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PfingstenThis year’s “Christlich-Islamische Tagung am Pfingstfest” (Christian-Islamic Conference at Pentecost) took place from May 29 to June 1, 2009. The theme of the event was “Vorbilder: Inspiration, Ermutigung, Wegweisung. Welche Leitbilder brauchen wir in unserer Gesellschaft?” (Role models: Inspiration, Encouragement, Direction. What kind of images are needed in today’s society?). The sold-out conference, which took place for the second time in the town of Nordwalde, an idyllic setting near the Dutch border, once again attracted people from around the nation.

 

The invited speakers — Dr. Sabine Schiffer, Bedia Sam, Dr. Reinhard Kirste and Emina Corbo-Mesic — approached the theme from their respective areas of expertise and experience. Their presentations and dialogue with the other participants focused on points of discussion that were thought-provoking and fruitful, especially for younger attendees, students and educators. Providing a pleasing contrast to the discussions was dance instructor Chadigah Kissel’s program feature “Meditation des Lichtes im Tanz” (Meditation on the Light in Dance).

 

Conference participants also made the most of the wonderful weather, enjoying strolls in the surroundings, in addition to the delicious food provided by the kitchen staff.

Pfingsten kinderOn Saturday evening, in what has become a tradition at the Pentecost conference, Sheikh Bashir Ahmad Dultz offered an introduction to the spirituality of Islam, leading the “dhikr” of the Sufi Tariqah as-Safinah and accompanied by the music of “Duo Morgenwind”.

After the Christian service on Sunday to mark Pentecost, including well-received insights from a Muslim’s perspective by guest speaker Sabri Hoffmann, the participants turned their attention to the program’s workshops and a spontaneous evening of relaxation and entertainment. It was hard not to feel how fast the weekend was coming to an end. On Monday morning the speakers’ program was brought to a satisfying close with a very interesting talk by Leila Donner-Üretmek of the Islam Conference Berlin.

And then it was time, as in past years, for Chadigah to lead the “farewell circle,” a highly emotional ending that clearly touched the participants’ hearts. And the children at the event also charmed us with an appearance at this point, together with the two young ladies who had accompanied them during the entire long weekend, ensuring that the littlest participants had lots of fun — and that the parents had ample time to take part in the program.

"We need to be the change we wish to see in the world" - Mahatma Gandhi

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