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8288XIth Syriac Patrimony Colloquium & Conference on St Ephrem the Syriac

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  • SOCM News Bureau
    Jun 1, 2006
      The Centre of Oriental Studies & Research of the Syriac Patrimony (Lebanon)
      in cooperation with the Council of Churches in Aleppo, held the XIth Syriac
      Patrimony Conference in Aleppo, Syria, from May 11 to 14, 2006. The
      Conference theme was "St Ephrem the Syriac, a Poet of our Times� in
      remembrance of the 1700 year of the poet�s birth (306 � 2006). It was
      organized within the celebrations of Aleppo as a Capital of Islamic Culture

      The opening session on Thursday 11th May was marked by the presence of high
      level church and government officials, including H. E. the Syrian Minister
      of Culture, H. H. Patriarch Mar Ignatius Zakka I Iwas of the Syrian Orthodox
      Universal Church, a representative of the Lebanese Minister of Culture, the
      Mayor of Aleppo, MECC General Secretary, the President of the Centre of
      Oriental Study & Research from Lebanon.

      In his opening speech, H.H. Patriarch Zakka Iwas mentioned that: "St Ephrem
      the Syriac � the Syrian is not confined to one country nor to one nation,
      neither to one confession of faith; rather he is confined to all humanity".
      In turn, the Syrian Minister of Culture underlined that "Aleppo today is a
      unique example of cultural diversity, interaction and dialogue between
      cultures and civilizations". The Islamic culture, he said, is not a religion
      but rather a common awareness and adoption of all other cultures". An
      address sent by Lebanese President General Emile Lahoud, welcomed the idea
      of the conference stressing that "religions and cultures can interact and
      dialogue for the sake and happiness of humanity".

      Throughout the two and half working days, several eminent scholars from
      Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, UK, Germany and Belgium contributed to panels. They
      spoke about St Ephrem's poetry and his impact on the spiritual life of the
      different churches as well as on cultures all over the world.

      In the closing session, the Grand Mufti of Syria Sheikh Ahmad Hassoun
      praised the poetry of St Ephrem saying that, "after 1700 years, St Ephrem is
      still alive among us in a land which is blessed by heaven", emphasizing the
      universal nature of his poetry that touches all peoples� God, and its
      spirituality which will last forever. He ended saying, "today is the
      incarnation of heaven on all of us".

      The conference ended with follow up recommendations to be carried out by the
      Centre of Oriental Study & Research of the Syriac Patrimony.

      The MECC staff in Aleppo was asked to undertake the documentation and
      secretariat work of the conference, together with other members of the
      Aleppo Ecumenical Committee. For further information, kindly contact Mr.
      Razek Siriani at: rsiriani@... or visit the CERO Website at:
      www.moncero.org <http://www.moncero.org/>

      Middle East Council of Churches
      Office of International Ecumenical Relations P.O. Box 5376, Beirut, Lebanon

      Guirgis Ibrahim Saleh, General Secretary mecc@... or

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