Muslim NGOs reaching out to Zamboanga City PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 14 December 2013 00:00

Honestly, if it weren’t for international artist Zamboangueño-Tausug Rameer Tawasil, I would have not known that Muslim Non-Government Organizations (NGO) have reached our shore. I have been exposed to other NGO’s but most of them are from the USA and Europe in the past. And I am happy to take note (Pep Talk) about it.

From Typhoon Yolanda devastated areas (Tacloban, Ormoc, and Bogo City, Cebu), representatives from three Muslim international NGOs, Global Peace Mission from Malaysia, Deniz Feneri Dernegi and Besir Dernegi came to Zamboanga City extended assistance and gave relief goods two weeks ago.

The groups visited evacuation centers, the war Ground Zero areas, and paid a courtesy call to Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco-Salazar. I am glad they have witnessed themselves how the man-made September siege has greatly affected the lives of our people in five barangays dominated mostly by Muslims.I am sure they were able to get first-hand information too from our super energetic Mayor Beng the rehabilitation plan of local and national government to rebuild the city with the “Bring Back Better Zamboanga.”

In a conversation I had with Rameer after the siege, he expressed dismayed with what happened in our city especially when some people insinuated a “religious war” between Christians and Muslims which he said is not true. Some of his art works are advocating peace with one peace art piece conveying a “dis-arm” subtle message.

Mohammad Safaruddin Jhinku, head of the training department, represented Global Peace Mission (GPM)  Malaysia. GPM is an international relief and development agency, working to alleviate suffering among the world’s poorest and most needy communities, regardless of race, creed, gender, nationality or political inclination.

Deniz Feneri Association (DFA) and Besir Bernegi (BB) are well-known and solidarity associations based in Turkey.  International relation officer Sulaiyman Kilic of DFA  and president Ali Karayilan represented these two NGOs, respectively. Rameer, who represented Golden Crescent Consortium, expressed gratitude to fellow Muslims around the world who came to help Filipinos in this time of crisis. 

By Dante Corteza

"A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." Proverbs 17:17 (KJV)