Guyana must not be a rich nation of poor people – Pres Ali in Ramadan message
…“reach out in compassion” – CIOG President
With Guyana’s economy projected to grow at an exponential rate with oil production in the Stabroek Block, President Dr Irfaan Ali has reminded on the occasion of Ramadan 2022 that Guyana must not become a rich nation of poor people.
In his missive extending Ramadan Mubarak greetings to all Guyanese and Muslims, at home and abroad, the President emphasised that the holiday is all about a closer intimacy with the creator and generosity and kindness towards those around us.
“Kindness is a virtue. We all have it within us to be generous, especially to those within our communities who are in need. If we are indeed to be the keepers of our brothers and sisters, let us use what we have to help those who are in need. And let us do so sincerely and selflessly,” President Ali, himself a Muslim, said.
According to President Ali, Guyana is well positioned for sustained prosperity. But in seizing its destiny, the country’s material wealth must be matched with an overflowing spirit of generosity. He urged all to follow the generosity practiced by the Holy Prophet.
“Otherwise, we will be rich in possessions but poor in spirit. We must neither be a rich nation with poor people nor a nation of rich people who are wanting in generosity,” President Ali said. “As we celebrate Ramadan 2022, let us do our bit to the upliftment of humanity in sharing from the blessings we have received.”
“And even for those who are not in the position to share materially or financially but you are in the position to share physically with your strength, your character, expressing kindness to fellow humans, doing something positive for the environment, helping in some way in the upliftment of our communities and country – that too is an important part of giving,” he said.
Already, the World Bank is predicting a massive 49.7 per cent in economic growth this year. ExxonMobil has said it anticipates at least six projects offshore Guyana in the Stabroek Block, which contains a recoverable resource estimate of over 10 billion barrels of oil-equivalent.
The US oil major started production in December 2019 at its first Development – Liza Phase One site, where Guyana has earned US$607.6 million from a total of nine oil lifts by the end of 2021 and another US$95 million from its first lift this year from the <<<Liza Destiny>>> Floating Production and Storage Offloading (FPSO) vessel.
Meanwhile, President CIOG, Shahabudeen Ahmad in his message said that the holy month of Ramadan should be received with deep respect, love, and gratitude.
“This month was gifted to us so that we could purify our bodies, minds, and hearts in order to cultivate Taqwa and come closer to Allah (swt), our Creator,” Ahmad said.
He said that when “we abstain from feeding our bodies during the day, let us faithfully be aware that our souls are being perfectly nourished. When we engage in prayer, let us faithfully be aware that Allah (swt) is with us, defends us, and keeps us shielded and safe, for Allah (swt) is our Maula (protector). When we break the fast in the evenings, let us joyfully be aware of Allah’s (swt) boundless love and mercy.”
He added that during Ramadan, Muslims also observe traditions shared by many faiths and as such we should “reach out in compassion to our neighbours, families, friends (in a safe manner), with the intent to sincerely help, not looking for a worldly gain. Be mindful of our obligation to practice peace, justice, and dignity equally for all”.
Ramadan, he added, is a time to reset and align actions and habits to spiritual purpose, “Ramadan is the training ground. Ramadan is that time of stock-taking, a time for evaluation of all the God-given abilities and resources we were endowed with. It is therefore timely to ask ourselves a very important question.”
Meanwhile, the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) in its message on the occasion of Ramadan, noted that this is one of the most sacred times for the Muslim community, adding that adherents are encouraged to practice self-discipline, fasting from dawn to dusk, increased acts of worship especially the night prayers, heightened work of charity and, importantly, strengthening families.
“This month offers us an opportunity to reflect on the conditions and struggles of our impoverished and oppressed people,” the party said. “We hope that this month brings us closer to this realisation so that we may increase our charity towards the poor and underprivileged so as to bring ease to the people,” the party said.