Bekasi, – The Vice President (VP) K.H. Ma’ruf Amin officially opened The Center of Islamic Studies and Arabic Language/Pusat Studi Islam dan Bahasa Arab (PUSIBA) Jl. Kiyai H. Noer Ali (Al-Makmur) No. 1, Ujung Harapan Bahagia, Bekasi, Jawa Barat, Wednesday (06/22/2022). In his speech, the VP hopes that Al-Azhar’s would-be students could maximize the facility of the study center to equip themselves with excellent Arabic language as well as moderate Islam and state-ownership awareness.

“I hope this brand new building could be utilized as the center of social activities, da’wah, and education in Indonesia. Other than gaining adequate skill in the Arabic language, Al-Azhar’s would-be students will obtain proper Islamic and state-ownership awareness leading to becoming ambassadors of Al-Azhar who spread moderate Islamic thought worldwide according to Al- Azhar’s manhaj (the methodology),” he said.

In addition, the VP said that Al- Azhar is an educational institution with a strong Islamic tradition, specializing in moderate thought. Thus, many students from all around the world have a desire to study there.

“Al-Azhar is recognized as one of the biggest moderate Islamic guardians by having great ulama (preachers) who dedicate their knowledge to the ummah sincerely, also having strong Islamic tradition and expertise in moderate thought which attracts students from various countries to study there,” he added.

In order to keep the quality of education, The VP asked the study center, established by the International Organization of Al Azhar Alumni/ Organisasi Internasional Alumni Al Azhar (OIAA) in Indonesia, to collaborate with all stakeholders in pursuing the competitive and brilliant human resource in the future.
“I wish more strategic collaborations can be established because we are not only preparing language skills for the students but also preparing Indonesia’s future,” he asked.

According to the VP, Al-Azhar has a really close relationship with Indonesia. It could be seen through the multiple visits of Prof. Dr. Ahmad al-Thoyyib (former Al Azhar Grand Sheikh) to Indonesia for promoting inter-faith dialogue. He is an honorable figure of world peace and harmony.

“His visions of religions and humanity have opened many horizons to celebrate diversity and create harmony. One of the achievements was the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together which was signed by him and Pope Francis of the Catholic Church, in Abu Dhabi, in 2019,” he explained.

Before the VP’s speech, General Secretary Hay’at Kibar Ulama Al Azhar, Hasan Shalah Al-Shagir talked about how the circumstances of Indonesian students in all faculties in Al-Azhar University in Cairo.

“Al-Azhar University in Cairo welcomes the admission of Indonesian students who are very diligent and hard-working to continue their learning in Al-Azhar University in acquiring knowledge for themselves and spreading knowledge for the other people,” said Hasan.

Meanwhile, the Ambassador of Egypt to the Republic of Indonesia H.E. Sheikh Asyraf Sultan elaborated PUSIBA as the reflection of the close relationship between the two countries in advancing the capability of would-be students of Al-Azhar before proceeding their study in the country of a thousand towers of Egypt.

“This Arabic center is an obvious proof of the cooperation among the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Al Azhar, and OIAA- branch Indonesia. I am sure that this will enhance the capability of Indonesia’s would-be students, both in Arabic writing and speaking so that they will be able to proceed with their study in Al-Azhar accordingly,” he stated.

For further information, PUSIBA was built on 5.000 m2 which was granted by the family of K.H. Noer Ali, one of the national heroes and the pioneer of At-Taqwa Islamic boarding school, Bekasi. This campus is prepared for would-be students and students to enhance their capability before studying in Al-Azhar. It is equipped with various facilities such as a studying room, boarding house, office building, multifunction hall, musala, and sport court.

This ceremony is also attended by, Deputy Governor of West Java Uu Ruzhanul Ulum, Head of OIAA, Chairman of OIAA Branch Indonesia TGB H. Muhammad Zainul Majdi, Minister of Religious Affair in 2014 – 2019 Lukman Hakim Saifuddin dan Islamic cleric Quraish Shihab.

On the other side, the VP was accompanied by Head of Vice President Secretary Ahmad Erani Yustika, VP Special Staff Masykuri Abdillah and Mohammad Nasir, VP Expert Team Farhat Brachma and the Acting Deputy of Government Policy Lukman Hakim Siregar.(DMA/LHS, BPMI-Setwapres)