The Archxenus Experience : DIVERSITY
Ghana is a country of diversity; in culture, language and religion and unlike other countries and continents I find co-existence rooted in the core of our nation. We are a Christian dominated nation yet there’s mutual respect for religious diversity.
In Ghana most people have Muslim friends whom they expect food from on their festive holidays and with yesterday marking Eid ul Adha and we definitely celebrated with our staff ,Abdel Kader Abdul A. Amadou.who happens to be the only muslim in our organisation. We had one of our staff ,Seth Armah, pay Abdel a visit and he definitely had his portion of meat.
Our religious acceptance or tolerance is quite evident as you can see a traditional shrine in close proximity to a Christian prayer or a Church in close proximity to a mosque.
A perfect example is ICGC Christ Temple being in close proximity to A mosque : located in Abossey Okai, Accra. Not only do they share a location but the Church making it a ‘ritual’ to paint the Mosque every Easter. They joined forces to start a champagne on keeping the environment clean due to the filth generated from ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’, which is also in close proximity to them.
They not only have a cordial relationship but have respect for each others believes and religion.
It then dawned on me that I almost always forget that Abdel is a muslim, not because we’re an entrenched christian company but because he shows up for our morning prayers and partakes.
I wanted to know his perception, knowing he was from a Muslim dominated country, inquisitive me engaged Abdel in a conversion and this is what he had to say:
He grew up seeing his father , a doctor who was well travelled, helping people no matter their religious background because for him it was more of the person and not his or her religion. He mentioned that in as much as there were good Muslims , there were inequally a bad bunch and it was same with other religions.Though he had people question his act of kindness he always answered by saying: the personality is more important than a religious background.
These words have guided his action and he Abdel has found a lot of joy helping people, no matter how small the act it.
Traveling around Africa, he has encounter open-mindedness in religious diversity. However, the chance to work with Archxenus, which is an entrenched christian company, posed some uncertainty as he wanted to follow his religious practices judiciously.
In 2yrs of working with the company, he found out that not only did the company allow him exercise is religious right, he was offered a space to pray: his religion was respected. He mentioned how he worked on a proposal for the office extension and was asked to include a place of prayer for himself and future employees even before being asked to add a small chapel. This act to him opened his eyes to how easy we love as a people, aspecting him for who he is and respecting his religion.
He tells me of why he finds it so easy to participate in our morning prayers, and it’s because we all pray to one God and he Abdel hears and understands what we pray for and agrees with prayers said.Though he misses the fellowship of praying with a group, he’s glad he can freely worship.
He believes it’s easier for christians to allow a muslim get a place of worship than vice versa and really admires that a lot.
It’s interesting to know that Abdel handles all the christian or church projects in the company and he enjoys working on them.
After engaging Abdel in this conversation some questions popped up:
- Why is it difficult for other countries or continents to co-exist with religious diversity?
- Is it a matter of person verses faith?
My conversation with Abdel was an eye opener, to the importance of mutual respect no matter the background of the people we cross paths with.