s headed by Princess Areej.
Winners are not judged for the most costly or time consuming event, but rather for the creativity, initiative and effort done locally to help promote interfaith dialogue. Individuals and organizations can submit their events on the World Interfaith Harmony Week Website here, or simply become a Global Ambassador to the cause by signing up here.
Partnerships around the world are quickly being solidified with the Charter for Compassion, Parliament of World Religions, the United Religions Initiative, Compassion Games (don’t mix them up with the Hunger Games now!), and many more. A global effort that transcends religious, ideological, and national differences, supported by leading thinkers from many different cultures and traditions.
And in the effort to produce a global Interfaith Anthem, Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad approached and collaborated with the incredibly talented Sami Yusuf to bring together the World Interfaith Harmony Anthem ‘Gift of Love’; with lyrics by Prince Ghazi, composition by both Sami and the Prince. Sami Yusuf will be recording the music video for the Gift of Love in Jordan this month.
For more information: Visit the World Interfaith Harmony Week official website, and to volunteer to be in the Sami Yusuf video, email a recent photo, your name, age, background description and any talents you posses with the subject line WIHW Video Extra to firstname.lastname@example.org.