Centrul Diplomatic/Diplomatic Center

Centrul de Studii Politice si Diplomatie/ Center for Political Science and Diplomacy

THE SYRIAN REVELATION by Vlad Hogea, vicepresident of Romanian Conservative Party

THE   SYRIAN   REVELATION

Vlad Hogea

I spent a week in Syria, with a media delegation chaired by Professor Anton Caragea, director at the Institute for Political Science and International Affairs. Our visit was made possible through the kindness of the Ambassador of the Arabic Republic of Syria in Romania, his Excellency Walid Othman.
I knew some things about that part of the Levant especially that the Romanian-Syrian links have been extremely tight over the last 40 years: do not forget that 35.000 Syrians (3 of them – are being ministers in office in the Damascus Government along with many other officials!) studied at the universities in our country. Some of them got married with Romanian women and formed mixed families. Thousands of companies in Romania are owned by Syrian citizens. The Romanians built refineries and other important landmarks in Syria.  So we have in common things linked to our recent past, to continuous present and consequently there are the premises for a good cooperation in the future.
 I set out this journey hopping that Syria is a country to be discovered and I came back with the satisfaction of a true revelation. None of the stereotypes promoted by some journalists having the wrong information or bad intentions is valid. On the contrary, I have gladly traveled across a wonderful country from all the points of view. Syria has a long and glorious history (don’t forget that Damascus is the oldest capital in the world, and it remained like this until these very days) but it is also opened to the new and to the modern civilization (this is to be seen even in its infrastructure) in the context of political stability honorably represented by the President Bashar al Asad (the son and the spiritual heir of Hafes al Asad), the BAAS party and the National Progressive Front.
I saw the place where Saul of Tarsus got the message from God on the road to Damascus and became a Christian, being later known as Saint Paul. I entered the Umayyad Mosque (where lies the head of Saint John the Baptist also honored by the Islamic religion). I touched the Tomb of Saladin (the famous conqueror of Jerusalem and unifier of the Arabic tribes), but we didn’t miss the monasteries built to honor Saint Takla and Saint Serge and Bacchus (no connection with the god of wine). I visited the Azem palace, the Alep and Crac de Chevaliers fortress, the ancient vestiges from Ugarit, the magnificent area of Latakia, the Roman Amphitheatre from Bosra (much better preserved than the Colosseum in Rome) – the city where Mohammad met a Christian monk who told him that he would be the great prophet of a new religion. I went to Golan Heights, at Quneitra, the city completely destroyed (according to the conclusions of the international commission) by the Israeli troops in 1973 between the moment of signing the armistice and that of the partial retreat. Of course the official meetings at the ministerial and political level offered us the privilege to find out many interesting things about today’s realities and about Syria’s role as “part of the solution not of the problem in the region” (as stated by the president of the country).
We were welcomed and well treated everywhere. It’s a real friendship widely expressed by the Syrians. A friendship built and consolidated during decades of mutual trust, a friendship that nobody has the right to ignore or to denigrate.

July 25, 2009 Posted by | Economy, Environment, Foreign policy, History, Informations, International Relation, Leaders, Mass media, News, Politics, Religion, Tourism, Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

POPE VISIT TO HOLY LAND by Anton Caragea

POPE VISIT TO HOLY LAND

FORGING A NEW RELATION BETWEEN CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM

 Desert or promise land

Pope visit to Holy Land (Jordan, Israel, Syria and Lebanon) marks an important step toward building a new relation between Christianity and Islam. After the last 10 years when the war in Iraq and the tensions between Israel and Palestine had soured relations  among Christian and Islamic community the two weeks visit of Pope Benedict XVI promise to transform radically this views of clash of civilizations.

The end of clash of civilizations.

One of the most important reasons of Pope visit to Holy Land is to symbolic mark the end of the clash of civilization theory that prophecies’ an imminent clash between Christianity and Islam. By itself the program of Pope visit gives a new definition of Holy land that is no longer just Israel but Jordan, Syria and Lebanon as well, all marked by Christianity and Islam become now the new and correct frontier of the Holy Land. The greater Holy Land of Pope Benedict is speaking by itself about the dialog of civilization and shared faith and community between Christian and Islam in the Middle East.

Geopolitics and faith in Pope visit.

Not only history is going in this direction, today geopolitics realities are lighting the same way. Today Christianity and Islam are sharing the energy reserves and the energy market of Europe and Middle East and are involved in controlling the strategic vital area of Mediterranean Sea and Middle East. Also in Europe is getting birth a community of more the 40 million Muslims which must adapt to their presence in a predominant Christian society an also in Middle East is a strong and historically viable community of more the 18 millions Christians that must have a life in a majority Muslim countries. So regarding at this realities Christianity and Islam are condemned to work together for creating a new life for Islamic community in Europe and for Christians in the   Middle East.

The end of confrontational vision

At the speech in Al Hussein Mosque in Amman Pope Benedict XVI  announce the end of the vision of a confrontation between Islam and Christianity. Pope Benedict stress on the long connection between Islam and Christianity and the fact that Islam is the only religion that recommends to his followers to have friendship relations with Christians. In Quran, the word of Allah, Muslims are recommended to have Christian friends because the will be more sympathetic with Muslims because they have monks and are humble. Also Quran have a sura dedicated to Holy Virgin Mary and to Jesus (Sura of family of Imran) and Jesus, John the Baptist are regarded as prophets and models for Islamic community and in Hadith (Words and action of Prophet Mohammed) Jesus will marked the coming of the end of days and Prophet Mohammed confess that Jesus is among the prophets the most closes to him. In the light of all this Quranic and Islamic testimony to create the image of a confrontation between Islamic and Christianity is false. Also the Pope declared in his trip to Christians that is having a profound respect for Islam.

 

Voices of discontent.

The new message of Pope Benedict XVI is making a lot of persons that took advantage of the confrontational vision of two major religions unsatisfied. Radical Islamic organization tried to play on the fear of crusades and Christian offensive and they wanted to poison the atmosphere of papal visit spreading   rumors about Christian’s missions in Afghanistan trying to convert Muslims. But the radicals have no success in this spread of lies and the Afghanistan controversy did not match the cartoon controversy. In Israel also fearing closer ties between Christianity and Islam the far right extremist menace to protest violently and disrupt Papal visit .Until now all this attempts have failed a prove that on both shores of Mediterranean sea the vision of clash o civilization has collapsed and a new dialog between Christianity and Islam will resolved many of the frozen conflicts of the region promising a new era of downfall of radicals in the Middle East. The time of cooperation has begun.

Professor Anton Caragea MA, FINS, PhD

May 10, 2009 Posted by | Economy, Environment, Foreign policy, History, Informations, Mass media, News, Politics, Religion, Travel, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment