Zamboanga City, May 6, 2014 — The Interfaith Harmony Partners of Zamboanga, a local coalition led by Silsilah Dialogue Movement, won a prestigious interfaith prize for spearheading the 3rd World Interfaith Harmony Week in Mindanao. His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan conferred the award in a ceremony at the Royal Hashemite Court in Amman, Jordan on April 27.
Held annually in Zamboanga City since 2012, the Interfaith Harmony Week promotes the use of dialogue among different faiths and religions. The annual celebration is in response to a U.N. General Assembly Resolution setting aside the first week of February of every year for activities that promote interfaith harmony.
Fr. Sebastiano d’ Ambra and Prof. Alih Ayub of Silsilah received the award on behalf of the Zamboanga Interfaith Harmony partners. In his remarks after receiving the award, Fr. d’ Ambra expressed gratitude to King Abdullah II for recognizing the coalition’s efforts in Mindanao and for promoting interfaith dialogue and harmony in the world.
The award comes after a period of unstable peace in Zamboanga City. Last September, a violent siege by the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF)-Misuari faction left the city with thousands of evacuees and threatened to disrupt Muslim and Christian relations.
The Asia Foundation supported Interfaith Harmony Week activities this year, through the USAID-funded People to People Engagement (P2P) Project. The project has also supported the interfaith initiatives of Silsilah Dialogue Movement on the island provinces of Sulu and Basilan.