Archbishop Charles Scicluna said that he was very grateful to both the African and migrant community as well as the Maltese authorities for participating in this evening’s Good Neighbourhood Dinner hosted by the himself at the Curia in Floriana.
Mgr Scicluna later dined with around 100 individuals including the two survivors of the Ħal Far shooting, that left Lassana Cisse lifeless.
During his opening address to the diverse audience, Archbishop Scicluna explained that, ‘we are all humans’. He told the members of the migrant community and representatives of Malta’s Police and Armed Forces that tonight was about ‘making a statement that we are all human beings.’
The Archbishop added that the Maltese representatives were not in uniform this evening as a sign of the importance of sitting together, eating together and getting to know each other.
The dinner represents the Archbishop’s intention to bring the African community together with the migrant, refugee and Maltese communities. His aim is to help promote a society which embraces diversity.
He said that he also thanked all of the organisations who were participating in tonight’s event including members of the Armed Forces of Malta and the Malta Police Force along with many NGOs and Catholic organisations including the Youth Fellowship.
A safe space
Speaking to Newsbook.com.mt, Sarah Giusti – Social Worker with JRS, explained that events like these were primarily important for creating safe common spaces were people could come together to discuss common issues and interests.
She explained that, ‘in such a heavy world with such negativity, it was important to create safe easy going spaces’ that are equal, open for discussion between people from different walks of life’.
Happy to meet different people
Also speaking to Newsbook.com.mt was Muhammad Hussein Mohamed. He explained that he was very happy to meet different people from different societies and communities and that they were receiving a lot of information about how to integrate as well as to communicate.
Archbishop Scicluna’s Full Speech:
I would like to say thank you for coming and welcome to all our friends.
There are people from different areas of Malta and also from different organisations. I would like to thank Brigadier Jeffrey Curmi and the Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar for coming and some of our friends from AFM and Police Corps. They are not in uniform because we need to come to know each other because we are humans. We are here to make a statement: we are all human beings. We need to learn to sit together and know each other, eat together and listen to good music because this is peace on earth.
This is the first time this courtyard is being used for such an event. I hope we have a repeat and that you enjoy the evening. I hope that we come from this experience having met and known new friends.
Thank you very much for coming and thank you for being with us.
Footage: Monique Agius