UAE: Muslim Council of Elders' Chairman Visits The Thai House of Representatives; Affirms Increased Scholarships For Thai Muslims

Wan Muhamad Noor Matha, Speaker of the House of Representatives of Thailand, received Prof Dr Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar.

Wan Muhamad Noor Matha, President of the National Assembly and Speaker of the House of Representatives of Thailand, received Prof Dr Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders, on Sunday, at the Thai House of Representatives.

The meeting was attended by the Thai Minister of Justice and several members of the House of Representatives to discuss ways to enhance mutual relations.

The President of the Thai House of Representatives welcomed the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, emphasising that the visit marks a historic milestone in the records of the Thai Parliament.

He expressed his pride and gratitude, noting that this visit is the first by a Sheikh of Al-Azhar to the Thai Parliament and will be remembered by the Thai people and etched in the memory of the Thai House of Representatives. He also assured that he has been following the activities and meetings held by the Grand Imam in Thailand and is confident that these events will strengthen the cooperation between Al-Azhar and various cultural and educational institutions in Thailand.

The President of the Thai House of Representatives expressed his appreciation for the 70-year-old Egyptian-Thai relations, highlighting Al-Azhar’s significant role in the development of these relations.

He thanked the Grand Imam and Al-Azhar for their hospitality towards Thai students, who number more than 3,000, and for offering 160 annual scholarships to Thai Muslims. He also appreciated Al-Azhar for hosting delegations of Thai imams for training at the Al-Azhar International Academy for Imams and Preachers. He noted that most, if not all, Al-Azhar graduates in Thailand hold prominent positions in various ministries and institutions, serving as senior scholars, imams, judges, teachers, and doctors.

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The Speaker of Thailand’s House of Representatives requested the Grand Imam to increase the number of scholarships and Al-Azhar emissaries to Thailand, emphasising their crucial role, especially in universities and secondary schools in Thailand. He mentioned that he received his education at the Islamic University in Thailand and studied Arabic under an Al-Azhar teacher sent to Thailand at that time.
Speaker of Thailand’s House of Representatives expressed his nation’s appreciation for the significant and pioneering efforts made by Al-Azhar and the Muslim Council of Elders in spreading the values of diversity, dialogue, respect, and acceptance of others, which contribute to enhancing mutual coexistence and human fraternity.

For his part, the Grand Imam expressed his gratitude to the Speaker of the Thai House of Representatives for the warm welcome and his appreciation for the mutual relations between Egypt, particularly Al-Azhar, and Thailand. He was delighted to hear about the excellence of Al-Azhar graduates in Thailand, their positive integration into society, and their contributions to the country’s development through leadership in Islamic institutions and centers.

The Grand Imam affirmed Al-Azhar’s readiness to increase scholarships for Thai Muslims, establish a center for teaching Arabic to Thais to learn the language of the Quran, and expand cooperation to meet the needs and future aspirations of the Thai community.

During the meeting, the Grand Imam announced an increase the number of Al-Azhar emissaries to Thailand from 15 to 21, in response to the request of the Speaker of the Thai House of Representatives. He also pledged to intensify the training courses for Thai imams at the Al-Azhar International Academy for Imams and Preachers, with a special program designed by senior scholars and professors of Al-Azhar to suit the nature of Thai society.

At the end of the meeting, the Grand Imam presented the Speaker of the Thai House of Representatives with the Al-Azhar Shield and the Medal of the Muslim Council of Elders, commemorating the tenth anniversary of the council’s establishment.

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