Mohtaram Maulana Naseem Mahdi Sahib went to meet four highly placed Guatemala dignitaries after the Jalsa was completed.
First he met with the Governor of the State of Sacatapequez: Gobernador Marvin Francisco Barrios de Leon, Depatamento de Sacatapequez
This meeting took place on Monday November 9, 2009 at 10:00 am and lasted for about an hour.
This was an amazingly cordial and frank meeting with a person very much devoted to a humble appearance and attitude and the discussion was of a very highly spiritual and humanitarian nature. The Governor welcomed Mahdi Sahib and explained that his State had some 16 municipalities and that Antigus was its Capitol and had a history of some 460 years. He said he was aware of the Islamic culture and religion and that it had much to offer and the relationship needs to be strengthened and was happy to meet with the representative of the Khalifa of Islam. Mahdi Sahib thanked him for his welcome and introduced the JamaŠand that after serving in Canada for 25 years now would be moving closer to him in the United States. The Governor explained that he was in Trenton NJ for three years during 1994, to 1996 and there had lived with many Muslims and was familiar with their devotion to their faith and their friendly treatment to me. Mahdi Sahib asked him to let him know whenever he visits the US as he would like to welcome him there and be of whatever servi ce he can. He responded that if you send me an invitation, I will surely come and Mahdi Sahib promised to do just that.
Mahdi Sahib then told him about our efforts to start work in the field of services to humanity in Guatemala and introduced David Gonzales to him and asked for his help and cooperation and guidance and prayers. The Governor talked at lenght about the needs of the country and its people - that 60% of the population was of indigenous origin and that the poverty level was 70% or more - and Mahdi Sahib thanked him for extending his hand of friendship and that the Community would work towards providing assistance in the best way possible.
The Governor then presented Mahdi Sahib with a unique gift and Mahdi Sahib gave him a copy of the Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam and a Mosques Around the World Souvenir and both exchanged thanks and the meeting eneded with a photo session. But before allowing everyone to leave the Governor showed Mahdi Sahib his photographs with the distinguished visitors and asked for a separate individual photo with Mahdi Sahib alone in front of his Governorīs Seat and the Nationīs flag.
The second meeting took place with the Vice Mayor of Antigua the same day in the afternoon at 3:30 pm. Here also a meeting took place at a very high level of humanitarian and spiritual level..The Vice Mayor thanked Mahdi Shaib for his visit and said he knew of the JamaŠs motto: Love for all, Hatred for None. He mentioned that the purpose of faith should be to unite people but unfortunately it is not so always. Mahdi Sahib thanked him for his words of wisdom and welcome and said that our JamaŠwas already devoted to trying to achieve harmony between faiths and that for the last 25 years he had been serving in Canada where we regularly hold interfaith seminars in which we invite people of all faiths to come and share their teachings with each other and promote harmony. Mahdi Sahib said that unfortunately there were people who exploit faiths for their own purposes but that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community deplored and condemned violence of any type and stood for peace. He said that I represent the Khalifa of Islam who heads a community of some 200 million people in 193 countries and that we are now starting work in the field of services to humanity in Guatemala and that David Gonzales will be heading the effort here. He asked for his help and guidance and prayers. The Vice Mayor thanked him for these efforts and said that he would offer whatever help was possible. The meeting ended with an exchange of gifts and photos.
The third meeting was on Wednesday the 11th of November with the Mayor of Guatemala city. Mr. Arzu is a former President of Guatemala and is serving his third term as Mayor of the Capitol of Guatemala in and around which more than 5 million people live. After the initial exchange of welcome Mahdi sahib said that he ahd visited Guatemala the year before and this time wanted to make sure he came to meet the father of the city he loves so much. The Mayor said that the city thought of him more as a mother and that the Presidency had a certain distance from the population but that the Mayor had to interact directly with the people all the time. Mahdi Sahib introduced the JamaŠto him and described the efforts we wanet to begin to help the needy in Guatemala...we have ben here since 1989 he said and that we will need his advice, guidance and prayers to make the efforts succeed. The mayor told about his wifeīs efforts and appreciated our intentions and talked at length about the fact that the processes that have arisen out of the peace acord that he had signed in 1996 were keeping the people in the past and that the NGOīs particulalry those form Europe were keeping the youth trapped in the past and telling them to live lives without respect for the law and for their elders and parents and that this was a hindrance for the country. Always looking in the rear view mirror while trying to move forward was impossible and that the Europenas were employing a double standarad in this since at home they tell the young to forget about WWI and WWII and move forwrad but here the message was different, opposite in fact. Mahdi Sahib agreed with this double standarad approah of many 1st world countries but said that he must retain hope and keep moving forawrd with steadfastness and that in the end God would make such efforts bear fruit and that Guatemala was in need of such honest and forthright leadership. The meeting ended with an introduction of David Gonzales and exchange of gifts. The Mayor signed and handed Mahdi Sahib a Distinguished Visitor Proclamation and a beautiful book about Guatemalaīs National Palace. Mahdi Sahib gave him a book about the JamaŠ mosques around the world and the Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam. The Mayor opened the book and asked about it and was shown the five questions that the book dealt with and he expressed his immense pleasure at having such a book as now he would be able to read the details of Islamīs teachings. He said he had the Holy Quran but had alwys wished for a smaller introduction book and that he felt this book filled that need. A photo session folowed and the meeting ended some 40 minutes after its beginning. The Mayor expressed his strong desire to visit the Mosque and that he always flies past at 120 kms-hr but would love to visit if such a visit could be arranged. Imam Abdus Sattar Sahib promised to make the arrangements.
The fourth meeting of this trip was with Col. Hector Rosales Salaverria, a presidential candidate in the reent elections. He is an uncle of David Gonzales and a very highly decorated and well known and highly connected Air Force person of Guatemala society. He proved to be a mine of information. A lot of understanding of the Guatemnala affairs was made available by him during an hour long lunch break. He could be a good source of information and ideas also insha'Allah in the near future for our humanitarian work.
This report would not be complete without thanking Ameer JamaŠ Guatemala, Maulana Abdus Sattar Sahib for his immense efforts to care for us and offer us every hospitality love and affection. May Allah bless him and give him the best reward. Ameer JamaŠ Sahib was the most important member of our delegation during these meetings which consisted of Ameer Sahib, Naseem Mahdi Sahib, David Gonzales Sahib and Waseem Sayed Sahib.