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Islamic Conference Targets Youths

Jul 24, 2008, 5:39 AM | Article By: By Nfamara Jawneh

The Gambia Senior Secondary School in Banjul will, on Sunday July 27, host an Islamic Conference for the young people of the country.

The event, initiated and solely sponsored by one Mr. Alieu Jawara a young Gambian engineer based in Canada, aims to discuss the problems faced by youths and how to come up with practical Islamic solutions to those problems.

Issues pertaining to illegal migration, how youth can help themselves settle when they travel abroad without losing their faith and how to assist them in attaining a university degree on the Internet will be discussed. Also on the agenda will be the issues of sectarianism in Islam as well as how to vary all these sects and come up with the one that will get one to Paradise in the here after. The problem of youth unemployment and consequences of migrating to the West will take centre stage in the conference.

The theme for the programme is "Islam for the Youth". This theme, Mr. Jawara believes, is very pertinent especially to this generation. The entrance for the conference is free, breakfast, lunch and snacks will also be provided at no cost on participants. 

Speaking to the Youth Forum yesterday, the organiser, Alieu Jawara said, "we just want to help our youths know where they can get help when they need it."

"Having looked at a series of problems facing the youths of this country, I decided to say let me do something and share my experience with them on how to help themselves," he stated.

Mr. Jawara further revealed that he also has the idea of opening a centre (Dawa Centre) where youths can go and get information on issues relating to Islam that he believes will help them a lot. "I always feel embarrassed whenever I watch TV in Canada with my friends only to see my fellow African youths, sometimes including Gambians, dying and being maltreated. This is a cause for concern for me," he stressed.  He said that the Spanish are turning into racists against blacks. He advised youths to stay here at home and have dignity rather than risking their lives for a journey he believes isn't worth it.  He said that as young people there is a need for them to have a focus, being the purpose of coming into this world. " I deal a lot with the youth and I know where their interests lie." He added that if they can give the youth the foundation to have a proper focus it will help them a lot. "We definitely have to give some thing back to our country," he said.

According to Mr. Jawara, apart from his own presentation, the Ansar brotherhood and the Federation of The Gambia Muslim Students Organisation (FEGAMSO) will also make presentations at the youth gathering.

With the calibre of people invited to make presentation on the occasion and the vast experience of Mr. Jawara, it's indisputable that one will not regret attending the conference.

Success, he said, is built upon a solid foundation of beliefs and this of course cannot be achieved without solidly putting it into practical use.

Born in Barajally and nurtured in Banjul as a Muslim staying in Canada did not make Alieu Jawara to turn his back on Islam. For him, staying outside one's country with people of different faiths should not make one forgo your religion simply because of wealth or pleasure. Despite being based in Canada, Alieu travels to different parts of Europe and was the less than happy with the conditions in which some Africans, including Gambians, are living.

He is extending his invitation to Gambian young people to come out in large numbers to attend and participate in this conference.

The opening ceremony of the conference is expected to be attended by Sir. Dawda Kairaba Jawara the former Gambian president.