The Ministry of Culture organised a seminar, titled ‘Al-Aqsa Mosque and its Status in the Nation’, on the final day of the Ramadan Book Fair.
It was held in the presence of HE the Minister of Culture Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Hamad al-Thani, Palestine’s ambassador to Qatar Munir Abdullah Ghannam, a group of intellectuals and other dignitaries.
Dr Khaled Meshaal, head of the Hamas foreign political bureau, was the main speaker at the event, which was presented by Dr Abdullah Faraj.
Dr Meshaal thanked the Ministry of Culture for the topic and timing of the seminar, which came at a time when Palestine needs the support of the entire Arab and Islamic nation.
He pointed out that the Arab and Islamic nation carried its duty on the official and popular levels to support the Palestinian cause, adding: “We do not want anyone to be missing on the pages of honour that will be recorded in history with pages of light. All the initiatives they made were good, but we need a lot more.”
Meshaal reiterated the status of Al-Aqsa Mosque to the Islamic nation, given that it was the first Qiblah for Muslims (the direction of Mecca, to which Muslims turn at prayer), and from it was the Ascension of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to Allah. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) prayed with all the prophets and messengers in Al-Aqsa Mosque. He also pointed out to the status of Al-Aqsa Mosque among Muslims from the scientific and devotional dimensions. He referred to the interest of scholars in the past and talked about Al-Aqsa Mosque status in Islam, as being a blessed land.
Meshaal also spoke about the history of jihad to liberate Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque since the era of Caliph Omar Ibn Al-Khattab, who conquered Jerusalem, then the era of Salah ad-Din al-Ayyubi and the liberation of Jerusalem from the Crusaders. Then he talked about the modern era and the Palestinians’ resistance, for a hundred years until today, to the Israeli occupation by defending the sacred sites of the nation.
Mishaal mentioned the recent events of the occupation’s attempts to control Al-Aqsa Mosque, as the Israeli occupation wanted to take advantage of Palestinian division to impose its agenda on the ground, with settlement expansion and control of Al-Aqsa. However, by uniting the nation around its cause and the efforts of only a thousand of the stoic defenders, they were able to protect Al-Aqsa from the temporal and spatial division sought by the occupation. So they forced it to retreat and began releasing the detainees thanks to the uniting around the cause. Mishaal stressed that the Islamic nation is capable of victory, but it has a great responsibility to support Al-Aqsa Mosque materially, morally, media wise and culturally to refute the false narrative of the occupation.
The first edition of Qatar’s Ramadan Book Fair concluded on Saturday. The nine-day event was held in the western square of Souq Waqif featuring programmes for all ages, including lectures, seminars, art workshops and children’s theatre.