Saudis launch New York campaign to promote peace

April 6, 2013


The Saudi group at Times Square in New York. The aim of the campaign is to give people insights into Islam. – Sabq

A group of Saudi students have launched a campaign in New York’s Times Square to foster a better understanding of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

The 15 postgraduate students, including doctors, said that they offered 1,200 roses at the major commercial intersection in Midtown Manhattan and Hadiths (the prophet’s sayings) in English promoting love and peace.

“Based on our experience living here, we have concluded that Islamophobia was quite widespread mainly as a result of negative campaigns and lack of information about Islam,” Waleed Al Jehni, the doctor who coordinated the group’s activity, said, quoted by Saudi news site Sabq.

“The aim of the campaign is to give people insights into Islam through a message about the Prophet. We coordinated with the New York Police Department (NYPD) who were helpful and cooperative,” he said.

The group initially planned to launch the campaign near the site of the World Trade Center.

“We opted for Times Square because it is a vibrant area that attracts all segments of US society and tourists from all over the world,” he said.

The NYPD supported the launch after they became aware that it was a voluntary effort by the students and that it was funded by the group, he said.

Amjad Al Ajmi, a young Saudi woman studying biomedical engineering, said that the group did not encounter problems organising the activity.

“There was a highly positive response based on obvious mutual respect and we have had people from different ages and races asking questions and interacting with us,” she said. “Most of the group members are doctors and engineers, but their studies did not hamper them from engaging in this peace-promoting campaign.”

Times Square is among the top destinations in New York City for millions of tourists and families each year.

It has become one of New York’s iconic images and a symbol of the intensely urban aspects of Manhattan thanks to the Broadway theatres and the numerous animated neon and LED signs.

Times Square is the site of the annual New Year’s Eve ball drop.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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