Interfaith Youth Camp in Scotland

Interfaith Youth Camp in Scotland

Interfaith Youth Camp in Scotland

A unique and amazing experience summed up what many of us felt at the end of the first Scottish Interfaith Youth Camp 2018 (SIYC), held in Aberfoyle, near Stirling. The idea of a SIYC developed from the Wings of Unity project, a collaborative initiative between Dr Mohammad Shomali, director of the Islamic Centre of England, and the Sophia University Institute of Loppiano, Florence, Italy.

When Dr Shomali was in Glasgow last November, he met Archbishop Emeritus Mario Conti, chair of the RC Bishops Conference of Scotland Committee for Interreligious Dialogue, other members of this committee and several Muslim leaders.  On that occasion, Dr Shomali shared his hope that an experience such as Wings of Unity could be repeated in Scotland. This hope was shared by the four Scottish young people (two Shi‘a Muslim and two Christians from different Churches) who had attended the Wings of Unity summer course in Italy in August 2017.  They and several others enthusiastically contributed to it becoming reality.

During the camp in Scotland, they spoke warmly about the impact Wings of Unity had made upon them.  Maya Conway, a physics student and member of the Episcopal Church from Edinburgh, also introduced a ‘motto’ to put into practice during the weekend: this was the Golden Rule present in all main religions. The Islamic and Christian scriptural quotations were shared.

The youth camp was prepared by a small group of Shi‘a Muslims led by Azzam Mohamad, Director of Ahl Al BaitSociety Scotland and four members of the Focolare community in Glasgow. Working together, sharing ideas with one another created a strong relationship of trust among us all the members of the organizational team.

Our main speakers, Dr Shomali and Dr Lorna Gold (head of policy and advocacy and Climate change campaigner for Trocaire, Ireland, and a member of Focolare) shared stories of their faith journeys.  Dr Gold spoke about ecology as something we could live together and work for, caring for ‘our common home’ in thinking of the human family and future generations.

Source: Islam Today Magazine

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