10 May 2007

PR# 2007-363

PRT donates loudspeakers
to Department of Hajji

CHAGHCHARAN, Afghanistan – On May 5, Provincial Reconstruction Team Chaghcharan presented loudspeaker systems to the Religious Affairs Department of Hajji for use in religious services in mosques throughout Ghowr province.  The Lithuanian-led PRT is part of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force.

The systems are going to mosques in Tulak, Saghar, Taywareh and Sharak. Maj. Marius Paukštas, chief of civil and military cooperation, worked with the local religious affairs department to procure the systems.

The Department of Hajji chief expressed his appreciation to the PRT for the donation. The loudspeakers will be used to invite the faithful to religious services.

“There are a number of religions in the world, but there is one God.  We all, in different ways, are approaching Him,” said Mohamad Shah Mejedi. “Thank you for the loudspeakers. Today, by the grace of God, we will have these devices at the mosques in Ghowr.”

The commander of PRT Chaghcharan said it was important to respect the local culture.

“We are only visitors to the Province of Ghowr and therefore we must hold in respect all the traditions and customs cherished by local people,” said Col. Almantas Leika.  “I know that I am delivering the loudspeakers into good and thankful hands.  I do believe that this gift will contribute to the strengthening of security situation in the region.  They will also serve as a nice guarantee of good relations between the provincial reconstruction team and residents of Ghowr.”

Denmark and Croatia, partners with the Lithuanian-led PRT, funded the purchase of the loudspeaker systems.

Maj. Kenni Nielsen and Capt. Vanja Bošnakovski, Danish and Croatian respresentatives, respectively, said their nations are happy with the chance to contribute to the restoration of the province in this way. 

A Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam.  It’s a pilgrimage to Mecca all Muslims, with the financial means, should make at least once in his or her life.  Hajji is a person who’s completed the Hajj.  The Department of Hajji helps organize Hajjs, as well as oversee the religious affairs and mosques in Ghowr province.

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/