EGYPT: THE BEAUTY AND THE SPACE OF DIALOGUE
A home for Christians and Muslims. This is the announcement from Usamah Elabed, President of Al Azhar University in Cairo and Armiah, secretary of Coptic Orthodox Pope Shenouda III during the meeting entitled "Egypt: the beauty, the space for dialogue" that took place at 17.00 in the auditorium B7. "The intent of this institution is to illuminate the spirit and spread the moral ethics in every Christian and Muslim" said Elabed.
The meeting was opened by the intervention of Emilia Guarnieri, President of the Foundation Meeting for Friendship Among Peoples, who presented the guests and recalled the experience of the Cairo Meeting in the last October from 28 to 29, a unique example of dialogue between Christians and Muslims.
The first to speak was Armiah: "There are two major periods in Egyptian history: at first there were only Christians, after the evangelization of San Marco, which took place over twenty centuries ago; at a later time also came the Muslims; since then, the two communities have shared the same destiny". The Coptic Orthodox Secretary added that "religion has joined the Egyptian civilization, becoming an element of unification, not divisive. The wealth of Egypt can not exist without the presence of Copts and Muslims working together. The Nile is our father - he concluded - Egypt, our mother, pray to God to protect our country forever”.
"I am happy to be here with you - Usamah Elabed said - I have stayed one day but I'm excited for the spirit of solidarity and enthusiasm that the President of the Republic has transmitted me, the spirit of the future and the words on the Egyptian revolution ". Elabed also described the oldest district of Cairo, where coexist a mosque, a synagogue and a church. "If Cairo had known the fanaticism, each one of these monuments would destroy the other. The Egyptians were driven by an innate desire that is the tolerance of the religions. Often the media make you believe that there are ongoing conflicts, that the situation is about to explode, but this is not true. The extremists are a category far from knowledge and ignore the religious truth that calls love”. The President has brought several examples of proximity between the two religious communities, and stressed that "The Coran says that God does not forbid you to be good and fair to those who have not fought for your religion”.
Then Abdel-Fatteh Hassan, Professor of Italian literature at the Cairo’s Ain Shams University, has read the speech by Tahani Al Gibali, who is the vice-president of the Supreme Constitutional Court and the Meeting Cairo President, absent for family reasons, and he has taken his farewell, remarking, as Elabed, the spirit of harmony and peaceful coexistence that historically has marked his country.
“I remember that group of Christians who were defending Muslims gathered in prayer during the revolution on January the 25th, last year,- said Hosam Mekkawy, president of Cairo’s Southern Court- we lieve in a world marked by uncertainty, confusion and conflict, but in the end the right will always prevail.The body of humanity is one, if as a result of ideas, objections, group loyalty we were driven to these shores, we get through by means an unanimous dialogue”.
Even Antonios Naguib, Patriarch of Alexandria of the Copts Catholics, has reminded of the importance of the Cairo Meeting 2010, citing the importance of the work of Wael Farouq, a professor at American University in Cairo and organizer of the event. In his speech has focused on the Synod of the Middle East on the last October, almost prophetic precursor of the revolutions in North Africa. "The Christians of the Middle East - he added - belong to the very identity of their countries. Religion must not be politicized and the State has not to prevail over religion. Muslims and Christians must travel together on the common way, nonwithstanding the different conceptions of man, of his rights and of his freedom. We need a revolution of love in all the Muslim and Christian institutions. It was easy to change the regime, now we must change ourselves".