“Education to Freedom”From November 2-4 the second appointment with the event born two years ago in Egypt: a bridge of friendship between Rimini and Cairo
Saturday, July 7, the second edition of the Cairo Meeting that will be held November 2-4 was presented at the Ahmed Shawky Museum in the Egyptian capital. The title will be “Education to Freedom,” because, as Wael Farouq, professor of Arabic language and vice-president of the Cairo Meeting, said, “There is no freedom without education. We want to understand how to find meaning in life, give it value, because without a sense of one’s own life man cannot be free. Freedom is not chaos and education is fundamental for living an endless spring.” In attendance were Tahani Al Gebaly, president of the Cairo Meeting and vice-president of the Egyptian Constitutional Court, Osama Al Abd, president of Al Azhar, who invited everyone to “educate their children according to common values,” and bishop Armiah of the Orthodox Coptic Church, who remembered his visit to the 2011 Rimini Meeting where he saw that “culture is the means for spreading high values and realizing peace.”
This is the second edition for this event which took place for the first time in 2010 and which intrigued Egyptian society, showing how diversity is the starting point for dialogue and involving around 150 Christian and Muslim volunteers. Everything started thanks to a friendship with the Rimini Meeting and the wonder of Wael Farouq and others in encountering the Riminese event and attending some editions. “The Cairo Meeting is now a necessity,” declared Tahani Al Gebaly. “When we organized the first edition we were people who dreamt of changing society. Now it is important that we stand tall, collaborate as children of the same nation.” And education will be the main thread of this edition, looking at the experience of others but with a look to the future.
In her message sent for the occasion of the presentation, Emilia Guarnieri, president of the Rimini Meeting wrote: “It is really true that freedom, before being something to conquer or the result of a struggle that yet has to be fought, as you all have born witness to in these months, is a personal experience, a dimension of one’s own heart. But is also true that our heart needs to be educated, struck, and reawakened in order to feel the vibration of the power of desire and the yearning for all the freedom of which it is capable.
The inaugural evening will take place at the Opera House on November 2 with Justice Tahani Al-Gebaly and the president of the Meeting for Friendship Amongst Peoples Emilia Guarnieri. During the evening Imam Al Azhar Ahmed el-Tayeb will pay homage to Pope Shenouda III, the head of the Orthodox Coptic Church who died a few months ago.
The evening will conclude with the concert “Songs for freedom” with the National Orchestra of Arabic Music lead by maestro Selim Sahab.
The following two days will have meetings on the theme of education in religious institutions among which a debate with Mons. Jean-Louis Bruguès, Secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education, Osama Al Abd, president of Al Azhar, and orthodox bishop Armiah.
Justice Albie Sachs, of the South Africa Constitutional Court, protagonist of the fight against racism, will debate Justice Tahani on the theme of change, reconciliation, and building of the future.
Furthermore, there will a presentation on the Arabic edition of “The Risk of Education” by Father Giussani, presented at the Rimini Meeting in 2011, with Abdel Fattah Assan, professor of Italian literature in Cairo and Father Ambrogio Pisoni of the Catholic University of Milan. The theme of education will also be discussed through the experience and witness of teachers such as Chris Bachich from the US and Emilia Guarnieri, as well as high school and university students.
We will also look at Europe to understand what the Egyptian people can learn from the experience of European integration with American professor of constitutional law at New York University Joseph Weiler and Justice of the Italian Constitutional Court Marta Cartabia.
To conclude, there will be a presentation on the theme of Muslim institutions in Europe and Asia with Mustafa Ceric, Mutfi di Bosnia, and members of the Malaysian government.
The program will be enriched by two exhibits, the screening of the Iranian movie “A Separation”, winner of an Academy Award for best foreign film, and a final concert of jazz music.