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‘Frequent recitation of the Qur’an keeps youths away from violence and extremism’

- says Ambassador Timbo

July 16, 2015 By M.B. Jalloh

In a humble but highly-spirited status quo, Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) issued a declarative statement in support of the just-concluded second Qur’an memorization competition that was held at the Miatta conference hall in Freetown on Sunday, 12th July.

Commenting on the immense benefits of the divine practice, Ambassador Siray Alpha Timbo stated that the frequent recitation of the Holy Quran encourages Muslim youths to learn more about the holy book, follow the Sunnah of the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (PBUH) and consequently abstain from joining the bandwagon of extremism and violence.

Ambassador Timbo, a founding father and one of the main sponsors of the Foundation of Islamic Information Sierra Leone (FOISIL) Limited, was very pleased with the event which attracted a good number of senior government officials, including the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Chernor Bah, Hon. Ibrahim Bundu, Hon. Sheku Bassama, Islamic scholars, diplomats, lawyers, the business community and a host of other dignitaries.

The top Sierra Leonean diplomat in the Gulf-rich state of Emirate further highlighted the sub-regionally reflective theme of this year’s competition: “The Role of the Quran in Eradicating Ebola”, describing it as not only timely but very significant.

He added that such competitions serve as a well-structured, practicing ground for Sierra Leoneans aspiring to represent the country in World International Quran Memorization Competitions; especially the Dubai International Quran Award competition, where countries all over the world showcase their talents in the memorization of the Holy Quran.

“International participation will also help to market and rebrand our country to potential investors,” Mr. Timbo concluded.

In his keynote address, the guest speaker, Hon. Chernor Bah, commended Ambassador Timbo for his religious foresight in establishing the foundation, and went on to assure the audience that Parliament will continue to support not only the foundation, but all Muslim activities that are in the interest of Sierra Leone.

Participants of the competition were diversely drawn from the three provinces and the Western Area. According to the announcement made by the Chief Judge, Sheik Farouq Bah, the participant, Abdullah Sulaiman Bah, from Western Area, scored 94% for good recitation of the complete Qur’an and eventually emerged as the winner.

“Abu Bakarr Barrie  based in the Eastern part of the country got 90%, while Alpha Umaru Bah, from the South, got slightly above 89%, and Mohammed Mansaray from the North got 85%,” the Chief Judge announced.

Others who also did well were: Mohammad Sallieu Jalloh, Idriss Kanu, Hamza Ibrahim Conteh, Issaqa Barrie, Abu Bakarr Jalloh, Umu Salmata Bah, Mohamed Jabbie, Mohamed Sallieu Kamara, among others from the length and breadth of the country.

Many people have commended Ambassador Timbo for his continued support to the foundation and urged other Sierra Leoneans to emulate the notable good work of the envoy.

They also commended Voice of Islam radio presenter, Abdul Lathief Kargbo, who also doubles as the Director of the Foundation, the Program Manager Ibrahim Talleh Bah, who is also the President of the Sierra Leone Nationals’ Union in Dubai, and the Freetown-based Project Manager, Deamad Ahmad Conteh for their relentless efforts in promoting Islamic and youth activities across the country.

“These young guys deserve accolade,” a renowned Sierra Leonean Islamic Studies Professor at the prestigious Qatar University in Doha said.

“I have no doubt in President Ernest Bai Koroma and his government’s readiness to empower the youths,” Professor Abdul Karim Conteh said to this writer on the phone last night.

To buttress his statement, the Professor ended up quoting President Ernest Bai Koroma’s statement during the launch of the Blueprint for Youth Development in Freetown last year that: “When the youths say yes, no other section of the nation can stop them!”

“We are a democracy because the youths are saying yes to democracy; we are at peace because the youths are saying yes to peace; we are constructing roads because the energy and talents of the youths are behind it; the majority of our teachers, nurses, construction workers, mine workers and farmers are youths.”

The distribution of 1,000 copies of the Holy Quran and the subsequent presentation of valuable gifts and prizes to the winners and the esteemed participants climaxed the ceremony.

FOISIL is registered under the Sierra Leone Companies Act No. 5 of 2009 as a company limited by guarantee without a share capital. It is comprised of many objectives, among them: advancement of Islamic faith all over the country, establishing and maintaining Islamic schools for the education and discipline of Sierra Leonean children, amongst others.

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