SHAFAQNA- Egypt’s Al-Azhar, in an unprecedented move to show the center’s efforts to revive religious discourse, has launched a field program called “Cultural Cafes” through which it seeks to carry out propaganda activities and raise awareness among the people of the country about various religious, social, cultural and other issues. This issue has caused widespread reactions in the past hours in cyberspace.
“Cultural Cafes and gatherings held in the places where people travel, have proven their power in communicating positively and attractively with the people, because these programs are based on a kind of propaganda and enlightening discourse that explains suspicions and sceptical concepts to people, and provides the ground for a kind of reciprocal and effective dialogue with them.” said Nazir Ayad, Secretary General of the Egyptian Association for Islamic Studies affiliated with Al-Azhar.
Ayad emphasized: There are important instructions regarding the need to increase field programs by Al-Azhar male and female preachers, especially programs that establish direct and face-to-face communication with the people, and support Al-Azhar’s strategy on the subject of awareness and enlightenment.
Renewal of religious discourse
According to Al-Azhar’s strategy, male and female preachers at the Al-Azhar Islamic Studies Association in Cairo in Al-Azhari uniforms go to cafes in different parts of the city to talk to their customers about religion and the world.
“Sheikh Ahmad Ramzi” is one of these preachers who goes with his colleagues to one of the crowded cafes in Cairo and talks to the people.
“The program of cultural cafes was the idea of Sheikh Ahmad Al-Tayyib, a Sheikh of Al-Azhar, which stems from the role of Al-Azhar as a deep-rooted institution to fight the extremist, rare and criminal ideas that have overshadowed the Egyptian society,” Ramzi said in an interview with the Arabic Sky News network.
Al-Azhar preacher stated: “The idea of cultural cafes is basically based on the presence of preachers among the people in different places; People who do not have the opportunity to attend mosques and talk to Sheikhs of Al-Azhar and the Endowment Office.”
Common issues in society; The most important topic of the cultural cafes program
Pointing out that Al-Azhar preachers are trained before joining the program, concerning the most important issues that preachers share with the customers of cafes he said: “First, they appear among the people and attract them with their speeches and then discuss common issues in society such as suicide, terrorism, the phenomenon of secret marriage between college youth, sexual harassment and other issues such as murder and drugs.”
Al-Azhar preacher continued: “Preachers raise such issues among the people and listen to their opinions, then start a brainstorming session for the people around them, which corrects their thoughts.”
He evaluated the results of this program as positive and very good and continued: “Young people usually talk about worships such as prayer, marriage and divorce, and older people ask more about Zakat and inheritance. This is welcomed by the people, and they treat the preachers with respect, because the love of the people for Al-Azhar still exists in Egypt and abroad.”
This news is originally published by Shafaqna Persian and translated by Shafaqna English