Oghanna Participates in Second Oriental Academic Conference in Lebanon

On Thursday 23 May 2024, Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East Mor Ignatius Aphrem II inaugurated the activities of the Second Oriental Academic Conference, which was held for the period from 23 to 25 May, at the Church’s Patriarchal headquarters in Atchaneh, Lebanon.

The conference, titled “Oriental Issues,” was organised by the Hungarian Center for Oriental Christian Studies in cooperation with the Orient Center for Research and Studies, and a number of researchers and specialists in Oriental Christian issues from several countries participated. During its sessions they discussed issues related to the East in general and Eastern Christians in particular – especially history, sociology, culture, and economics, as well as papers on origins, current presence, and the future.

The conference is summarised in four basic axes: historical, demographic, cultural and, finally, economic. Within these four conference axes, the organisers hope to come up with studies that highlight: “Christian contributions to the Oriental civilisational context and how they can be demonstrated, historical relations between citizens in the East, the possibility of formulating a presence based on citizenship for all Oriental citizens in legal text and real action and, finally, the role of all Orientals in the ongoing conflict in the East, specifically in Palestine, and its impact on Christians.”

The conference’s opening activities were attended by Armenian Orthodox Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia Aram I, Catholicosate Library Director Bishop Shahan Sarkissian, Greek Orthodox Bishop of Byblos and Batroun and their dependencies Sylvanus Moussa, the Syriac Orthodox Church’s Patriarchal Advisor Mor Theophilus George Saliba and Patriarchal Vicar for Syriac Studies Mor Severios Roger Akhrass, along with a number of other venerable bishops from the Diocese of Beirut and other Lebanese dioceses.

The conference was additionally attended by Director General of Syriac Culture and Arts in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region Kaldo Ramzi Oghanna, Lebanese Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants representative Ambassador Osama Khashab, Hungarian Foreign Affairs Ministry Special Advisor for Religious Affairs and Diplomacy Mark Ersicki, Hungarian Secretary of State for Aid to Persecuted Christians and Consul in Lebanon Zoltan Fodor, Chargé d’Affaires of the Syrian Embassy in Lebanon Ali Daghman, as well as academics and researchers interested in Eastern Christian issues.

Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East Mor Ignatius Aphrem II delivered the opening speech, in which he announced the launch of conference activities, and in which he referred to, “the importance of this academic meeting, whose valuable research we hope will shed light on various aspects of the civilisation, heritage and history of this dear East, which… is truly considered the origin of human civilisation.”

He added, “We owe it to our ancestors in this East, as well as to future generations, to return to our heritage and civilisation that were built by successive peoples and kingdoms in this region, and whose influence extended to all parts of the world,” stressing that our goal in returning to our heritage and civilisation is, “to learn from it and be guided by the path of our future for what it contains – the good, well-being and dignity of our people, which is the most precious thing our countries possess, so the country benefits from it instead of the foreign countries to which it is forced to resort.”

It is worth noting that the Orient Academic Conference is organised annually by the Hungarian Center for Oriental Christian Studies in cooperation with the Orient Center for Research and Studies.

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