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Wed, 03 Jan 2007 00:18:00

Iraqi Vice President at Al-Khoei Foundation's Al-Iman School

From Left: Dr. Hamid Al-Bayati, Dr. Tareq Al-Hashemi, Dr. Mahdi Abdullah, H.I. Sheikh Fadhel Al-Sahlani
On Sunday, December 17, 2006, Hujjatul Islam wal Muslimeen Sheikh Fadhel Al-Sahlani, the Director of Al-Khoei Foundation in New York hosted His Excellency the Vice President of the Republic of Iraq, Dr. Tariq Al-Hashemi, to a dinner in the Assembly hall of Al-Iman School. At the gathering, Iraqi brethren and some non-Iraqis were also present.

Also in attendence were Dr. Muhsin Alidina, Director of Education Services and Syed Meesam Razvi the United Nations Representative of the Al-Khoei Foundation in New York.

The Vice-President, accompanied by His Excellency Dr. Hamid Al-Bayati the Ambassador of Iraq to the UN, and his official security detail, stayed for about two and half hours. He spoke on the present situation of Iraq that was fractured by inter-communal strife and expressed hope that the country would pass through this undesirable phase and go back to the harmony that has been the hallmark of Iraq and that the present period would be a mere episode in history. He recounted the achievements of the Iraqi Government, viz. two free elections, a parliament and writing the constitution, no mean achievements in his view, he said, given the circumstances. As to the future of Iraq, the Vice-President was optimistic that Iraq would stabilize and take its rightful place in the Middle East as a viable, sovereign, independent unified country, and not fragmented into Shia, Sunni, Kurd or Turkomanestan states. Iraq, he emphasized, has a long history of harmonious coexistence of various ethnic and religious groups and a few disgruntled elements cannot be allowed to dispatch Iraq's shining long history in the dustbin. Iraq shall survive and regain its glory, he concluded his address.

Thanking His Excellency for accepting the invitation at such short notice, Sheikh Sahlani referred to the extremists in Iraq as "mujrimeen" and not Shia or Sunni. The peace-loving people of bleeding and wounded Iraq, he said, will defeat these forces and regain its prestige and standing once again, Bi hauliLLAHI Ta'ala.

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