On the evening of Sunday the 24th of Dhu Al-Hijjah 1435 AH corresponding to the 19th of October, 2014, at the courtyard of the holy shrine of Imam Ali (peace be upon him) was the opening ceremony of the third edition of Al-Ghadeer International Festival hosted by the Holy Shrine of Imam Ali (peace be upon him) and under the auspice of Shiite Endowment in the presence of an impressive attendance that filled the holy courtyard.
The ceremony has started with a recitation of verses from the Holy Quran by Sheikh Jassem, followed by the word of the Secretary-General of the Imam Ali's (p) holy shrine; Sheikh Dea'-Addeen Zayn-Addeen, in which he asserted that: "The Third Al-Ghadeer International Festival is held this year by carrying important messages about Imam Ali (peace be upon him) to the world, and especially to our Islamic nation and our beloved Iraq in this critical period of lives."
Then, Sayed. Saleh Al-Haydari; the President of the Shiite Endowment presented his word, in which he stated: "This is a great occasion in our religion, our heritage and our civilization history, in which God has perfected our religion and completed His favour upon us and has approved for us Islam as religion, and history never mentioned someone closer to the heart of the Prophet (prayers and Allah's peace be upon him and his holy Household) like the Commander of the Faithful (peace be upon him), as the true loyalty should be only to the Almighty God and to whom God has commanded his allegiance, which is an extension of the allegiance of the Almighty God."
Followed by the word of the representative of the Vatican City State; Louay Sami, in which he asserted: " The signs of tolerance, love and compassion have and will bring together Christians and Muslims, in the past, present and in the future of our beloved Iraq, and in the Arab States wounded from the brunt of terrorism and violence that refuse what came in the heavenly books, to take away from religion a justification for the killing and displacement." Adding: "We reject the conflict between religions and civilizations, though there is no salvation for us and for our world other than the responsible and moral dialogue, understanding and compassion. And, our presence here today, coming from Rome and the Vatican, but to emphasize the principles of tolerance and love that ushered our monotheistic religions, whose banner was raised by Imams and clerics."
Thereafter, the monk Monsignor Emiliano; the representative of Bonapartist monasticism in Rome presented his word, in which he thanked the organisers of this blessed festival, then spoke about the relationships that bind Muslims and Christians, and presented the clear Catholic Church's position stated in the document "in our time" of the "Second Vatican Council." And then he showed how we can be inspired by the role model of Imam Ali (peace be upon him), especially during these hard circumstances, in which we witness all kinds of violence and extremism against Christians, Yazidis, Shabak and Shiite Turkmen in the city of Mosul in the Ninawa Plain... Asking the Merciful God to restore the unity of the Iraqi people that is multi-ethnic and multi-religious.
Then, the general official of the Carmelite Order in Rome, Father Ernesto has submitted his word dubbed "certificate of life," in which pointed out that celebrating together this great occasion of the Commander of the Faithful Ali (peace be upon him) is a sign of peaceful coexistence, harmony and respect between Christians and Muslims in the beloved Iraq.
Followed by the word of the President of the Academy of Science in Iran; Dr. HAddad Adel, in which he has asserted that it is during these circumstances that we feel the importance of studying the Islamic government in the time of Imam Ali (peace be upon him) to understand the best way to face the hard situations...
Then, the official of the house of Fatwa in the Lebanese Republic, the director of Shari'a college and the Azhar of Lebanon; Sheikh Abd Al-Rahman Al-Refa'i has submitted his word dubbed "The concept of governance by Imam Ali (peace be upon him)."
Followed by the word of the Afghan delegation, delivered on their behalf by Dr. Ajr-Addin Eqbal; the Deputy Minister of Afghan culture, in which he expressed his pleasure in participating in this blessed celebration of Eid Al-Ghadeer.
Finally, came the word of Sayed. Ali Makki Al-'ameli; Mufti of the Higher Islamic Shiite Council in Lebanon, presenting a bouquet of blessed narrations about the Commander of the Faithful; Ali Ibnu Abi Taleb (peace be upon them), those transmitted from different denominations, and which indicated clearly and obviously the hadith of the Al-Ghadeer Event.