Last Sunday, there was a Solidarity Vigil with Norway held in Islamabad, organised by the Pakistan-Norway Association, or PANA, after the bomb blast at the government headquarters in Oslo and the Labour Partys youth camp outside the city, with a total number of fatalities of more than 70 and over 100 injured. A large number attended the Vigil in Islamabad showing sympathy and compassion, overwhelming the organisers. The Book of Condolences will be forwarded directly to the Labour Partys offices, to be given to its youth organisation, said Norwegian born Amir Iftikhar Warraich, former PANA President. It is so important that we meet when tragedies happen, and even when things are normal, Norwegian aid worker Hanna Mollan underlined when she last weekend came up to the capital from Sukker, where she works for the United Nations, seconded by the Norwegian Refugee Council, or NRC. We can share information in emails, SMS messages and telephone conversations, but, in addition, we must also meet, and if we cannot always attend gatherings, it is good to know that we were invited and we can send greetings to those who can attend. That was exactly what Hanna did last Sunday, and she did more. She translated into English Ole Pauses poem called Little Land, which he wrote after the tragedy in Norway on July 22. In accordance with our fast time, it has already become a CD, with the popular immigrant singer Maria Mena, making it into an instant second anthem, performed again and again at the Oslo Mela Ramazan, the largest, week-long international music festival held in Oslo every summer, before school starts. This year, it was held a bit early to be completed by Ramazan. Pakistani-Norwegians are main organisers of the Oslo Mela, which has a true international feel, depicting the atmosphere and a spirit of Norway of today, with its multicultural capital and communities elsewhere in the country. At the Vigil in Islamabad, some families with children also attended. Munawar, a Norwegian boy of 12 or 13, told us that he was happy going back to Oslo next week and he was looking forward to meeting his friends in the neighbourhood and at Lindeberg School. He had been in contact through email with his friend Knut, an ethnic Norwegian, whose elder brother had a cousin who had attended the youth camp where the shooting took place. He had broken his left leg because he had fallen on the cliffs when he was running away, but had still managed to swim across to the mainland with help from his comrades. Munawar was very concerned about his friend Knut and his cousin, and also other friends in Oslo. Yes, I come to Pakistan every summer to visit my grandparents and other relatives, but my land is Norway, he said, making it quite clear. Obviously, you should be proud of Norway and the people there, and they should be proud of you, we said. Munawar took that comment with the greatest confidence, as he should do, and we were reminded of the several confident and beautiful Norwegians we had seen on TV after the tragedy, with various eye and skin colours, and all talking in good English, by the way, the first foreign language at school. They were confident and logical youngsters, with opinions and analysis, with answers and questions, all feeling good in their own skin it seemed, yet, also being humble and modest at the same time. The young Munawars father spoke to us and he had taken note of a few important things in Norway after the tragedy on July 22. Representatives of the official Norway had on many occasions expressed their wish for harmony and unity between the religions and people of different cultural backgrounds. The Kings son, Crown Prince Haakon, had visited the new Islamic Centre at Groenland in Oslo, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Store had visited the large mosque downtown Oslo. At the first funeral that was at Nesodden, outside Oslo, an 18-year-old Bano Rashid was laid to rest. She was a Kurdish immigrant from Iraq, having come to Norway in 1996 as a refugee. She had been dreaming of becoming a Norwegian politician, but alas her life was cut so short. When she was buried, the imam was Senaid Kublicia. In addition, there was Pastor Anne Mari Tronvik from the Norwegian State Church. The imam and the pastor, a man and a woman, led the ceremony together. It was a moving manifestation of religious cooperation and harmony. Let us hope and pray that this will continue in the future, too, with the 'old Norwegians and the 'new Norwegians, the blue-eyed farmers in the valleys and along the fjords, the industrial workers, the teachers and civil servants, the immigrants, the refugees, the bright Pakistani young university women, yes, all these people that make Norway tick and develop. They all contribute to the success story of a true multicultural Norway. It is on its way, but it is not yet perfect. And, indeed, Banos contributions will be missed in realising this, and the contributions of so many other young boys and girls from the Youth Wing of the Labour Party. Others will join, of course, and it is pleasing to see that so many youth in Norway have now sent their membership applications to various political parties. They want to contribute to making the land and the world better, and to work together in parties and organisations is a way to do that. The perpetrator of the ugly and tragic events is an example of one person not liking immigrants and people of other religions, confused, maybe, but still representing a point of view. He will be given Norways maximum sentence, 21 years imprisonment. Some think that that is not enough. But a young Norwegian girl said that it is enough. If Anders Behring Breivik can come out after his prison term and find an even more harmonious, multicultural and peaceful Norway, that will be the real punishment. Then he will be proven wrong and he will realise he wasted his life. The head of the Islamic Council of Norway, or ICN, Methab Asfar, has had only praise for the way the Norwegian authorities and people have handled the situation. They never pointed a finger at any group or individual based on ethnicity or religion. Some foreign media did that, but not the Norwegians themselves. Of course, the attacks will leave a mark on Ramazan, Azfar said in an interview with the AFP news agency. Everyone has this in mind and we are especially mindful of the victims loved ones, he says and continues that the aim of the fast is to keep in mind those who are in difficulty. It is a time for forgiveness, for reflection, for love and warmth. Muslim or not, our thoughts will be with the victims and their families. This years Ramazan will be different for many Muslims, especially in Norway and elsewhere in Scandinavia and Europe. But the holy month can also become more relevant to ethnic Norwegians and other citizens in Norway and abroad. As a Christian myself, let me ask the Muslims to pray for us all during this years Ramazan, and every other day of the year, too, as we will pray for them. May the prayers focus on the need for greater harmony and respect between religions, and for all of us to find the best ways to achieve our common goals. Thank you to Pakistanis, Pakistani-Norwegians and all others for showing compassion and sympathy with the whole of Norway. Let us draw lessons and move on after the tragedy, together, in ways that prove that we understand Gods love for each other and the whole humanity. Ramazan Mubarak to everyone The writer is a senior Norwegian social scientist based in Islamabad. He has served as United Nations Specialist in the United States, as well as various countries in Africa and Asia. He has also spent a decade dealing with the Afghan refugee crisis and university education in Pakistan. Email: atlehetland@yahoo.com