Nearly 1000 children from both the Christian and the Islamic faiths gathered at the basketball court of the Calvary Temple Assembly of God Mission (AGM) School in Jacob Town, Paynesville, Montserrado Electoral District #2, received gifts and had a joyous Christmas party with the district’s Representative Jimmy Smith.
Rep. Smith, who is known to be a consistent host of parties and celebrations for children during the Christmas season each year, was delighted to have seen children of Muslim families join their Christian friends in this year’s celebrations.
“It is not about me, but what I can do, with support from all the residents of my district, regardless of what religion they belong to in order to make our children happy is what matters,” Smith said.
He said the presence of over 100 Muslim children at the event inspired him more and it is his wish that their parents and relatives too mingle with their Christian brothers and sisters and even those of other faiths at all times in the District for the sake of promoting genuine unity, peace and reconciliation.
“The laughter of children in itself brings happiness to us as adults and doing all we can in our limited means to put smile on the faces of these children should not be about politics. It is something that should be natural and normal,” he admonished.
Smith said Tuesday December 25 or Christmas day’s celebration with the children of his district was the seventh of its kind and he is even poised to do more and better things for as many children as possible come the years ahead.
“I started this when I was not the Representative of this district. In fact this is the seventh consecutive ceremony for our children and I take pride in it not as a politician but a father who cares for every child, regardless of whom he or she is or where he or she has come from,” he said.
He said as a Legislator he is on a break but he prefers not to travel to America or anywhere else to spend his time other than staying in his district with his people and continue to do what is right for them.
“I am not here to point out anyone’s fault but as you can see I we have created no distinction between Christian and Muslim children here today. Every child here has gotten some Christmas gifts without a concern about his or religious background. This is the way we should preach unity. This is way we should live as a people,” he admonished.
The chairman of the district development council, Gregory Blamo, said he was pleased with Rep. Smith’s gesture to the district’s children and appreciated all the parents who allowed their children to form part of the event.
“This is how we should live. It is not about just criticizing but whoever thinks anything has be done better, they are welcome to bring on board their contributions, even when it is an idea that can make a difference,” Blamo said.
The speaker for the Muslim children, Sekou Kamara, 12, said he and his friends were happy to have formed part of the celebrations.
“Most of the boys and girls here are our friends. We attend school together and live in the same neighborhoods. We are one family,” Kamara said.
When asked as to whether their parents were in support of their presence at the Christmas party, he said his parents in particular have advised him to not only seek friends who are Muslims, but others who come from other religions and have good conduct.
“My ma and pa (mother and father) only get vex with me when they see me moving around with bad friends, I mean those who have no respect for big or old people and do not take their learning serious,” he said.
Lovetee Brown, 13, who spoke on behalf of her Christian friends said they were so happy that Rep. Smith thought of them and shared with them toys, popcorn and other beautiful items they may use for learning purposes.
“The Bible says Jesus loved the little children. Therefore Hon. Smith loving us by sharing with us these things and allowing us to showcase our talents in dancing, singing and storytelling is a wonderful thing,” Brown said.
She said she was happy to have seen her friends who are Muslims joined them at the Christmas party.