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A group of Italian Pilgrims Visit

25 February 2014

A group of Italians, especially from Northern Italy, visited Al-Liqa Center. They were led by Fr. Nandino and Mr. Julini. The group’s aim is to get acquainted with the activities of Al-Liqa’: interfaith, Palestinian contextual theology, the Palestinian Christian situation and whit the peace process. Dr. Adnan Musallam welcomed the group and then Dr. Khoury addressed them concerning the present situation in the Arab world which is chaotic. The responsibility for this situation rests chiefly with the policies of Western countries and specially the United States and some Arab Countries that support extremist groups who butcher those who are different from them. Dr. Khoury condemned them and stressed that Al-Liqa’ is for changes in all Arab countries which abuse human rights, freedom and life with dignity. Everyone is demanding democratic regimes with freedom, equality and pluralism among its citizens.

 

Likewise, Dr. Khoury focused on the present situation in Egypt and he said: more than 20 million people in 30 June 2013 went to the streets to ask for the removal of president Mursi from office with the support of the armed forces and security forces. Western leaders rejected this massive movement and accused it of being a coup d’état. My question today to you all: what happened in these days in Ukraine, is it a coup d’état or not? And all Europe and America are concerned about Ukraine. They sent delegations to support the protestors and hailed the downfall of the democratic elected president. What is the difference between the Egyptian and the Ukrainian situations? I believe strongly that the real Western interest is to have a chaotic Egypt where no political or social stability are realized. So Egypt and similar countries can remain consuming societies for European and American goods and arms as well as being totally dependent on these great powers. We, of course, reject the West’s double standard policies. Dr. Khoury, in addition, spoke about local Palestinian theology and Muslim-Christian dialogue and added that the future of Christian Arabs is not different than that of Muslim Arabs. For both belong to the same people and the same nation. All of us desire a quiet future and a democratic country which preserves the dignity of its citizens. Following the lecture, the group had lunch and continued its discussions with Dr. Khoury.