8288XIth Syriac Patrimony Colloquium & Conference on St Ephrem the Syriac
- Jun 1, 2006The 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:
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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