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لهذا الرجل دين في أعناقنا،أقل مايمكن أن نقدمه من العرفان بالجميل هو أن نكون جميعاً مرحبين به في هذه الأمسية، كونوا معنا بالترحاب!!!
Profile of Father Paolo :
Father Paolo Dall`Oglio first came to Syria 30 years ago; he fell in love with the dilapidated remains of a once famous Byzantine monastery, hidden deep in the Qalamun mountains about 50 miles from Damascus. First mentioned in a sixth century Syriac manuscript, the Mar Musa Monastery was eventually abandoned in the 19th century. Father Paolo decided to rebuild it and to make it famous again. It attracts today visitors from all over the Syria and the world, and stands as a physical and spiritual meeting point between Christians and Muslims.
Father Paolo`s sympathy for the activists in Syria and his open support for democratic change was not perceived well by the Assad regime that has used fear of an Islamist takeover of Syria to ensure the support of the country`s minority Christians who account for 8 percent of Syria`s population.
After the uprising erupted in March 2011, Father Paolo organized discussions about nonviolent protest, earning the government`s anger. The continued shelling and siege of Homs and the displacement of its inhabitants including 150,000 Christians drove him to openly criticize the regime`s repression and some church leaders both inside and outside Syria who failed to criticize the shelling of civilian neighborhoods. Despite the regimes disapproval, Father Paolo also visited and met with activists in the town of Qusayr in Homs after it descended into extreme violence.
“They got angry because I went to support my courageous people in Homs against those liars and violent thugs,” he said. “I am sure that eventually the protesters will win as they are on the right side, fighting for their freedoms.”
The Jesuit priest was ultimately given a one-way ticket out of Syria after inviting friends of opposition filmmaker Bassel Shahade (a Syrian Christian killed in Homs in May) to the Mar Musa Monaster, where they could freely pray and mourn Shahade`s death. Father Paolo intervened after learning that the doors of St. Cyril`s Church were barred when friends of Shahade arrived for his memorial service. Government thug’s had also dragged some mourners off to jail and chased away the rest.
Father Paolo is asking today for a greater international response translated in a larger presence of United Nations forces and organizations that can protect civilians and build civil society in Syria.