LEBANON – Between August 19th and August 24th, 2022, JEC Jordan, in the presence of the YJHP (Youth of Jesus’ Homeland – Palestine), participated in two meetings held in Jeita (Lebanon), both organized by the Christian Youth Movement (JEC) of the Middle-East.
The first one, entitled “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free” (John 8: 32), opened with a Mass presided by Fr. Joseph Salloum, spiritual guide of the movement, and concelebrated by Fr. Tony Sassin (JEC Lebanon) and Fr. Wajdi Twal (JEC Jordan). Afterward, the participants, all from Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt or Palestine, were able to attend games, lectures given by Mrs. Marina Adly and Fr. Wajdi Twal, times of prayer and adoration, discussions and exchanges, and a visit to the Lebanese city of Sidon and the church of Dar Al-Inaya, as well as an introductory session to the different cultures of the represented countries. There were also elections to choose the new first coordinator of the Christian Youth of the Middle East, elected for a period of three years.
This two-day meeting, which usually takes place annually, had been interrupted for two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The next morning marked the opening of the “Human Fraternity” conference, which included interventions from Fr. Rafael Zughaib, coordinator of the Maronite Youth Pastorial Office in Bkerki (Lebanon), who spoke about the role Christians can play in the Arab world; Dr. Rola Talhouk, who discussed the concept of human fraternity; and Dr. Tony Khoury, who described how such fraternity can help building bridges and bringing down walls. The participants were then able to discuss in small groups, before Dr. Ziad Fahed and Professor Remon Nader shared their own personal experience. The day concluded with team-building activities.
During the second day, the Melkite Archbishop of Sidon and Der al-Qamar Mgr Elie Bishara Haddad, the representant of the Shiite community His Eminence Sheikh Hassan Ali Al-Amin, and the representant of the Sunni community His Eminence Sheikh Muhammad al-Naqari, met with all the participants. The latter were also able to meet Lebanese political leader Adeeb Abdel-Masih and former minister Ibrahim Shams El-Din. Themes such as fraternity and the relationship between religion and politics in the Arab world were discussed.
Afterward, Mr. Nejad Sharafeddin presented the work of the Imam Musa Al-Sadr Charitable Institution, which he founded and is now the director of. His intervention was followed by that of Mrs. Mira Naima, of the World Student Christian Federation (WSCF), who introduced the federation to the young participants, by presenting the activities and members, all representatives of all the Churches of the Middle East. The conference ended with Mr. Ibrahim Musallam speaking about coexistence within the Christian Youth Movement and its great impact on its members and the people around them.
From Janet Handal and Njoud Ziyadat
Photos: Njoud Ziyadat