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Syria: Fifth column Jesuit pig expelled from the country!

 
Anonymous Coward
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08/25/2012 09:11 AM
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Re: Syria: Fifth column Jesuit pig expelled from the country!
Activists in Syria who worked closely with expelled Jesuit Father Paolo Dall'Oglio
and who were allegedly detained by Syrian state security forces, interviewed in Lebanon:

[link to www.nowlebanon.com] 8/17/2012
[...]
The two young men are activists from the Monastery of Saint Moses the Abyssinian, a monastic community of Syriac Catholics north of Damascus. They worked closely with [Jesuit] Father Paolo Dall'Oglio, the Roman Catholic priest who was recently expelled from Syria for criticizing the regime’s violence.

Why were you and Meshaal detained?

Shero: We worked closely with father Paolo on humanitarian issues relating to the Syrian crisis. We also worked closely with caricaturist Ali Ferzat. Meshaal is Kurdish and I am half Kurdish, half Christian, and we both called for regime change. The regime was not happy with our activities.
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Video: CAIR Rep Speaks at Va. Iftar Featuring [Jesuit] Priest Expelled from Syria

Published on Jul 25, 2012 by CAIRtv
On July 23, CAIR and the Syrian American Council (SAC) sponsored a discussion on the situation in Syria with [Jesuit] Father Paolo Dall'Oglio, the patron of Mar Musa monastery and a leader in interfaith dialogue in Syria.



[link to www.politico.com]
CAIR has long been the target of conservative activists, lawmakers and law enforcement officials who contend the group is an outgrowth of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.
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Letter to the Friends, December 2004 [written by Jesuit Father Paolo Dall'Oglio]
[link to www.deirmarmusa.org]
[...]
We would like to share a dream with you, and entrust it to you, your prayers but also your ideas. The point is to participate in the organization of a permanent route (to be covered by foot mainly, as, in a way, the Compostelle path) that would be named “Abraham’s Path”. Such initiatives already exist as signs of the desire for reconciliation between the sons of Abraham. Pilgrimages were organized from Europe, and, in fact, we often receive here pilgrims on foot or on bicycle going towards the Holy land. The innovation would be to create a fixed and organized route from Urfa and Harran in Turkey, then through Syria (of course with a stop in Deir Mar Musa), and going to the Holy Land through Jordan (and maybe one day with a variant through the Golan and the Hermon) reaching Jerusalem and finally ending in Hebron, in Arabic al-Khalil (God’s friend), place of the Patriarch’s tomb, Father of believers. There, Isaac (considered by jewish people as their Father) and Ishmael (considered by Muslims as their Ancestor) embraced each other on their father’s funeral day. The dream which grows up in hearts, everywhere in the world, is to have a pilgrimage for not only jewish people, or Muslims, or Christians, but a path for all believers, from any tradition, who could walk together, hand in hand, in the brotherly and mutual enrichment with the biblical-koranic Abraham tradition’s children.



[link to www.unesco.de] 10/16/2006
Paolo Dall'Oglio: "our monastic community has the name Al-Khalil, the community of Abraham, the friend of God. It is also the name of the town of his tomb in Palestine, known in Europe as Hebron. Therefore, the Abraham Path has been always interesting as the path of a man open to his future, crossing borders and ‘belongings’ and seeking a universal blessing. Then we discovered that Deir Mar Musa was somehow on the way. So many people come in the name of Abraham, walking, cycling, by public means, and when, during the Barcelona World Parliament of Religions [in 2004], I came in touch with leaders of the Abraham Path Initiative from Harvard University, I felt that there was something very true to be developed."



[link to www.catholic.org] 7/31/2007
[Paolo] Dall'Oglio's monastery community is also working with a movement called the Abraham Path Initiative. Its goal is to open cultural and religious tourism along the 700-plus-mile route of Abraham's travels through present-day Syria, Turkey, Jordan and Israel.

He likened it to the annual pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. "Why not have an interreligious, intercultural path in the Middle East as an educational effort?" he asked.

The 52-year-old priest grew up in Rome and entered the Jesuits in 1975. He was sent to Lebanon by Father Pedro Arrupe, then the Jesuit superior general, to learn Arabic and Islamic culture. During his seminary studies in Rome, he returned each summer to the Arab world.

He first visited the cliff-top monastery of St. Moses in 1982. At that time, the monastery, which dates to the sixth century, was in ruins. Restoration of the buildings began in the 1980s with state, church and private participation. In 1991, he received church permission to use the property and established the monastery community.



Video: The Abraham Path Initiative [featuring Jesuit Father Paolo Dall'Oglio]

Uploaded by abrahampath on Aug 8, 2007



Letter to the friends of the community al-Khalil (Abraham, the friend of God) 2007 [written by Jesuit Father Paolo Dall'Oglio]
[link to www.deirmarmusa.org]
Paolo went to the Jordan River with the international group of the Abraham Path Initiative, and Boutros also went there alone in order to worship in this place, the only one in the Holy Land, where Arab Christians can still visit.



[link to www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org]
In February 2010 the [Syrian] Ministry of Agriculture revoked a previous agreement granting the Monastery of Mar Musa el-Habashi rights to the government-owned land surrounding the monastery that was to serve as a "protected" environmental zone linked to the monastery's mission of creating an ecological and spiritual oasis. The monastery's founding father, [Jesuit] Paolo Dall'Oglio, stated in a press release that the ministry based its decision on his support for the "Abraham Path Initiative." Dall'Oglio described the initiative as "a cultural movement focused on sustainable development, intercultural and interreligious harmony building, and the virtue of hospitality," presumably turning Abraham's route from Turkey to Israel into a series of linked religious hospitality sites. Dall'Oglio added, however, that the project was opposed to the "vexatious measures characteristic of the Zionist actions against Arab populations and the religious contempt expressed by Jewish fundamentalism towards Christians and Muslims." Also known as Deir Mar Musa, the monastery attracts many tourists and religious pilgrims each year.



[link to victoredwin.blogspot.com] 12/2/2011
Paolo Dall'Oglio: "We are among the founders of the Abraham Path Initiative, a program that aims at creating a common pilgrimage of the three faiths, crossing Turkey, Syria, Jordan and ending in the Holy Land with Jerusalem/al-Qods and Hebron/al-Khalil, the tomb of the Patriarchs. Of course, this idea can be the object of political-ideological manipulations or criticism, from the various parties involved."



[link to www.abrahampath.org]
About The Organization & Supporters

Founded at Harvard University's Global Negotiation Initiative, Abraham's Path Initiative is endorsed and assisted by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and the UN World Tourism Organization.



[link to www.williamury.com]
Global Negotiation Initiative

At the Harvard Negotiation Project, Senior Fellow & co-founder William Ury with Senior Fellow & co-founder Joshua Weiss, the project engages in a number of activities at the global, international, and intrastate conflict levels including: research and writing, teaching and training, and peacebuilding projects. (formerly the Nuclear Negotiation Project and Project on Preventing War)



[link to www.whois.net]
Domain ID:D105492078-LROR
Domain Name:ABRAHAMPATH.ORG
Created On:28-Dec-2004 20:45:29 UTC
Last Updated On:29-Nov-2011 09:58:20 UTC
Expiration Date:28-Dec-2012 20:45:29 UTC
Sponsoring Registrar:eNom, Inc. (R39-LROR)
Status:CLIENT TRANSFER PROHIBITED
Registrant ID:WU17-BR
Registrant Name:William Ury
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Registrant Street1:3500 4th Street
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Registrant City:Boulder
Registrant State/Province:Colorado
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Registrant Phone:+1.3034493668
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Registrant FAX:+1.3034493658
Registrant FAX Ext.:
Registrant Email:wury@law.harvard.edu



[link to fundrace.huffingtonpost.com]
William Ury
Author, mediator, consultant
Boulder, Colorado

$5,000 donation to Obama Victory Fund 2012 Q4-2011
$2,500 donation to Obama for America Q4-2011
$2,500 donation to Obama for America Q4-2011
$3,300 donation to Barack Obama Q2-2008
$2,300 donation to Hillary Clinton Q3-2008
$1,000 donation to DNC Q1-2004



[link to www.pon.harvard.edu]
The Global Negotiation Initiative (GNI) continues to support the academic research dimension of the Abraham Path Initiative, which seeks to inspire and support the opening of a permanent cultural route of pilgrimage and tourism retracing the footsteps of Abraham in the Middle East. GNI developed a detailed case analysis of the Initiative, published by Harvard Business School, that highlights lessons for the field of negotiation. The case served as the basis for an academic conference in fall of 2009. GNI has recently embarked on a Cultural Memory of Abraham project that seeks to understand the deep importance of Abraham to the people of the Middle East and to look for commonalities and differences in the narratives that can serve as the basis for discussion and connection. GNI is also working on a number of student exchange activities to enable Harvard students to experience the path. Students recently took part in walks in the Palestinian Territories and Jordan. GNI works collaboratively with a number of entities at Harvard to further the academic aspects of the Abraham Path Initiative, including the Harvard Business School, Harvard Divinity School, the Middle East Initiative at the Kennedy School of Government, and the [Saudi] Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Center at Harvard University.



[link to islamicstudies.harvard.edu]
[Saudi] Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program at Harvard University

Upcoming Program Events
December 10-11, 2009 – Meeting, hosted Prof. William Ury and the Executive Board Members of the Abraham Path Initiative for their Annual Board Meeting



[link to www.abrahampath.org]
Current Board of Directors

Alexandre Chade, Senior Partner and PM at Ascet Investments, Brazil
Anisa Mehdi, Documentary filmmaker; Director of the National Geographic special "Inside Mecca"
Deena Shakir, Board Member, Harvard Arab Alumni Association; Harvard University '08 valedictorian
James Sebenius, Professor, Harvard Business School; Director, Harvard Negotiation Project
Jamil Mahuad, Former President of Ecuador and Mayor of Quito; Senior Fellow, Harvard Negotiation Project
Paul Gray, Director, Richard Gray Gallery
Raed Saadeh, Former President, Palestine Hotel Association; CEO, Jerusalem Hotel
Salim Schahin, President, Brazil-Arab Chamber of Commerce
Susan Collin Marks (Vice-Chair), Senior Vice President, Search for Common Ground
William Ury (Chair), Co-Founder, Harvard Negotiation Project; co-author, Getting to YES



[link to www.abrahampath.org]
Abraham's Path Initiative has local partners based in each country along the Path and around the world. Our partners include the Ministries of Tourism throughout the region, as well as local municipalities, universities, and private sector business leaders.

Current Partnerships Include:
• Alliance of Civilizations – United Nations
• America's Unofficial Ambassadors
• Association of Global New Thought
• Associazione Europea delle Vie Francigene
• Bethlehem University Charter for Compassion
• Engineers Without Borders International
• Friendship Ambassadors Foundation
• Harvard Arab Alumni Association
Harvard Negotiation Project / Global Negotiation Initiative
• International Travel for Schools
• Kellogg Fellows Leadership Alliance
• Leeds Metropolitan University
• Local Travel
• Middle East Initiative, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
• Outward Bound Center for Peacebuilding
• [Saudi] Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program, Harvard University
• Purdue University
• Sabanci University
• The Fetzer Institute
• Tomorrow's Youth Organization
• United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
• Wikiloc — GPS Trails and Waypoints of the World

Our financial contributions come from over 22 countries, with major contributors including:
• [Saudi Prince] Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation (Saudi Arabia)
• The Feffer Family (Brazil)
• German Development Fund - DED (Germany)
• The Harvard Negotiation Project at Harvard University (US)
• Mr. David Rockefeller (US)
• The Rockefeller Brothers Fund (US)
• Mr. Salim Schahin (Brazil)
• The Sir Halley Stewart Trust (UK)
• William and Lizanne Ury (US)
• Mr. John Whitehead (US)



[link to www.linkedin.com]
Veronica Martini

Associate Director for Strategy and Development
Harvard University, David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies
November 2010 – Present (1 year 10 months)

Advisor, Council on the Education Professions
The Fetzer Institute
March 2011 – Present (1 year 6 months)

Fundraising Consultant
Abraham's Path Initiative
November 2009 – Present (2 years 10 months)



Letter to the Friends of the Monastery of Saint Moses the Abyssinian in Nebek, June 2000 [written by Jesuit Father Paolo Dall'Oglio]
[link to www.deirmarmusa.org]
[...]
In the autumn of 1999 we assisted with preparation for the visit of [Jesuit] Cardinal Martini, Archbishop of Milan, to Damascus as part of his pilgrimage to the Holy Land. This event, which involved a group from his diocese, was both an ecumenical and inter-religious success.


Rome - Cardinal C.M.Martini visits the Community of Sant’Egidio
[link to www.santegidio.org] 5/23/2001
[Jesuit] Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini visited the Community of Sant’Egidio and presided over the evening prayer in the basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere.



The Community of Sant'Egidio
[link to www.ccr.org.uk]
A new Church movement founded in 1968, the community has barely any hierarchy, although the older members tend to be the leaders and it has almost no bureaucracy. It is a "community without walls". Members take no vows, sign no papers, and are free to come and go at will (a selling point, I'll admit, for commitment-phobes like me). Yet for all its fluidity the community is remarkably stable, with 40,000 members in 60 countries round the world, 10,000 of whom are in Rome. Almost all of these are lay men and women, professionals like its founder, the historian Andrea Riccardi. But Sant'Egidio also includes priests and now even a bishop. A movement that was considered radical, even Protestant, in the 1970s, these days enjoys the friendship of [Jesuit] Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini of Milan
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 11705783



[link to news.harvard.edu] 6/10/2004
Stephanie Saldaña, who graduates with a master of theological studies (M.T.S.) degree from Harvard Divinity School today, recently heard that she was chosen to be a Fulbright scholar next year in Damascus, Syria, where she will research "the Muslim Jesus" both historically and in the current moment, focusing on how the figure of Jesus has provided and can provide a springboard for interfaith dialogue.

Given recent world events, Saldana's project could not be more timely, though the May 11 announcement of United States economic sanctions against Syria also means that its fate could not be more uncertain. Then again, Saldana seems to have a penchant for locating to hot-button places during turbulent times.

After graduating from Middlebury College in 1999 and spending two years traveling throughout the Middle East and China, Saldana was looking forward to easing into her first long-term job, working for The Lebanon Daily Star, an English-language newspaper based in Beirut.
[...]
Saldana, who grew up Roman Catholic in San Antonio, Texas, and majored in poetry and literature at Middlebury, had already become interested in Muslim-Christian relations during one of her two years of travel after college, on a Thomas Watson Fellowship. Her fellowship project combined the interests dearest to her heart. "I had a year to write poetry and to unearth the origins of Christianity," she said of the project, which took her to Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey, where she spent time with Middle Eastern Christian communities.

"I found myself in regions where Muslims and Christians had been living together for hundreds of years and where churches had been converted into mosques, which went against my idea of Islam as something very apart from Christianity. It occurred to me that I knew nothing about Islam and that I really couldn't understand Christianity completely without confronting Islam" Saldana said.

The following year, Saldana spent time among Muslim minorities in northwest China. Toward the end of the year, she landed the reporting job in Lebanon.

"I was so lucky, because I had a lot of freedom at the paper to cover a very broad spectrum of issues, not only political studies, but Arabic literature and the music scene," she said.

Saldana also did "a lot of stories on religion," including an article on Muslim-Christian dialogue in Syria, where she discovered a monastery called Deir Mar Musa that she found to be "a really amazing model" of Muslim-Christian relations. "All of the monks and nuns there take their vow to be Christians within the context of Islam, so they don't see living in Syria or living among Muslims as a trial but as part of their spiritual calling, since they believe it makes them better Christians."
[...]
Saldana said her own religious community has helped her to maintain a more grounded and human-focused perspective while she has studied at Harvard. "I'm involved with the Boston chapter of a group called the Community of St. Egidio, which was founded in the late '60s in Rome by a group of Catholics"



Letter to the Friends of the Monastery of Saint Moses the Abyssinian, Deir Mar Musa al-Habashi, October 2002 [written by Jesuit Father Paolo Dall'Oglio]
[link to www.deirmarmusa.org]
[...]
Frédéric [Masson], 29, has finally arrived from France and is starting his monastic path regarding all his rich past experiments. Poet on the guitar, he came first three years ago, led by a mysterious intuition. After a month of spiritual exercises, a pilgrimage to India and a year with the Jesuits in France, the intuition grew stronger and became a vocation: Here he is now, back among us.



Letter to the Friends, December 2004 [written by Jesuit Father Paolo Dall'Oglio]
[link to www.deirmarmusa.org]
[...]
Frédéric, our second year novice from Savoie in France (the novitiate includes three years after the “experience” first year), is back from a pilgrimage in Mount Athos and in the Balkans. He concludes with enthusiasm from his trip that our monastic life, while realizing a part of the Catholic universalism, especially in the relationship with Islam, acquired some the oriental monasticisms fundamental characteristics. Through its defaults as much as its qualities, Deir Mar Musa seems to him a little Athos. Here, he started biological beekeeping. That activity allows him to keep good social relations. It is not vain to underline that for Muslims, bees are a monotheist believers people because they are gentle, well organized and work for the common good. He will also, from 2006, be in Italy for his studies.



Letter to the friends of Deir Mar Musa December 2005 [written by Jesuit Father Paolo Dall'Oglio]
[link to www.deirmarmusa.org]
[...]
Our Frédéric has left the novitiate after three years at Deir Mar Musa. We thank him for all that he has so generously done, for our common mission (and not only the bees). We hope to stay the best of friends and to collaborate with the family that it seems he will form with our friend Stephanie [Saldaña], an American researcher in the field a Islamic-Christian relations and who in her turn has not been indifferent to the fascination of Mar Musa.



Letter to the Friends of Deir Mar Musa 2006 [written by Jesuit Father Paolo Dall'Oglio]
[link to www.deirmarmusa.org]
[...]
Frédéric and Stephanie [Saldaña] have settled in the Arab part of the Holy City, after their marriage in the countryside of France in May, at which both Paolo and Dima were present. They are deeply committed to the Abrahamic spiritual axes that are the foundation of our Community. It is like a circle that grows bigger through the joy of many people. Other families feel very near to us in other parts of the world. Will this be structured in some way? Our monastic constitutions already deal with this committed relationship between the Monastery and its friends, not necessarily Christian.

We have finished the Ignatian month of spiritual exercises.



Video: The Bread of Angels by Stephanie Saldaña

Uploaded by Knopfdoubleday on Jan 11, 2010
Author Stephanie Saldaña discusses the year she spent in Damascus, Syria, and the inspiration for her memoir The Bread of Angels.



[link to www.americamagazine.org] 7/19/2010
The Bread of Angels, a lyrical memoir by Stephanie Saldaña, explores some of this spiritual territory in original ways while also depicting the daily experiences of an American woman living alone in the Middle East during the Iraq war. Saldaña, a Catholic from Texas, comes to Damascus in 2004 for a year as a Fulbright scholar. Having completed graduate work at Harvard Divinity School, she wants to study the role of Jesus in Islam.

Saldaña also needs to heal a heart broken by family tragedies and by unhappy love affairs that she has escaped by courting danger. Although only 27, she has had extensive experience traveling alone in violent places, running from one country in turmoil—and one commitment—to another. Yet nothing prepares her for the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, a 30-day encounter with God in the silence of [Deir] Mar Musa monastery, high in the remote Syrian desert, under the guidance of the Italian Jesuit Paolo Dall’Oglio. The intensity of this experience and her “sickness of sadness” lead to a mystical experience in which her body “swells up with visions to the point of breaking open.”



[link to www.forbes.com] 6/25/2010
Now living in Jerusalem, [Stephanie] Saldaña spoke to ForbesWoman during a vacation in the French Alps about her transformative year abroad and why her memoir is a love letter to Syria.
[...]
What are you doing now?

Stephanie Saldaña: "I've been living in Jerusalem for the past several years, writing and teaching literature at Bard/Al Quds, a liberal arts college for Palestinians. At the moment I am taking a break in France, reading, writing and spending time with family before I return to the Middle East in the fall. I won't say more, for risk of giving away the end of the book."
Anonymous Coward
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Re: Syria: Fifth column Jesuit pig expelled from the country!
[link to www.hbs.edu] 12/21/2009
In 2004, the API [Abraham Path Initiative] commissioned a study at Harvard to look at the feasibility of such a project and to examine the concept of Abraham as a potential unifying figure. It was undertaken by two Harvard Divinity School students, Rachel Milner and Stephanie Saldaña; the latter would become the first in-country coordinator in Palestine. The two students produced a 60-page report on many potential aspects of the project, including scriptural references, places of crossover between the text, and the possibility of Abraham becoming a rallying figure.
[...]
Stephanie Saldaña is an American scholar who served as a researcher in the Path’s earliest incubation stage at Harvard, who later spent a year on a Fulbright fellowship in Syria, became the coordinator for the Path in Palestine, and now serves as a senior adviser in Palestine. Saldaña is particularly attuned to the importance of building credibility. She notes that in Palestine, for example, the Path already belongs to the community and is a way of telling their story:
“Abraham is familiar. They are reclaiming the story of Abraham that has been taken away by the conflict. The Path is a way of showing the world, and themselves, that Abraham was a Bedouin who wandered as their ancestors wandered. For the Palestinian, walking the Path, in a situation where are checkpoints everywhere, the Path is a symbol of freedom.”

Saldaña also notes that for those not living in the Middle East:
“The Path is the chance to discover your own calling when you move outside of your comfort zone as a traveler, and put yourself at the mercy of others in this land of hospitality. It is a way of becoming vulnerable and somehow being born a new. In the Bible, Abraham receives a new name and that’s a way of losing yourself to begin as a new person with greater understanding.”
[...]
Stephanie Saldaña, now a Senior Advisor in Palestine, described the difficult choices she faced, when she was in-country coordinator, in trying to mobilize Path development in a way that is true to the work at hand:
“There were issues when we had the first study tour [in 2006]. There was a meeting in Bethlehem, with interfaith groups and very political leaders who were members of Hamas and Fatah. It was very difficult, very tense, and I was very confused… I didn’t think there was anyone in the room could help us to build a path. I thought there was disconnect from the real nuts and bolts of doing the job. So I decided to scrap everyone who was in the room and start from scratch. Since I didn’t know anything about building a path of any kind, I went out and looked for people who did. We put together a group of partners involved with wildlife, tourism and cultural history. At the end of seven or eight months, we had the Palestinian team.”

Saldaña believed that the project’s success depended on cultivating the leadership of Palestinian partners. Rather than have the outsider or foreigner (in this case, Saldaña herself) function as director, she considered herself only the project’s coordinator, obliging all decisions would need to be made by the Palestinians themselves. This required the partners to grapple with the tensions existing among them. Saldaña described:
“For example, partners told me that people don’t want to share work because they are very territorial, because they are worried about their own area of expertise will be taken away. There were also tensions about including partners from different areas because the different clans from different villages wanted to have control and were reluctant to give up control to people from other cities. There were also political tensions with Fatah who wanted to include the ministry of tourism and those who didn’t want to work with the ministry of tourism. The political context became manifest in the day-to-day workings of the team. The team became a microcosm of the conflict itself.”

Saldaña noted that her husband, Frédéric Masson, now the in-country coordinator for Palestine, is especially gifted at working with Palestinian colleagues:
“He gives all the partners the feeling of really being recognized. Unconsciously, outsiders tend to favor the partners who most resemble us, the ones who speak English very well, who can write good English reports, who work at English-speaking universities. In community outreach, the people who are likely to be effective will be the exact opposites, the people who don’t speak English very well, who seem normal, pedestrian because that will be very easily received and respected and understood by the local population. He had a real gift for finding local people and going to them constantly with decisions to make sure they fit in the culture.”

Saldaña believes that Masson’s flexibility is due to the fact that he was not trained as an academic and so is less risk averse. Because he sees failing as inevitable part of learning, he is willing to take risks others shun. As an example, Saldaña remembered that when mapping the Path in Palestine, she gravitated to experts who advised that the route go through cities, rather than directly from the north to the south along Abraham’s original trajectory, because the mapping process it would be too difficult. Masson reached out to his Palestinian colleagues, sought their counsel and followed their advice. Led by his Palestinian colleagues, he went to the villages, met with the important people there and then asked, “How do we get to the next village?” The result is a 50-kilometer path offering access to communities along the way.

Video: Palestine Film 2008 Youth Walk [featuring Frédéric Masson]

Uploaded by abrahampath on Nov 16, 2009
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Re: Syria: Fifth column Jesuit pig expelled from the country!
[link to www.satodayscatholic.com] 7/9/2004
Today’s Catholic was fortunate to catch up with [Stephanie] Saldaña, daughter of President of Catholic Charities Steve Saldaña [1950-2012] and a graduate of Antonian College Preparatory High School, on a “working” visit home.

Saldaña recently earned a master's degree in theological studies from Harvard Divinity School and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in Damascus, Syria.



[link to www.porterloring.com] 7/5/2012
In 1998, [Steve] Saldaña was appointed the president and CEO of Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of San Antonio where over fourteen years he built one of the largest social service systems in the United States. Dedicating himself tirelessly to helping the poor, the elderly, immigrants and refugees, his leadership allowed Catholic Charities to grow from an organization with a budget of $900,000 and six programs to a 22 program agency with a budget of more than $14 million. A lifelong lover of Superman, Steve became well known throughout the city for always being on the lookout for ways to help. When a heat wave swept the city, his agency took the lead in offering fans to the elderly so that they wouldn’t die from heat stroke. When Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, Steve was named the coordinator of the archdiocesan hurricane relief efforts. He believed passionately in finding the most vulnerable people and offering them sanctuary. Under his leadership Catholic Charities became the nation’s largest resettlement program from refugees who do not have relatives in the United States, resettling more than 800 refugees a year, many of them from countries at war.



Iraqi refugees deal with loss in new country
Khalid Ali and his family are part of the Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Program, trying to adapt to life in the U.S. after the death of his wife.
[link to www.mysanantonio.com] 10/10/2009
Before the bombs fell and the sound of gunfire became as routine as kids at play, Iraqis from Baghdad to distant villages watched actor Khalid Ali on television.

He quoted Shakespeare. He wrote plays. He spoke soliloquies with flair. Now, in San Antonio, he's taken on a role he never could have imagined - that of a single father in a new country.

On a recent morning, as the tall, 47-year-old man served steaming Turkish coffee to guests in his Northwest Side apartment, his 3-year-old daughter, Sura, pulled at floppy sneaker shoestrings. Her sister, 4-year-old Shahad, bent back over his knees like a gymnast, singing, "Here I am, here I am," from the nursery rhyme, "Where is Thumbkin?"

Tabarek, his 13-year-old daughter, was in her room she rarely leaves, surrounded by posters and pictures of Iraq. His son, Bakir, 16, ate an egg and jam breakfast taco, tapping keys on a laptop computer.

Ali knew that as day ticked into night, it would bring the time he dreads - when his two toddlers cry for their mother whom they'll never see again.

His wife Sundas died in early September after a long battle with breast cancer. Doctors gave her two months to live in late August - she died a week and a half later.

"We came here, we dream, my family, to learn to live good, to find a job," Ali said, through an interpreter named Abdul. "It's a difficult life here. You need four months just to see the streets. I must find a job with the loss of my wife."

Ali and his family are among the hundreds of refugees arriving in San Antonio as part of the Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Program. He fled Iraq to Jordan with his family in 2007 after an anonymous note under his door warned his life was in danger for his work with CBS News crews.

His application to the United Nations Refugee Agency was expedited after Sundas was diagnosed with cancer. A year and 10 months later he and his family left for the United States.

Frustration and support

He's frustrated along with other Iraqis because they can't find work, in or out of their professions. Some have master's degrees and artistic talent not tapped since the war started.

A misunderstanding about paying a bill resulted in Ali's electricity being cut for five hours, sending him scrambling to his caseworker to get power restored for his wife's oxygen machine.

He prefaces his statements about Catholic Charities with thanks for their aid, but he doesn't think he's getting the help he needs. The search for a job is taking too long, he said, and he worries what will happen when his assistance runs out.

Catholic Charities president and CEO Stephen Saldaña said refugees are normally on a six-month plan to get an apartment and help with bills, with an expectation that "they will move toward self-sufficiency in a fairly short time."

"We work to try and make sure they understand the cultural differences of the arrangement," Saldaña said. "Just like there are expectations on a program to perform, there are expectations on the clients to have to perform as they're brought into the country."
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In Syria, Expelling the Peacemakers [written by Stephanie Saldaña]
[link to www.nytimes.com] 12/8/2011
Seven years ago, I stood in the chapel of a monastery in the Syrian desert and stared up at a wall of frescoes from the 13th century.

Nearby, a burly man in a gray habit was explaining the paintings to a family visiting from a neighboring village. “That’s Mariam, may peace be upon her,” he said, pointing up. He moved his hand toward the bearded portrait of a man. “And that’s Ibrahim al-Khalil, may peace be upon him.”

Though it may seem like a mundane story, it was anything but ordinary. The visitors, who had climbed a flight of some 350 stairs to arrive there, were Muslims. The man describing the frescoes to them was Father Paolo Dall’Oglio, an Italian Jesuit priest who was speaking to them in the local Arabic dialect.

The frescoes he was pointing to were Christian, but he was identifying the figures using their Arabic names from the Koran. It was a remarkable moment, and the message it contained was simple: Despite their differences, Muslims and Christians believe in the same God.

Last week, the Syrian government issued an order that after 30 years in the country, Father Dall’Oglio would be expelled.

Father Dall’Oglio founded the community of Deir Mar Musa in 1982, at the height of the Lebanese Civil War. He had hiked out into the desert in search of a ruined Byzantine monastery. After spending 10 days praying in the rubble, he was inspired to rebuild the monastery and to found a community of monks and nuns dedicated to prayer, silence and hospitality. The Syrian monastery, situated between Iraq, Lebanon, Israel and the West Bank, would symbolize peace. The community would welcome each Muslim visitor as a sacred guest, just as Abraham, in both the Bible and the Koran, had welcomed the angels of God.

I visited the monastery often in 2004 and 2005 and saw Father Dall’Oglio and his community welcome hundreds of Muslim visitors to the monastery. These Muslims shared communal meals with the local Christians and said their prayers on the monastery grounds. They brought their children and their grandchildren. Father Dall’Oglio fasted during the Muslim holiday of Ramadan and visited Muslim leaders. When I asked him about his relationship with Islam, he spoke of it as one might speak of marriage: “When you love someone, you appreciate his way of sitting, eating, drinking, you hope his hopes, you excuse his difficulties, you recognize his gifts.”

From the beginning of the current uprising in Syria, Father Dall’Oglio has resisted taking sides, instead arguing for a nonviolent solution to the conflict.

Yet in an interview with the Catholic newspaper La Croix in early October, he admitted that a large part of the Syrian population could no longer tolerate living under a totalitarian dictatorship.

In his annual Christmas message, he said, “In this crisis, we see it as our role to engage in dialogue, mediate, build bridges and work towards reconciliation.” He added, “Fear has oppressed us too long.” For the Assad regime, that was unacceptable.

Ordering Father Dall’Oglio’s expulsion was a brazen move for a government that has prided itself on its protection of minorities. One can think only that the Syrian government was confident that the majority of the Christians would remain aligned with the regime. Christians make up some 10 percent of the Syrian population, and many fear that a change of power would leave them vulnerable to Islamic extremism.

The devastating fate of the Christians in Iraq has already served as a warning. Father Dall’Oglio’s expulsion, if it is carried out as planned, will send a clear message to all of them — that the regime’s support of Christians is not unconditional. Those who dare mention the oppression of the Assad regime or who advocate for a dialogue to change the country will be deemed members of the opposition.

This puts local Christians in a bind. To seek change may put their community at risk. Yet to remain silent in the face of injustice will surely reduce Christianity to an identity, a sect, and not a living faith seeking to follow the message of the gospels. It will also strain a relationship between Muslims and Christians in Syria that has existed for over a thousand years.

Religious leaders of all faiths must decry Father Dall’Oglio’s expulsion. Christian leaders elsewhere must let Syrian Christians know that the world is not blind to their fate. Most of all, as the situation in Syria spirals toward civil war, we must not allow the government to silence those who seek a nonviolent solution.

Nonviolent resistance is a theater made possible by spectators who give meaning to the sacrifices made, who form a collective conscience that in time can challenge the will of those who oppress. In the absence of a free media, in a country now largely off limits to foreign journalists, anyone in Syria who dares to stand up and risk his life must wonder if anyone is watching.

We must find ways to watch.

Stephanie Saldaña is the author of “The Bread of Angels: A Journey to Love and Faith.”
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Excerpt from the book, The Bread of Angels: A Journey to Love and Faith: [written by Stephanie Saldaña]
[link to books.google.com]
Yesterday, after dreaming of that same desert road, I thought I had found the answer to my searching. Perhaps it was a real road—not metaphorical, and I was supposed to walk on it. “I want to go to Baghdad,” I announced to Paolo. “I want to walk from Baghdad across the Middle East”



Video: The Virtual Abraham Path

Uploaded by abrahampath on Mar 2, 2009
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Saldana said her own religious community has helped her to maintain a more grounded and human-focused perspective while she has studied at Harvard. "I'm involved with the Boston chapter of a group called the Community of St. Egidio, which was founded in the late '60s in Rome by a group of Catholics"
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[link to wikileaks.org] 8/30/2011
[The Community of] Sant'Egidio, on the other hand, is said to be sympathetic to the former mayor of Rome and current leader of the Italian left, Walter Veltroni



[link to ncronline.org] 6/1/2012
Nuzzi's book [His Holiness: The Secret Papers of Benedict XVI] also includes an encrypted 2011 cable from the papal embassy in Washington back to the Secretariat of State, relaying a request from Cardinal Francis George of Chicago that the Community of Sant'Egidio, a Rome-based movement active on peace and justice issues, be asked to withdraw an award it planned to bestow on Gov. Pat Quinn of Illinois for suppressing the death penalty.

According to the cable, George objected to Quinn's positions on abortion and gay marriage, including policies about serving same-sex couples, which effectively put Catholic adoption agencies in Illinois out of business.

The cable was signed by Monsignor Jean-Francois Lantheaume, the embassy's charge d'affairs. The full text is:

From: Washington
To: Decryption Off., Decr. N. 300
Date of encryption: 03/11/2011
Date of decryption: 03/11/11
His Eminence Cardinal George, Francis, Archbishop of Chicago, has informed this pontifical embassy that the Community of Sant'Egidio has plans to present an award to the Governor of Illinois, Mr. Quinn, for suppressing the death penalty in that state. Attested that Mr. Quinn is of the Catholic faith, the bishops and Cardinal George retain that this recognition is inopportune for the following reasons:

•He promoted the law on homosexual marriage;
•He is in favor of abortion;
•He withdrew from the Catholic church the right to contract with federal agencies for the adoption of minors.

Cardinal George courteously requests an intervention with the authorities of the Community of Sant'Egidio so that the decision will be reconsidered. On the part of this embassy, a nulla osta [no objection] to what is proposed by His Eminence the Archbishop of Chicago. Lantheaume, charge d'affaires.



Video: Members of Syrian opposition gather in Rome to ask for a political solution

Published on Jul 31, 2012 by romereports

[link to www.romereports.com] 7/31/2012
They all signed and then read a resolution, during their visit to the Saint Egidio Community, where they all call for a political solution.



Video: Syrian opposition gathered in Sant'Egidio appeal for political solution

Published on Jul 27, 2012 by santegidio
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[link to ncronline.org] 2/6/2012
Support for Sant’Egidio

Americans tend to have a distorted view of the “new movements” in the Catholic church, seeing them as largely right-wing. That may be due in part to early critical books such as Gordon Urquhart’s 1999 The Pope’s Armada, but mostly it’s because the only outfits that have much of a profile in the States, such as Opus Dei and the Legionaries of Christ, do skew to the conservative end of the spectrum.

(Technically, Opus Dei is a personal prelature and the Legion is a religious order, so neither is a “movement.” Both, however, are 20th century creations, and thus part of the broad landscape of new ecclesial realities.)

Yet in Europe, and certainly in Italy, Catholics don’t have the same tendency to associate the movements with a particular ideology, because the galaxy of well-known movements is considerably more diverse. The Community of Sant’Egidio, arguably the movement with the single highest public profile in Italy, illustrates the point.

Launched in 1968 by a layman named Andrea Riccardi, who is now the Minister for International Cooperation in the government of Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, Sant’Egidio was designed for progressive youth inspired by the revolutionary fervor of ’68 who nevertheless wanted to stay Catholic. Today, it claims 60,000 members in 73 countries.



[link to www.santegidio.org]
The White House
Washington
January 20, 2012

Mr. Marco Impagliazzo
President
Community of Sant'Egidio
Washington, D.C.

Dear Marco:

Please accept my congratulations on opening your office here in Washington, D.C.

By fighting poverty, empowering civil society, and preaching understanding, organizations like the Community of Sant'Egidio remind us of our power to create a better world for ourselves and our children when we do God's work here on earth. These efforts transcend borders, lift up communities, and extend the hand of friendship to those in need.

As you continue striving for peace and global solidarity, I wish you all the best.

Sincerely,
Barrack Obama
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Letter to the Friends, December 2004 [Written by Jesuit Father Paolo Dall'Oglio]
[link to www.deirmarmusa.org]
[...]
Interreligious formal activities slow down a bit also because of our monastic community’s evolution. However, we organized, of course in the new reception room (baptized “Mary Kahil”, the Egyptian founder with Louis Massignon, of the Badaliya, a Christian Association about love of Islam), a four-day seminar, in July 2004.



Louis Massignon. Life and Work.
[link to books.google.com]
[...]
[Charles de] Foucauld [1858–1916] was one of the main sources of Massignon's spirituality. Massignon [1883-1962] was involved in establishing the “Association Charles de Foucauld”, from which numerous vocations have arisen. He published the Directoire written by de Foucauld which contained the rules followed by the “[Little] Brothers” (Petits Freres) and “[Little] Sisters” (Petites Soeurs).
[...]
Massignon's relations with the Jesuits were perhaps more aloof intellectually on both sides. Scholars such as [Jesuit] Michel Allard [1924-1976] in Beirut and [Jesuit] Paul Nwyia [1925-1980], of Lebanese origin, had studied with him. The latter scholar's research on the terminology of the Qur'an and Muslim spirituality had been inspired by him. He became Massignon's successor at the the Ecole Pratique in Paris.
[...]
Massignon maintained close contacts with Egypt, in particular Cairo, where he had done research in 1906-07 and taught in 1913-14. From 1934, he and some other European Orientalists participated in the yearly January sessions of the Egyptian Academy of the Arabic Language in Cairo. His numerous contacts in Egypt for more than half a century would be worth a study in itself. Here too, he encouraged younger scholars at the time, including Taha Hussein [1889-1973], and later, for instance Mahmoud Al-Khudairi to pursue research on Egyptian and Arabic intellectual history. Massignon's relations with established Muslim authorities and institutions, for instance at al-Azhar, but also with Muslim activists including the Muslim Brotherhood, need to be further explored. Egypt was the place where he must have felt spiritually most at home. In Cairo he was in close contact with his disciple Georges Anawati [1905-1994] and other scholars at the Institut Dominicain d'Etudes Orientales and his devoted collaborator, admirer and personal friend Mary Kahil [1889-1979]. Together they founded the Badaliya in Cairo in 1934 and encouraged contacts and discussions between Christians and Muslims.



Inauguration of Egyptians For Free and Fair Elections
[link to www.ikhwanweb.com] 10/28/2009
Members of the Brotherhood’s leading figures, parliamentarians and representatives of the national political powers inaugurated yesterday the initiative “Egyptians for Free and Fair Elections” on the Journalists' Syndicate premises. The movement was led by Judge Mahmoud Al-Khudairi

IkhwanWeb is the Muslim Brotherhood's official English website
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 11705783



"Dialogues": Tariq Ramadan [son of Muslim Brotherhood member Said Ramadan] meets [Jesuit] Paolo Dall'Oglio
[link to www.sattvafilms.it]



Obama Adminstration removes ban on Tariq Ramadan entering the U.S.
[link to www.jihadwatch.org]

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[link to www.motherjones.com]
According to Richard Labeviere, a French journalist who has written about the [Muslim] Brotherhood's ties to terrorism, [Tariq Ramadan's Father] Said Ramadan used Geneva [Switzerland] as the launching pad for the Brotherhood's international expansion; the group even created its own Swiss bank, Al Taqwa, with offices in the Swiss town of Campione d'Italia as well as the Bahamas. After September 11, 2001, Al Taqwa was listed by the United States as having supported terrorists.
[...]
Among American analysts, the Brotherhood still has its defenders. Professors John O. Voll and John L. Esposito of [Jesuit-run] Georgetown University, both scholars of Islam, defend it as a moderate Islamist organization [...]



[link to islamicamagazine.com]
The revocation of Tariq Ramadan’s visa by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) came as a surprise to both the Muslim community in America as well as the broader academic establishment. Earlier this summer, Dr. Ramadan was preparing to assume the Henry R. Luce Professor of Religion, Conflict, and Peacebuilding appointment at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana until DHS determined that he represents a security threat to the United States.
[...]
Tariq Ramadan is very popular in Europe, particularly amongst Muslim youth. His high profile image is informed in part by his ideas, and also in part by his lineage. He is the maternal grandson of Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood.
[...]
The fact that Notre Dame, a Catholic Jesuit university, was Dr. Ramadan’s sponsoring institution also likely carries some important symbolism. In 1999 another Jesuit university, Georgetown, was the first university in the U.S. to hire a Muslim chaplain.
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Video: [Tariq Ramadan] 'Islam's Savior' or Muslim Brotherhood's Heir?

Published on Sep 13, 2012 by CBNonline

[link to blogs.cbn.com] 9/13/2012
As the Muslim Brotherhood tightens its grip on Egypt and helps fan the flames of anti-Americanism across the Middle East this week, Western governments are scrambling to get a handle on this powerful group.

Tariq Ramadan maintains he can help them do that—but his track record suggests he may have a much different motive.

Ramadan's grandfather, Hassan al-Banna, founded the Muslim Brotherhood. His father, Said Ramadan, helped lead the movement in Europe.

Tariq—who has been dubbed "Islam's savior"--has been accused of carrying on the Brotherhood family tradition in his statements, writings, and associations.
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Thread: THE HEAD OF THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD WELCOMED WITH OPEN ARMS BY WASHINGTON AND GIVEN PLACE AT WASHINGTONS JESUIT SCHOOL
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MORE CLUES

what happened before the riots IN EGYPT

THE HEAD OF THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD WELCOMED WITH OPEN ARMS BY WASHINGTON
AND GIVEN PLACE AT WASHINGTONS JESUIT SCHOOL


Tariq Ramadan, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the State Department

ramadan.jpeg
Agent of the Muslim Brotherhood? (Photo: Time)

France's Nouvel Observateur (thanks to Joyce) is reporting that controversial European Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan's move to the United States may be related to talks between Washington and the Muslim Brotherhood. Here is my rough-and-ready translation of the French article:

Surprise: Tariq Ramadan, part-time lecturer at the University of Freiburg in Switzerland, is on his way to the United States. Next September, he will be named a professor at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. This arrangement comes after multiple offers made to him by many American universities for several months, in particular the University of Chicago. In April, he will also give several lectures in California, and according to him, will be invited to the U.S. State Department, which seems interested in him more and more.

This information was also confirmed Wednesday by the Genevan daily newspaper Le Temps, which confirms, quoting a spokesman of Tariq Ramadan, that "he will give courses beginning next fall on the relationship between religion, conflict and the promotion of peace." However, according to the paper, the visa application filed by the intellectual is likely to take time, "because there are people who have questions about it."

His departure from Europe is even more surprising since the Genevan theologian (of Egyptian origin) is actively involved in France in the debate over the veil and secularism. Tariq Ramadan is considered, by many European intelligence services, to be one of the clandestine leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization that supports the Palestinian kamikazes of Hamas. Is his departure for the United States a sign, as DST [Territorial Surveillance Directorate, France's domestic intelligence service] officials believe, of an accord between Washington and the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood?

Translation corrections welcome. In any case, the connection that this article makes between Ramadan and the Muslim Brotherhood is significant. In Onward Muslim Soldiers I explain how careful he has been to present himself as a moderate Muslim, although there are numerous questions about his real connection to radicals. The Muslim Brotherhood, of course, is the father of virtually all modern-day Islamic terror groups.
Posted by Robert on January 28, 2004 11:38 AM | 12 Comments
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Doug | January 28, 2004 8:18 PM

Time to mail ND my shredded ND baseball cap. I graduated from a Jesuit university, and it's been apparent for some years that the Jesuits are basically the radicals of the Catholic faith. From supporting Marxist dictators in Central America to promoting "social justice" in the classroom--in my opinion just another euphemism for "socialist"--to now employing a muslim wolf in sheep's clothing, there is no cause too radical for the Jesuits to support.
[link to www.jihadwatch.org]
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Our Man in Syria
[link to thejesuitpost.org] 9/19/2012
In June, the Syrian government expelled Fr. Paolo Dall’Oglio, SJ for his criticism of brutal government crackdowns against civilians and peaceful protestors. NPR [link to www.npr.org] the NYTimes [link to www.nytimes.com] PBS [link to www.pbs.org] and The Jesuit Post [link to thejesuitpost.org] picked up on the story. For 30 years, Fr. Paulo worked for peace and reconciliation in Syria. Now in exile, he continues that work by raising awareness of the dire situation faced by the Syrian people.

Our partners at the Ignatian News Network recently caught up with Fr. Paulo to discuss his continued struggle for peace and justice in Syria. The video below explores the complex and delicate political situation that forms the backdrop of what has become a Syrian civil war.


[link to www.youtube.com]
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Thread: Syria: Jesuit Father Paolo Dall'Oglio on al-Qaeda payroll, gov't says
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Civil Society in Syria: Interfaith Relations during the Syrian Uprising
[link to www.facebook.com]
Public Event · By Lilah Khoja, Laith Mukdad and Lilah FreeSyria

When:
Wednesday, August 1, 2012. Time: 1:30pm until 4:00pm in PDT.

Where:
Humanities 135, UCLA

Description:
featuring special guest Father Paolo Dall'Oglio, Professor James Gelvin, and NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow Lindsay Gifford.

With the current uprising in Syria, the question that has crossed everyone's mind has been: will there be rise to sectarian violence, as witnessed in neighboring Iraq and Lebanon?

Such a concern is a valid one and has caused a lot of concern for the status of minorities in Syria, as well as a lot of fear amongst the population within Syria and abroad. This event aims to address those concerns by shedding light about the reality on the ground.

The Speakers:
Father Dall'Oglio lived in Syria for 30 years, helping restore a 1,000-year-old monastery, called Deir Mar Musa. He made it into a center for Muslim and Christian understanding. For three decades, he headed a Christian community in an ancient monastery he helped restore in the hills outside Damascus. He invited Muslims and Christians to pray together — and they did — in more peaceful times. When the anti-government demonstrations began last year, Dall'Oglio supported the young Syrians who risked their lives to protest peacefully. The Assad regime has recently expelled him for his outspoken criticism of its crackdown on a popular uprising.

James L. Gelvin is professor of modern Middle Eastern history at the University of California, Los Angeles. He received his B.A. from Columbia University, his master's in international affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, and his Ph.D. from Harvard University. He has taught at Boston College, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the American University in Beirut. A specialist in the modern social and cultural history of the Arab East, he is author of four books: The Arab Uprisings: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2012); The Modern Middle East: A History (Oxford University Press, 2004, 2007, 2011); The Israel-Palestine Conflict: One Hundred Years of War (Cambridge University Press, 2005, 2007, 2013); and Divided Loyalties: Nationalism and Mass Politics in Syria at the Close of Empire (University of California Press, 1998). He is also co-editor of the forthcoming Global Islam in the Age of Steam and Print (University of California Press, 2013), along with numerous articles and chapters in edited volumes.

Lindsay Gifford is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at UCLA, supported by the National Science Foundation’s Minority Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (2011-2013). She completed her Ph.D. in Sociocultural Anthropology at Boston University (2009), conducting research on civil society and associational life under the authoritarian state in Damascus’ religiously diverse popular neighborhoods. She recently gave a talk at UCLA entitled "Civility and Sectarianism in Syria: What Now?"

Video of the event, uploaded 8/5/2012:
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 11705783



Syria's Tangled Roots of Resentment [written by Lindsay Gifford]
[link to carnegieendowment.org] 10/11/2012
As the battle lines in Syria have hardened, there is growing consensus that long-feared sectarian divisions are being played out in a military arena viewed by combatants as a zero-sum game for survival. The Alawi minority has been described as returning to a tried-and-true playbook from the Islamist uprising of the late 1970s—relying on sectarian solidarities to carry out violent military and paramilitary campaigns—while the Sunnis have been described as (finally) rising up against minority rule. Syria has suffered historically from multiple ethno-sectarian wounds—Kurdish exclusion, Druze uprisings, the Armenian genocide and diaspora, Palestinian expulsion, Shia invisibility, Sunni downward mobility. To understand why sectarianism is often essentialized as the fundamental explanation for the massive scale of violence currently enveloping the country, it is necessary to untangle Syria’s complex roots of sectarian resentment.
[...]
A number of policies unfortunately collided under the Assad regime that would increase the potential volatility of sectarian relations. Open dialogue on sectarian interactions was forbidden; the regime controlled all manner of public discourse through its media outlets and state-appointed institutions such as state mosques and the Ministry of Culture. Independent community leaders, activists, and intellectuals were continually barred from speaking about sectarian relations – even if only to build them – through the state’s innumerable mechanisms of coercion. Father Paolo Dall’Oglio of the Deir Mar Musa monastery—an Italian Jesuit priest who became a community leader working to foster positive Christian-Muslim relations over the past 30 years—and Sheikh Jawdat Said of the Syrian Golan are some of the most prominent public figures who experienced sharp retribution for their work on intersectarian dialogue under the regime, including arrest of the latter and expulsion of the former. Followers of these leaders have also been detained and persecuted.
[...]
Lindsay Gifford is a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow at UCLA and a Visiting Scholar at the University of San Francisco. She studied in Damascus as a Fulbright-Hays Research Fellow during 2006-2007.



[link to www.americamagazine.org] 7/19/2010
The Bread of Angels, a lyrical memoir by Stephanie Saldaña, explores some of this spiritual territory in original ways while also depicting the daily experiences of an American woman living alone in the Middle East during the Iraq war. Saldaña, a Catholic from Texas, comes to Damascus in 2004 for a year as a Fulbright scholar. Having completed graduate work at Harvard Divinity School, she wants to study the role of Jesus in Islam.

Saldaña also needs to heal a heart broken by family tragedies and by unhappy love affairs that she has escaped by courting danger. Although only 27, she has had extensive experience traveling alone in violent places, running from one country in turmoil—and one commitment—to another. Yet nothing prepares her for the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, a 30-day encounter with God in the silence of Mar Musa monastery, high in the remote Syrian desert, under the guidance of the Italian Jesuit Paolo Dall’Oglio. The intensity of this experience and her “sickness of sadness” lead to a mystical experience in which her body “swells up with visions to the point of breaking open.”
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 11705783



Compromised Campus: The Collaboration of Universities with the Intelligence Community, 1945-1955
Oxford University Press, 1992
[link to www.namebase.org]
The first scholars who specialized in international studies were sponsored by the OSS/CIA, with funding laundered by the Carnegie, Rockefeller, and Ford Foundations. These scholar-spooks prostituted their prestige to rubber-stamp the Cold War.



Behind The Scenes In The Beltway
[link to www.almartinraw.com]
CIA has controlled the Fulbright scholarship program since the 1950s, recruiting some of its best spies from the program. Senator Fulbright sat on the Intelligence Committee years ago. Today Fulbright Jaworsky is the biggest Democratically controlled law firm in Washington.



Video: Lecture by Jesuit Father Paolo Dall'Oglio at the Jesuit-run University of Scranton 2/21/2011

[link to www.scranton.edu]
The event was organized by Professor Christian S. Krokus and co-sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 11705783



Kurdistan Commentary: An Hour with Father Paolo
[link to kurdistancommentary.wordpress.com] 8/15/2012
This article was originally published in The Kurdish Review and is reprinted here at the request of the author. Father Paolo is a well-known advocate of federalism in Syria, especially for Kurds.

Reverend Paolo Dall’Oglio, head of the Deir Mar Musa monastery in Syria, was expelled from the country by the regime. He was accused of supporting the revolution and plotting to destabilize the sovereignty of Syria.

Father Paolo is currently visiting the United States in an attempt to lobby for the people of Syria who strive for freedom in Democracy. He has been working tirelessly while using all of his connections in America to persuade decision-makers to step up their approach regarding the Syrian crisis.

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace hosted him on July 23, 2012. I was lucky to be one of the very few people who were invited to attend the little event. He entered the room after everybody was already seated and waiting for him. His features were those of someone who’d been the hardships throughout his life. When he was offered a drink, he refused to have it, saying it was Ramadan. He never eats or drinks in public during the holy month of Muslims.

Father Paolo was an imperative figure in promoting religious tolerance in Syria. Throughout his many years there, he worked intensely on the idea of coexistence in the heterogonous nation and many of his closest friends were from different religious and ethnic backgrounds.

At the Carnegie event, the originally-Italian priest gave a lecture on the stamina of the Syrian people against its brutal regime. He said when people first took to the streets; the purpose was to demand their freedom and dignity back. After several months of perpetual atrocities by the regime, according to him, protestors were obliged to take another path of their struggle and to shift their peaceful efforts to bring Syrian to Democracy. Arming the revolution was an option that the people didn’t want to choose. “The conflict in Syria has a sectarian dimension now whose end is uncertain”, says Father Paolo.

I asked if he thinks a potential Kurdish-Arab confrontation would erupt. He said Syria has already been slipped into a civil war. According to him, anything is likely to happen in a country where the number of causalities is increasingly at ridiculously high rates around the clock. He also blamed the Arab opposition for not embracing the Kurds.

One of the aspects that make this man so unique is his endless support for a federal Kurdish region in Syria. He also believes that the West should realize that a federal state in Syria is the only way to protect the country’s integrity. What also surprised me about this man was his aspiration for four Kurdish federations in the greater Middle East. He thinks this soon will be a reality.
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Re: Syria: Fifth column Jesuit pig expelled from the country!
ASIA/IRAQ - [Jesuit] Father [Paolo] Dall'Oglio welcomed in the monastic community which began in Sulaymaniya, in Iraqi Kurdistan
[link to www.fides.org] 12/10/2012
Sulaymaniya (Agenzia Fides) - Father Paolo Dall'Oglio SJ, founder of the monastic community of Deir Mar Musa, after his expulsion from Syria was welcomed into the newly founded monastery of Deir Maryam el Adhra, which began a few months ago in Sulaymaniya in Kurdistan Iraq. The Chaldean Archbishop of Kirkuk, His Exc. Mgr. Louis Sako, gave his consent to the entrance of the Jesuit scholar of Islam in the monastic community that found hospitality in a church in the second half of the nineteenth century, dedicated to the Virgin Mary and located in Sabunkaran historic district, the district of the "soap workers."

Father Dall'Oglio, after having publicly called for the end of the Assad regime, had left Syria - where he lived for over thirty years - in June, in obedience to the ecclesiastical authorities of the Country. On 20 September, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Damascus government had accused the Jesuit of conniving with terrorist groups, "al-Qaeda included." "Together with the brothers of the monastery of Deir Maryam" says the Jesuit to Fides Agency "I will pray for peace in Syria, in the hope and expectation to be able to come back."

The new monastic community settled in Sulaymaniya constitutes a subsidiary of the Syrian monastery of Deir Mar Musa. In a report sent to Fides Agency, the monks confirm that Father Paolo "shall now be attached to this community," and talk about the context and the first steps of their new experience. They express gratitude for the invitation to found a community in the Eparchy of Kirkuk addressed to them by Archbishop Sako, a representative of the Chaldean Church "which, having never been a State Church, carries a rich memory of interaction with Islam and openness towards the East, from Iran to China."

Sulaymanya is described as a "Muslim Kurdish city, where a Christian community lives made of two groups: the Christians whose origins go back in time to the more or less distant mountain districts of the North (who speak Chaldean and a fluent Arabic and Kurdish) and those who fled Baghdad, Mosul and other cities in the South in recent years (and speak Arabic as their first language). " The monks of Sulaymanya give an account of the fact that the new generations will probably speak more and more Kurdish, "through social mixing, schools and the national dynamics of this region."

The monks’ letter recognizes that "it is too early to define the identity of this monastery ... May it be what the Spirit inspires to make of it for the neighbors, the inhabitants, the monks and nuns, the visitors and the Muslims who sometimes come for a prayer in front of Mary’s grotto." On 23 November, Archbishop Sako ordained [Jesuit] Father Jens [Petzold], a member of the monastic community, who has become since then Abuna Yohanna. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 10/12/2012).

[link to www.utoronto.ca]
The [Jesuit] monastic community at Deir Mar Musa al-Habashi comprises male and female members. Fr. Paolo Dall'Oglio is the founder and leader of the community. He first travelled to the Middle East in 1977, and as a young Jesuit priest first stumbled upon the ruins of the then abandoned monastery of St. Moses. Fr. Jacques Mourad, a Syrian Catholic from Aleppo, is also the parish priest of Qaryatayn. Sister Huda Faddoul, from Damascus and of the Greek Catholic church, is the leader of the female community, and is supported by Deema Fayyad, who is still a novice, and is also Greek Catholic, but from Homs. A new novice is Khouloud Marmari with a Syrian Orthodox/Catholic backround from the Wadi Nasara in Western Syria. The monastic community is rounded out by brother Boutros Abo, a deacon of the Syrian church from Hasake in Eastern Syria; brother Jihad Yusuf, a Maronite from Wadi Nasara, and brother Jens Petzold, a previously unbaptised Swiss/German, who came to the monastery as a back-packer.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 11705783

Mar Musa's [Jesuit] Monks Open a New Community in Iraq
[link to www.terrasanta.net] 1/23/2012
Many Christian Iraqis have been fleeing their country in the past few weeks, which is once again ablaze with the violence of inter-ethnic and inter-religious violence. But there are also those who go to Iraq, completely going against the trend, to give comfort and aid to the local communities: a small group of foreign religious from another country in torment, Syria. There is a friar, three postulants and a novice (from Western countries but Arabic-speaking) sent by Father Paolo Dall'Oglio to establish a place of prayer and encounter with Islam in Iraqi Kurdistan similar to the Syrian monastery of Mar Musa, which he renovated in the Syrian desert and is now a goal and an international beacon, for Christians and Muslims, of a dialogue that many deemed impossible. The decision to transform the old parish church of the Virgin Mary in the heart of the Iraqi Kurdish town of Sulaymaniyah, into a symbol of hope and commitment, that can give new perspectives to the remaining Christians, had been taken more than a year ago by Bishop Luis Sako, who is also responsible for the eparchy (the diocese of the Oriental Churches) of Kirkuk. He spoke of it with Father Paolo, who accepted enthusiastically.

Although in the meantime the Syrian monastery of Mar Musa has been isolated and dangerously besieged by the political violence that has broken out in Syria and Father Paolo himself is forced into silence by the authorities of Damascus, which are already ready to expel him, the project has gone ahead. Brother Jens Petzold, head of the small mission in Iraq, tells us in an email that he arrived in Sulaymaniyah, just before Christmas, as the US Army was about to leave the country.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 11705783

Christian Peacemaker Teams
[link to en.wikipedia.org]

Christian Peacemaker Teams - Iraqi Kurdistan
[link to www.facebook.com]
CPT Kurdistan supports Kurdish-led, nonviolent, grassroots resistance to the Turkish and Iranian Military actions on Iraqi Kurdish Society

Mission
We are a faith-based organization that supports Kurdish-led, nonviolent, grassroots resistance to the Turkish and Iranian Military actions on Iraqi Kurdish Soil and the unjust structures that support these actions. By “getting in the way” of violence and educating in our home communities, we help create a space for justice and peace.

Company Overview
Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) offers an organized, nonviolent alternative to war and other forms of lethal inter-group conflict. CPT provides organizational support to persons committed to faith-based nonviolent alternatives in situations where lethal conflict is an immediate reality or is supported by public policy. CPT seeks to enlist the response of the whole church in conscientious objection to war, and in the development of nonviolent institutions, skills and training for intervention in conflict situations. CPT projects connect intimately with the spiritual lives of constituent congregations. Gifts of prayer, money and time from these churches undergird CPT’s peacemaking ministries.

Description
CPT Kurdistan supports Kurdish-led, nonviolent, grassroots resistance to Turkish and Iranian Military actions on Iraqi Kurdish Soil. We are a single team based in the Sulaymaniyah area of the Kurdish region of Iraq working with NGO's and individuals dedicated to ending the Bombing and Shelling of the boarder areas by the Turkish and Iranian Military's. We support local communities who deal with this violence as a daily part of their lives and also work to support those who use Non violent means to oppose the corruption of the KRG that allows this violence to continue.

Joined Facebook
10/30/2011

Location
Sulaymaniyah, Iraq



IRAQI KURDISTAN UPDATE: January-March 2012
[link to www.cpt.org] 4/6/2012
On team during this period were Bud Courtney, Lukasz Firla, Ramyar Hassani, Amy Peters, Garland Robertson, Kathy Moorhead Thiessen, Patrick Thompson, and team partners and translators Mohamed Salah and Parween Saeed.
[...]
Networking with local Christians
The team met with Jantz [Petzold] and Sebastien [Duhaut] in January, two monks staying in the Old Church near the bazaar. Jantz plans to be in Sulaymaniyah for ten years and is hoping to establish a Christian/Muslim dialogue. He invited the team for tea and discussion, in which Thompson, Firla, and [Bud] Courtney partook.
[...]
Brother Jens, a Catholic monk, and his friend Andres Rump from Germany spoke about his concept of documentary-making. He presented the team with a copy of his first documentary, “Sheikh Ibrahim and Bruder Jihad,” about the life and friendship of a monk and an imam in Syria. Andres is looking around the Sulaymaniyah area for a topic to make another documentary and spent time discussing possible subjects and themes with the team.



[link to www.deirmarmusa.org]
Paolo Dall’Oglio SJ is the leader of this community and Sebastien Duhaut is an inmate of the monastery.



Article written by CPT Kurdistan member Kathy Moorhead Thiessen:
Mar Musa Monastery, Syria: Interesting people (Part 1 of 3)
[link to goinpeacenottopieces.blogspot.com] 4/21/2012
This is Part 1 of three posts on the monastery Mar Musa in Syria. Syria shares a border with Iraqi Kurdistan and there are many Kurds who have been effected by the events of the last year. There is a large refugee camp in the north of Iraqi Kurdistan.

I love meeting interesting people. And it is amazing how they turn up so unexpectantly in my life. Soon after arriving in Sulaymaniyah in February I began to hear team mates speak of Jens [Petzold] the monk from Switzerland (although they called him Jantz which seemed strange to me, as I knew that was a last name). I haven't had much opportunity to get to know a monk so I was very interested to meet him (and I know a few real nice people from Switzerland).

Jens has recently arrived in Sulaymaniyah from Mar Musa monastery in Syria. He has been sent by his community there to live in the "Old" Chaldean church in the centre of Sulaymaniyah. His dream is to live here in community for at least 10 years and to develop a place of interfaith dialogue. Presently, the old church is not being used as a church. The new church is much closer to the CPT house and most Sundays someone from the team goes to worship there. Of course all the service is in either Arabic or Chaldean so worshiping together means sitting and being among other Christians and feeling the vibe.

On the day we went for tea with Jens he had a friend visting from Liege, Belgium, which is on the border with Germany. Andres Rump is a film maker who has created a documentary about the friendship between Brother Jihad, another monk from the Mar Musa monastery and Scheich Ibrahim, a Sufi imam from Damascus. (more on this in Part 2 of Mar Musa Monastery: Scheich Ibrahim, Bruder Jihad). He lives in a small community in Liege who dwell in small wooden trailers. He described them as "circus wagons". Their source of electricity is solar panels on the roofs. He told me that he has to make choices in how to "spend" the small amount of electricity produced. So sometimes there is not enough for the computer. Other more important things take priority.

Andres often remarked on the wonderful birds that live around the courtyard of the old church. On the day I visited the trees nearby were full of black birds (don't know the kind), singing as if their lives depended on it. It was marvelous.

Andres was in Sulaymaniyah exploring and searching for the subjects for his next documentary. He had known Jens from the months he spent in Syria, so when the fim maker heard that he was now living in Iraqi Kurdistan he came to see what opportunities might present themselves. As of yet he is still searching, waiting to find the right interesting people with interesting lives.

PHOTO: [link to 2.bp.blogspot.com]
A tour of the rooftop of the church: Jens [Petzold] in the foreground, team mate Bud Courtney in the middle and Andres in the back.



Iraqi Kurdistan: Anniversary of the Kurdish Spring
[link to www.cpt.org] 3/31/2012
by Bud Courtney
Mid-February marked the one-year anniversary of the start of 62 days of demonstrations in which thousands of Kurdish Iraqis spoke out for justice and met severe repression from military and police forces. The climate surrounding the anniversary was tense with anonymous calls for protests and police forces on standby for days.
[...]
[Bud] Courtney is a CPT Reservist and Catholic Worker from New York City, USA.



Video: The Catholic Worker Movement

Uploaded by openflows on Oct 20, 2006



In The East Village, Christian Anarchy Meets Occupy Wall Street
[link to eastvillage.thelocal.nytimes.com] 10/31/2011
Soon after legendary folk singer Loudon Wainwright III finished performing for cheering protesters in Zuccotti Park yesterday afternoon, telling them that the Occupy Wall Street encampment reminded him of the 1968 “Summer of Love,” a Catholic Worker band called the Filthy Rotten System showed up.

Bud Courtney, who plays banjo in the group, said its decidedly unholy name came from the late Dorothy Day, who started the Christian-anarchist Catholic Worker Movement 78 years ago with Peter Maurin during the Great Depression. She is now being considered for sainthood by the Catholic Church.

“Dorothy observed that all of our problems come from our acceptance of the filthy rotten system,” said Mr. Courtney, 61, a former actor who served on a Christian Peacemaker Team in Iraq
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 11705783

IRAQI KURDISTAN UPDATE: November 2012
[link to www.cpt.org] 12/12/2012
CPTnet
12 December 2012
Persons on team: Kathy [Moorhead] Thiessen, Carrie Peters, Pat Thompson, Lukasz Firla, Garland Robertson, JoAnne Lingle, Rosemarie Milazzo, Bud Courtney and Milena Rincón. [...]
Team support coordinator Milena Rincón visited for two weeks and facilitated team planning sessions at our friend [Jesuit] Father Jens [Petzold's] church.

News