From: MSN NicknameEagle_wng (Original Message) Sent: 2/16/2008 1:38 AM Religious memorial service held for Imam Shamil Istanbul/Agency Caucasus - An Islamic memorial service was held at the Fatih Mosque of Istanbul on February 10, last Sunday, for both the legendary Imam Shamil of Caucasus, who passed away on February 4, 1871, and his late followers.
The Cultural Association of Dagestani People in Istanbul organized the religious memorial ceremony. It began with a speech by Said Genç, who comes from the town of Üçtepe in Sivas, a city in middle Turkey. Genç has been chairing the association for one and a half years.
He said that holding a religious memorial service for Imam Shamil had started three years ago. "Nations remain alive insofar as they maintain ties to their historically important figures; for that reason, we decided to hold such memorial services annually so that we also could maintain ties to our historically significant figures. We also aimed to form cohesion and unity within ourselves who came from Caucasus."
Although the turnout for the first year's religious memorial service was poor, Genç said, it became larger in subsequent years as more people heard the memorial service for Imam Shamil. Genç ended his words with future plans to cooperate with the Caucasus Foundation, the Shamil Faoundation, and other similar organizations so that a larger social gathering in memory of Imam Shamil could be possible. ÖZ/HT
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