News from Beirut January 29  1998 ...Search

Eid Al-Fitr celebrated in Lebanon

After one month of fasting, Moslems today celebrated the feast of Fast Breaking or what is known as Eid Al-Fitr. The feast, which extends over a period of three to four days, is a major festival for Muslims around the world. The Eid follows the holy month of Ramadan, the nine month of the Islamic religious calendar and a time of fasting for Muslims. Many Muslims during this month perform additional prayers and charitable acts or what is known as alms giving.

In their Eid sermons today, Muslim leaders in Lebanon stressed the need to sustain national unity and avoid all threats to thwart it. Mufti of the Republic Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Qabbani delivered his feast prayers at the Al-Imam Ali mosque in Tariq Al-Jdideh in Beirut. In his speech, Qabbani said the country needs at this time more than any other time in its history more national solidarity among its people to ensure the restructuring of  the state rendering it a strong entity. Qabbani added this is essential for social unity.

For his part, the head of the Higher Shiite Council in Lebanon, Sheikh Mohammed Mahdi Shamseddine headed the Eid prayers at the mosque of the Scientific and Cultural Complex in Shatila in the capital. In his sermon, Shamseddine referred to national unity as a very necessary component of the Lebanese entity. The head of the Higher Shiite Council also stressed the necessity of continuing coordination between Syria and Lebanon in the face of the "Zionist entity", rejecting any attempt to dissolve the resistance in South Lebanon or to separate the Lebanese-Syrian tracks. Shamseddine also hoped the problems of the war displaced will be soon solved emphasizing their return as a basic requirement of Lebanon's well-being. Shamseddine concluded by saying a state which guarantees Lebanon's role and the people's interests should be free from political sectarianism but added that Lebanon was not yet mature enough for such a move.

Hariri holds talks in Saudi Arabia

Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri was today received by Saudi King Fahd. The Lebanese premier participated in receiving congratulations with the King on the occasion of Eid Al-Fitr. Later, Hariri held talks with Saudi Crown prince Abdullah Bin Abdel Aziz. Discussions centered on bilateral relations between the two countries, the developments in the Middle East and the Arab stance vis-a-vis recent peace talks in Washington. Hariri arrived last night to Mecca where he performed a pilgrimage on the occasion of the feast.

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