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Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Edinburgh: Iraqi engineer inspires interfaith prayers for peace
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 An Iraqi telecoms engineer has inspired Christians, Muslims and Jews to join forces in Edinburgh this Sunday to pray for world peace. Samir Al-Sadie, a Muslim, first thought up the idea for a multi-faith meeting while he was installing a mobile phone mast at the top of St John's Episcopal Church on the west end of Princes Street. The father-of-two contacted the church's rector - the Rev Dr John Armes - after he had finished the job and suggested holding a special event. "I was feeling so helpless at the time. My family is still in Iraq and I thought there was nothing I could do," said the engineer who now lives in Livingston. Mr Al-Sadie, who came to Scotland as a teenager in 1980, was particularly concerned about the signs of growing tension between different communities in the UK and abroad as the situation worsened in the Middle East. "Then it occurred to me that the one thing that ordinary people could do was to meet and talk and pray. "I just wanted somewhere where people could make contact with other people from other communities and other religions." The minister got together with leaders from the city's Muslim and Jewish communities and worked out the plans for the meeting which will take place in St John's church hall from 3pm on Sunday (March 16). During the service, representatives from each community will get up and say something about their faith and about their hopes for Iraq and the surrounding region. Each will say a prayer, share a piece of music and finally light a candle. Mr Al-Sadie, 41, who works for the telecoms company Orange, said the event was not meant as a political meeting with a set agenda. He said that people of all faiths and denominations are welcome, adding:"Hopefully, at the end of it, if any of us meets someone who says 'I'm a Christian', 'I'm a Muslim' or 'I'm a Jew', we'll be more likely to get to know them without making any pre-judgements."
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