Syriac Heritage Conference in Damascus
- 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 sciences . 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