Abouna site marks its 11th anniversary-- "Eleven Stars"

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Abouna site marks its 11th anniversary-- "Eleven Stars"

By Fr. Rif'at Bader/ editor-in-chief

The sun of August 27 rises to mark the emergence of 11 stars in the horizon of media… a media dedicated to serving humanity… the entire humanity.

Eleven years ago, abouna.org site was launched to highlight the horizon of e-media and become an inevitable media outlet with the morning coffee.

Since the marking of the 10th anniversary of the site last year, too many major events have taken place worldwide. This site was one of the leading sources of information that professionally shed light on the events.

After its 10th anniversary, the conference on “Challenges facing Christian Arabs” which His Majesty King Abdullah called for in the “capital of tolerance”—Amman. It was just as if he was seriously warning against the deteriorating situation prevalent nowadays which adversely affects the natives of this region, namely the Christians. Days later, the editor-in-chief of the site received a congratulatory message of appreciation from Pope Francis on its 10th anniversary.

“Father Rif’at Bader,
Director General of the Catholic Center for Studies and Media
Jordan - Amman

His Holiness, Pope Francis, joyfully read your letter, dated October 13, 2013, marking the tenth anniversary of the website of “abouna.org".
His Holiness prays for you so that the Lord will bless your activities in the field of media, and encourage you to continue you mission "for humanity", to highlight the message of the site, namely to provide testimony of the truth as revealed; to disseminate faith, hope and love; and encourage sincere dialogue and mutual respect so that the site will serve as a tool to promote ecumenical dialogue among religions, as well as among men and women living in the Middle East, especially in dear Jordan.
May the Lord Jesus bless “the one-family” members of the Catholic Center for Studies and Media to effectively and courageously fulfill their mission through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, and Blessed John Paul II, and the successor of St. Peter, namely the Pope.”

Msgr. Fabiàn Pedacchio Leaniz,
Private secretary of His Holiness Pope Francis

Following the Pope's blessing, the abouna.org site was chosen as the best Christian Arabic language news site in the contest organized by the International Catholic Union of the Press and held in the Lebanese capital, Beirut.

Furthermore, the participation of the editor-in-chief in the meetings of human rights at the United Nations in Geneva, provides the best evidence that the message was disseminated... and has become a comprehensive international, global and humanitarian.

In order to reach larger segments of society, an English-language version of the site was launched to serve as a bridge between those who chose to stay in their countries of origin, and they chose to immigrate but look forward to reading the news of the East and viewing the developments. Consequently, the number of those hitting the site through the social networking sites, particularly Facebook, YouTube and abouna Tweets, increased drastically.

With the onset of 2014, the site took the lead in announcing the visit of Pope Francis to the Holy Land starting from Jordan, and arranged alongside the Catholic Center for Studies and Media the first official press conference with the participation of the patriarch of Jerusalem and the Vatican nuncio in Amman. This marked the start of preparations for the fourth papal to the Holy Land.

Prior to the visit, the site took part in the events relevant to the canonization of Pope John Paul II, who had urged not to fear the media, but rather use it humanely.

Jordan and the Holy Land was to receive Pope Francis in the country of harmony and baptism and report his visit to Bethlehem and Jerusalem, where the Ecumenical meeting took place between him and Patriarch Bartholomew. Among the most important contribution of the site in the press coverage is the choice of Imad Freij as the site correspondent who boarded the papal plane from and to Rome. He was the first Arab to participate in the papal trip in addition to other 25 journalists who were accredited for the press coverage in Jordan.

The range of the site coverage increases since abouna.org was present at the Our Lady of Peace Center for the ordination of new priests, and in Bethlehem at the Liqa’ Center as well as in San Francisco for the ordination of the first Latin Patriarchate priest.

Among the most important press coverage of abouna.org site nowadays is the events taking place in Mosul and Erbil with those forced to leave their homes but remained steadfast in their faith.

We opt to have the site join millions of people in the world who plead the Almighty God to restore to the East its treasures, restore the veneer of plurality, coexistence, citizenship and harmony.

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