RAMALLAH (West Bank), Jan 16:
India is a “source of inspiration” and continues to set an “unmatched example” for Palestinians while gaining a leading status globally, a senior Palestinian official has said, as several events were organised across the West Bank to celebrate the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav in Palestine.
In continuation to bringing Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav to Palestine, the Representative Office of India (ROI), organised Hindi Diwas, Swami Vivekananda’s birthday, marked as National Youth Day, and Makar Sankranti in various parts of Palestine between January 10-15.
The period also coincided with the conclusion of the Swachhata Pakhwada (Cleanliness Fortnight) as part of which the ROI donated masks and other sanitisation materials to local schools and charities.
The celebrations were organised in partnership with the Municipality of Nablus, Beitunia, and the Ramallah Directorate of Education.
As part of the events to mark Swachhata Pakhwada and within the framework of social outreach to the local community’s youth, Representative of India in Palestine, Mukul Arya, visited the Beitunia Basic Boys’ School on January 13.
Addressing the students, Arya underlined the civilisational commonalities on the importance given to cleanliness, and its relevance in light of the ongoing global pandemic.
Mayor of Beitunia, Ribhi Doleh, Director of Ramallah Education Directorate, Basem Ereqat, School Principal Saleh Bzour, teachers, and a large number of students attended the function.
Ereqat thanked the people and the Indian government for the ongoing support on various levels, especially in the fields of education, capacity building efforts, and vital school construction projects funded by India.
Thanking the ROI for the “deeply appreciated gesture”, Doleh said that “not only does India support Palestine politically, but India continues as the source of inspiration for Palestinians due to its history, the doctrines of its great leadership, continues to set an unmatched example of a country that had gained its independence through non-violent means and today, has gained a leading status, not only in the region, but on the international level as well”.
The almost week-long celebrations kicked off with a grand event held at the Nablus Municipal Culture Center to mark the World Hindi Day on January 10.
It started with the screening of messages by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Minister of External Affairs, Dr. S. Jaishankar, followed by a recorded message from MoS for External Affairs, Meenakshi Lekhi.
The event emphasised on the importance and relevance of Hindi language as one of the most widely spoken languages in today’s world.
Participants took part in several cultural activities, including singing Hindi Songs, playing Hindi Music and reciting Hindi poetry.
Palestinian officials and dignitaries, including Iyad Khalaf, Mayor of Nablus, Anees Sweidan, Deputy Mayor of Nablus, representatives of academic institutes, ITEC and ICCR alumni, cultural groups, school children and large number of India enthusiasts participated in the event.
On the occasion of the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda on January 12, the ROI celebrated National Youth Day at Hamdi Manko Cultural Centre, Nablus.
A collection of famous quotes and teachings of Swami Vivekananda were showcased at the event. It also featured a book exhibition, the recitation of Swadesh Mantra, and screening of two documentaries – World Thinkers on Swami Vivekananda and Do Good to Others.
The ROI also brought the festival of Makar Sankranti to Palestine by organising a kite festival and also introduced the art of Rangoli drawing among the local youth at Beitunia School as part of the celebrations.
Focusing on the diverse culture of India, Arya stated that “Rangoli is one of the colourful arts of India that combines beauty and brings colours into our lives”.
A large number of local youth enthusiastically participated in both the events.
The ROI has been organising several events from time to time to celebrate the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav in various Palestinian Governorates and localities.
Last November, it organised the Indian Cultural Week in cooperation with the Palestinian Ministry of Culture and in association with Indian Council for Cultural Relations.
The festival was organised in the cities of Bethlehem, Jericho, Nablus and Ramallah.
Hundreds of Palestinians have studied in India over the past several decades as part of New Delhi’s efforts to help capacity building in Palestine.
RAMALLAH (West Bank), Jan 16: