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AMMAN – Monday, January 8, more than 1,000 Iraqi refugees in Amman and surrounding areas gathered in the Church of Tla El Ali to hear the French quartet Psophos.

On the initiative of Nathalie and Bertrand Ferrier, the Foundation Holy Jesus Crucified Mariam organized two evening concerts on Monday 8 and Tuesday 9 January.

In Amman, at the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Tla El Ali, these concerts were given free for the Christian refugees from Iraq, under the patronage of the Latin Patriarchate, with the help of the Fathers Ala Musharbash, parish priest, Shawki Baterian and Mario Cornioli.

Bertrand Ferrier: “… The purpose of the St. Mariam Foundation is to help maintain the Christian presence in the Holy Land and the wider Middle East as Christian values have a key role to play in our world.” He continued “the aim of this concert is to bring some emotions, those of joy, peace and harmony to these Christian refugees, driven out by war, terrorism and persecution, in order to offer a moment of escape and, hopefully, a little strength to face a still uncertain future…”

The Quartet Psophos, celebrating its twenty years of existence and success, consists of four talented French musicians Eric Lacrouts, first violin, Bleuenn Le Maître, violin, Cécile Grassi, viola and Guillaume Martigné, cello.

They played the “Spring” quartet in G major by WA Mozart, written in 1782 and the quartet in E flat major opus 44 by Felix Mendelssohn No. 3, written in 1838, followed by a magnificent encore, Claude Debussy’s 3rd movement Andantino, the only string quartet he composed.

Throughout the concert, curious and attentive, the audience held its breath.

The evening ended with a reception open to all, where everyone could meet both musicians and members of the Saint Mariam Foundation. Each Iraqi has been also offered a hot meal. Father Shawki was delighted with the event’s success: “Iraqis fill our parishes and they are a grace for Jordan. They have a very strong faith. The evening dedicated to them is a good idea to highlight.”

Many personalities were present at the event: Bishop Shomali, Patriarchal Vicar for Jordan, HB Fouad Twal, Patriarch Emeritus of Jerusalem, Msgr. Mauro Lalli, the First Counselor of the Apostolic Nunciature in Amman, HE Henrik Van de Velde, the Belgian Ambassador to Jordan and Iraq, HE Ambassador Suhail Al Safia Talib from Iraq to Jordan, and the Ambassadors of Hungary and Italy.

Claire Guigou

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