Cairo, 18 March 2010
Assalamu’alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Alhamdulillahi rabbil Alamin. Assalatu wassalamu ala sayyidil mursalin. Wa ala alihi wa sahbihi ajmain.
It is indeed my distinct honor and pleasure to welcome you very warmly to the Residence of Indonesia. On behalf of the Indonesian Ambassador and members of the Indonesian Ladies’ Association, I wish to express our sincere appreciation to all distinguished guests for kindly accepting our invitation and gracing us with your presence in the cultural presentation entitled Salawat: Aceh Tribute to the Prophet.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
To Indonesians, Aceh is better known as Veranda of Mecca. Due to its location, this Province became the first to get in touch with Islam, through which the religion spread all over Indonesia that turns now as the largest Muslim country in the world. To the people of Aceh, Islam is the way of life that has had influence to all aspects of their culture, morality and tradition.
As you may recall, at the end of 2004 Aceh was struck by earthquake and tsunami that swept more than 200,000 people, not to mention the destruction and suffering it caused to the survivors. The catastrophe was beyond description. And yet, the faith and spirit of Acehnese never retreat but continue to strengthen, thanks to their strong believe in God’s Will, as well as heartfelt solidarity demonstrated by their Indonesian brothers and sisters. We were deeply touched by the sense of humanity shown by people of the world, including our Egyptian brothers and sisters. Never before did a natural disaster bring about so much compassion, good will and generosity. We are very much grateful to all of them for lending their hands since the times of emergency to rehabilitation and reconstruction. You may wish to see some features of what the tsunami had left and the current situation.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The performances you are going to watch like Salawat (praise to the Prophet Muhammad), dances and even costumes of the artists, are in many forms guided by the Acehnese close attachment to the religion. You may find in some ways similarities with Egyptian culture and tradition since Islam civilization has been rooted in this land of Prophets. But still, you would enjoy the unique feature that Aceh is offering.
Therefore, it is with personal pride that I present to you the prominent Sakiina Salawat and Zikir Group. This Group has been performing in a number of countries and has been widely generating public attraction.
In conclusion, I wish you all a very memorable and enjoyable afternoon.
Wassalamu’alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.