Pangkalpinang, Bangka Belitung (ANTARA) - Vice President Ma'ruf Amin symbolically handed over assistance under the Santripreneur National Amil Zakat Agency (BAZNAS) program to five thousand graduates of Islamic boarding schools in Pangkalpinang, Bangka Belitung Islands, on Tuesday.

He said he expected the aid to support recipients in their entrepreneurship efforts.

"We expect that with the assistance received, students will be able to improve the economy, as well as (contribute) to promoting the welfare of the students' lives," he added.

He described the job of kyai (an expert in Islam) as a noble one adding, being a kyai cannot be underestimated. He pointed out that former president Abdurrahman Wahid, who is commonly known as Gus Dur, was a kyai. He then said he himself was one.

"Study diligently; hopefully, you will get useful knowledge from studying here. Be healthy, all of you. Where do you come from and what do you want to be in the future?" Amin asked a student.

"From Toboali, sir. My dream is to become a kyai," the student answered.

The Vice President was greeted enthusiastically by the students. He also waved to people from a distance. Amin was accompanied by the acting governor of Bangka Belitung Islands, Ridwan Djamaluddin, and other officials during the visit.

After speaking to students, he also took a look at Hidayatussalikin Islamic Boarding School's entrepreneurship products, such as packaged noodles, mineral water, and coffee.

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His visit concluded at the Pangkalpinang Hidayatussalikin Modern Islamic Boarding School, where he visited the girls' dormitory as well as the residence of the Islamic boarding school's leader, Ahmad Syaikhu.

Syaikhu welcomed Amin’s second visit to the Islamic boarding school. He said Amin's visit encouraged him to spread more knowledge about Islam in the region.

"Because he is our model kyai figure, especially the role model for Nahdliyyin (people who are inclined towards Nahdlatul Ulama’s teachings)," he said.

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Translator: Mecca Yumna Ning Prisie
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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