The visit undertaken by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein Ibn Abdullah II to sisterly Egypt was impressive and important. In addition to the official meetings with Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Sisi and the agreements of political and economic nature that were concluded, Prince Al Hussein's visit to St. Mark’s Cathedral and his meeting with Pope Tawadros were of a special importance as the Coptic brethren constitute the largest Christian community in the dear East, and such a visit enhances their presence as wellas their civilizational contribution to their country and to all places where they live and work, including Jordan, which welcomes thousands of them who are well-known for their honesty and trustworthiness.
The visit to the headquarters of the Coptic Church was a conveyance of the greetings of His Majesty King Abdullah II to the Egyptian leadership and people. It is an encouragement to them and a reassurance that the future is promising. Apart from the Corona epidemic that the extended human family is suffering from, the Coptic brethren suffered in recent years from "the epidemic of persecution" practised by some terrorist groups against them, and in many cases churches were blown up over the heads of worshippers.
The visit of the young Crown Prince to “the papal headquarters” provides a sign of reassurance, not only for the Christians of Egypt, but rather for all the Christians of the East. It is a safe East where this is attributed to its wise men, God willing.
The visit took place in the presence of Minister of Tourism Nayef Al-Fayez, and head of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Jordan Fr. Antonios Sobhi. It is an invitation to promote cooperation in the field of tourism between the two fraternal countries, namely Jordan the land of Baptism and Egypt the country of the Holy Family. The image of the Holy Family that was revealed to the side of Pope Tawadros is an indication of the Egyptian identity with regards to religious tourism.
In that place the Holy Family migrated (namely Lord Jesus Christ, His virgin Mother Mary, and Saint Joseph) to escape the oppression of Herod whereby the religious tourism became titled, "The Trail of the Holy Family". As for religious tourism, Jordan is a pioneer in this field as we have several sites in addition to the Baptism Site such as Mar Elias, Mount Nebo, Our Lady of the Mountain, Mukawar and others. The visit of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein is an invitation to all the Coptic brethren: Come, visit your second country, and be blessed with the waters of "the Eternal River". We saw pictures of tourism to Jordan displayed on the sidelines of the visit. In this context we thank His Royal Highness the Prince for promoting religious tourism to our beloved country in the wake of the period of resuscitation.
After the Pope's visit to Jordan, Sheikh of Al Azhar Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb paid a visit as he represents alongside the dear Hashemites the open and moderate current of Islam at a time when religion cannot be other than serving humanity and human dignity.
During the meeting of Prince Al Hussein with the Sheikh, the Jordanian initiatives of the Amman Message, the Common Word and the Week of Harmony converge with the signing of the Sheikh of Al-Azhar and Pope Francis in 2019 the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together that produced the Human Fraternity Day on February 4 each year, which coincides with the Interfaith Harmony Week that was approved by the United Nations in response to a Jordanian Hashemite initiative more than two decades ago. After the visit, Sheikh of Al-Azhar tweeted, “I was pleased today to receive Crown Prince of Jordan His Royal Highness Prince Al-Hussein Ibn Abdullah in whom I found an honorable model for the Muslim Arab youth. We discussed the most prominent issues of the Islamic nation, the challenges facing Arab youth, and the importance of qualifying youth leaders to advance our countries, carry the banner of peace, and face contemporary challenges."
From the country of Baptism, we convey greetings to His Royal Highness Captain Prince Al-Hussein Ibn Abdullah, and to the brethren in Egypt, the land of the Holy Family, with hopes for further cooperation.