Journalist Rula Samain launches book titled, “Fortress of Peace”

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Journalist Rula Samain launches book titled, “Fortress of Peace”

By Munir Bayouk/ en.abouna.org

Jordanian journalist Rula Samain on Monday, May 8, launched a book that presents and evaluates Jordan’s interfaith initiatives and highlights the Muslim-Christian common life which “distinguishes Jordan from other countries in the Middle East”.

Titled “Fortress of Peace: Jordan’s Interfaith Drive and Model of Coexistence”, the book, written in English, comes as the result of years of research on the subject.
The book’s launch was held under the patronage of Ali Fazza, special advisor to His Majesty King Abdullah, at the Regency Palace Hotel in Amman.

In her book, Samain applies a journalistic style of writing based on interviews she conducted with stakeholders as well as local, Arab and international figures involved in the country’s efforts and activities to promote religious harmony.

In her address, Samain said that since early times Transjordan was characterized by being an oasis of security and peace. Noting that the book is the fruit of her experience in dialogue with followers of religions, she said that the beauty of Jordan is inherent in its religious plurality with its Muslims and Christians who share peace.

According to Samain, the “Fortress of Peace” handles in-depth the major initiatives launched by Jordan and the progress it has made in identifying and promoting the shared, common and universal human values. It also addresses how to modify and adjust the process and restore the momentum to achieve the envisaged goals.”

“The timing of publishing this book, I believe, is of a high value. It is the era of dialogue, though few understand the true meaning of this word,” she added.

The book starts by exploring the Hashemites’ interfaith philosophy and history, with a focus on His Majesty King Abdullah’s vision and approach.

An entire chapter is dedicated to documenting some of the history of grassroots coexistence, by using oral testimonies and anecdotes collected from Muslims and Christians from the four corners of the Kingdom where religiously-mixed societies have been living in peace and harmony for centuries.

The final chapter tackles the outstanding legal issues related mainly to Jordanian Christians, such as divorce, inheritance and child custody in ecclesial laws, mixed marriages and legal consequences, in addition to the issue of conversion.

Samain, who holds a master’s degree in education from Framingham State University in Massachusetts, USA, and a BA in English literatures from the University of Jordan, with a minor in political science, has also prepared and hosted a TV show on interfaith coexistence on a local channel, focusing on the Jordanian context.

For his part, His Excellency Dr. Kamel Abu Jaber reviewed the history of Jordan since the reign of King Abdullah I, pointing out that the book records the Jordanian experience in common life and conveys it to the world. Stressing that the book is distinguished, he added that Jordan is a successful country in terms of justice and pluralism.

Member of the Upper House of Parliament Haifa Najjar said that since the establishment of Jordan as a state, it has been based on common life of Jordanian citizens of all races and religions. She added that this is the result of awareness that all citizens are equal and that they jointly contribute to the development of Jordan.

Director of the Catholic Center for Studies and Media (CCSM) Fr. Rif’at Bader said that “the book expresses a Jordanian religious message.” He added that the book “states that Jordan is a pioneer in two directions. The first direction is internal as it focuses on the unity of the Jordanian family despite the fact that there could be differences, rather than disputes, on ethnic or religious grounds. The second direction is a message addressed to the outside world on Jordan which indicates that religious harmony is possible.”

He continued that “the two directions listed in the book are interlinked whereby it is impossible to convey a message to the outside world without having been experienced at home. It is factual that the global Jordanian messages addressed in Samain’s book are a genuine reflection of what the Jordanians are experiencing and of what they inherited from their forefathers.”

He also thanked Ms. Samain for her “unstinting efforts which are designed to highlight sublime values, as well as to focus on the perspicacity of our wise leadership and the awareness of our pioneer Jordanian people.”

Spokesperson of the Jerusalem Patriarchate Fr. Issa Muslih deputized for Patriarch of Jerusalem and All Palestine His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III and presented Ms. Samain with an icon coming from Jerusalem, from the Church of the Nativity and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, as a sign that all live together as brothers and that we will continue to be so in the dear homeland under the Leadership of His Majesty King Abdullah II Bin al-Hussein.

Present at the ceremony were advisor at the Apostolic Nunciature in Amman Monsignor José, Christian and Muslim clergymen, journalists and a large mass of people.
It is to be noted that the CCSM and Caritas Jordan contributed to the issuance of the book.

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 09:45
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