From one summit to another…long live brotherly love

From one summit to another…long live brotherly love

By Fr. Rif'at Bader

I do not recall the name of the intellectual who said that ''the life of humans moves from one beginning to another and proceeds to endless beginnings". This saying applies to a new start, an improved threshold of relations, as well as good starts in communication and launching a new stage of brotherhood and cooperation among the various Arab countries. In the presence of international guests, the summit built bridges between the Arabs and the influential international organizations.

What is important is that we have been successful although we wished that all countries would participate without exception, yet we say, "seek your brother an excuse."

As we review the final document, which constituted a new declaration that is different from being a normal statement, we say that it has been a qualitative addition to the statements or declarations issued by some capitals in recent years. We can mention the Beirut, Marrakesh, Doha declarations and the recently Al-Azhar Declaration of citizenship and diversity. Yet, the Amman Declaration was an Arab one par excellence since it was the first declaration issued by the Arab summit--this institution, which suffered great setbacks, but transcended these setbacks having its ship sail in the Dead Sea that has become a symbol of life, vitality and renewal.

This has been the first summit that was followed up on social media or social networking sites. Thus, the Arab citizens not only had the chance to watch the event live, but to post comments as well. Unfortunately, I saw several negative attitudes and comments, which can be traced back to prejudices, stereotypes, and a misinterpretation of freedom of expression. It is more proper to comment on what is being said rather on the weakness of previous experiences. Of course, we would have liked there had been a wider viewing rate, with most comments giving positive impressions. The number of registered journalists is not new issue, as we have previous experiences in these fields, such as the Pope's visit, as the official spokesman said in one of his interviews. We are accustomed to this huge number of contribution, and what draws attention is the increased number of reactions on electronic websites. This contribution was not limited to traditional agencies for it included university students majoring in the political science. This gives a good omen implying preparing new leaders for the future.

The last observation is a twofold wish. The first relates to the content of the statement as great attention should be paid to it. This is what Member of the Upper House of Parliament Talal Abu-Ghazaleh detailed on Jordan Television, a station that covered the event in full. The second part is a wish that did not take place. It implies having the statement include an urge to encouraging interfaith dialogue and educate the young generations to experience it in its capacity as a means to safeguard the youths in the face of bigotry and extremism. The conference focused on the unique relationship between Jordan on the one hand and the Islamic and Christian holy places in Jerusalem on the other. This is of course a source of great pride. On the other hand, we would have liked to have the final statement reinforce continuation of Christian-Muslim dialogue so as to jointly fight the scourge of intolerance and discrimination.

In the end, we can only say: We convey appreciation to all those who contributed to the success of the summit. Let us proceed to a new positive start, God willing. From one summit to another…long live brotherly love.

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