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578Syriac Heritage Conference in Damascus

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  • Thomas P
    Apr 16, 2004
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      Syrian Arab News Agency, Tue 13 Apr 2004

      Damascus 13-04 (SANA)-

      The Minister of Culture Dr. Mahmoud al-Sayyed inaugurated
      at the al-Assad Library in Damascus Tuesday the 3-day 9th Conference
      of Syriac Heritage sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and the
      Lebanese Center for Oriental Studies and Researches.

      Attending the Conference, titled "Syriac as a Turning Point:

      Biladul Sham Experience in the Omayya Period", were

      Assistants to the Minister of Culture, His Eminence Patriarch

      Zakka I Iwass of Antioch and All Orient for the Syriac Orthodox,
      Patriarch Mar Ignatius Butros Abdul Ahad of the Syriac Catholics,
      Patriarch Gregorius IIV Laham of the Roman Catholics, Archbishop
      Youssuf Anis Abi Ad, Representative of the Maronite Patriarch
      Nassrullah Sfeir and a host of Christian clerics and invitees.

      In his speech, the Minister of Culture welcomed the participants to
      the Conference, stressing that Syria was and will continue under the
      leadership of President Bashar

      al-Assad to enhance civilized, human values out of its humanitarian
      nature and glorious history.

      The Minister pointed out that the role of the Assyrians was
      important in building the Arab civilization in the

      Omayyad period and was even deeper, more important and comprehensive
      in the following Abbasid period.

      He indicated that this Syriac importance was not only confined to
      translation from Assyrian and Greek into Arabic but also several
      Syriac scientists contributed with their intellectual products to
      enriching various branches of science, particularly in the fields of

      philosophy and astronomy.

      For his part, His Eminence Patriarch Zakka I Iwass of Antioch and
      All Orient for the Syriac Orthodox said it is a source of pride that
      Damascus hosts a conference that reminds the world of the history of
      Syria and those glorious ancestors who were the pioneers of
      civilization and sciencesÂ…. who paved the way to development,
      prosperity and the

      messages of the heavenly religions.

      His Eminence asserted that the convening of the Conference in
      Damascus symbolizes the freedom of

      thinking and scientific research in Syria, and an evidence of the
      firm national unity as developed and protected by the great late
      leader Hafez al-Assad and continued under

      the leadership of President Bashar al-Assad.

      Father Maron Atallah, Head of the Oriental Center for Studies and
      Researches, talked in his speech about the topics of the Conference
      as well as future activities of the

      Center, including a news series titled "Syriac Fountains" along with
      its translations into Arabic, English, French and other live

      Later, the Conference held its first sessions with two lectures by
      the Researchers Samir Khalil of the Christian Arab Heritage Center in
      Lebanon, and another by

      Dr. Faissal Abdullah of Damascus University.

      Ahmad F. ZAHRA