مثقفون مسيحيون لبنانيون: كنا ننتظر من الكنيسة دعم الحريات & legal agenda almodon.com

أصدرت مجموعة من المثقفين/ات المسيحيين/ات في لبنان بياناً دانت فيه تقاعس الكنيسة عن دعم الحرّيّات والكرامة الإنسانيّة وعن التشجيع على الإبداع والخلق، معتبرين أنها عادت بلبنان إلى زمن محاكم التفتيش.

وهنا نص البيان:

نحن مجموعة من المواطنات والمواطنين المسيحيّين في لبنان، نؤمن بضرورة قيام دولة مدنيّة لاطائفيّة مبنيّة على أساس المواطنة.

قام مؤخّراً جدلٌ حول محتوى أغنيات إحدى الفرق الموسيقيّة في لبنان ومدى خدشه “للشعور الدينيّ” وتهكّمه على رموز الدين المسيحيّ ومعتقداته. وتصاعدت دعوات إلى منع الفرقة من المشاركة في مهرجانات بيبلوس، وتهجّم البعض كلاماً على أعضاء الفرقة، وبلغ البعض الآخر حدّ الدعوة الصريحة إلى العنف وإيقاف الحفلة بالقوّة، مع ما يُبطن ذلك من تهديد بإراقة الدماء. ولم يتدخّل المركز الكاثوليكيّ للإعلام في الموضوع وعدد من الكهنة الأرثوذكس وأخيراً اللجنة الأسقفيّة المارونيّة، إلاّ للتشديد على رفضهم المسّ بالشعائر والمشاعر الدينيّة، ودعوة “الأجهزة المختصّة” إلى وقف الحفلة. وقد جاء أخيرًا قرار لجنة مهرجانات بيبلوس القاضي بإيقاف حفلة الفرقة المعنيّة “منعاً لإراقة الدماء” كما ورد في بيانها، ليشكّل نصراً لفكرٍ غوغائيّ إقصائيّ لا يأنف الاعتداءات الدمويّة باسم السيّد المسيح الذي تميّز بوداعته ونبذه العنف.

لقد راعتنا ردود الأفعال هذه، لا سيّما تلك التي صدرت عن قيادات كنسيّة. فإن كانت الكنيسة تريد أن تكون بالفعل شاهدةً للسيّد المسيح، كنّا ننتظر منها أن تدعم الحرّيّات والكرامة الإنسانيّة وتشجّع على الإبداع والخلق، عوضًا من أن تعود بنا إلى زمن محاكم التفتيش. كنّا ننتظر أن نسمع صوتها الأخلاقيّ والشجاع في وجه الظلم في المنطقة. كان الأجدر بها أن تناهض قمع الحرّيّات والظلم، عوضاً من الصمت المريب عمّا حصل ويحصل في لبنان وحوله، وأن تقف مع الفقراء في وجه نهب المال العامّ. ولقد كان الأجدر بها أن تهتمّ بحماية أبنائها وبناتها من الاعتداءات الجنسيّة على أيدي رجال دين، وتدعم تطبيق القوانين، وأن تدين الدعوات العنصريّة التي تتردّد أصداؤها منذ سنوات في حقّ العمّال الأجانب كما في حقّ النازحين واللاجئين من فلسطينيّين وسوريّين، وأن تتضامن بشكل فعليّ مع الشعب الفلسطينيّ. نرفض أن يعلو صوت الكنيسة حصراً في شأن طائفيّ أو في شأن “المشاعر الدينيّة”.

يهمّنا كمواطنات ومواطنين مسيحيّين أن نؤكّد الآتي:

1- نعتقد بأنّ السيّد المسيح أظهر بما لا يقبل الجدل أنّ الله يحترم حرّيّة الفكر وحرّيّة الفعل عند الإنسان، حتّى ولو كانت تؤدّي إلى رفض الإنسان لله.

2- إنّ الحفاظ على حرّيّة الرأي والمعتقد أمر لا يتجزّأ. لذا، لا يمكن طلب حرّيّة الرأي للمؤمنين ومنعها عن غير المؤمنين، أو منعها عن الفنّانين الذين يتوسّلون أشكال التعبير الفنّي لدعم المعتقدات أو نقدها؛ مع ما قد يتضمّنه ذلك من تهكّم، فالتهكّم جزء من بعض الأعمال الفنّية وقد يحمل نقداً مفيداً إن أصغى إليه المؤمن الصادق.

3- إنّ ما يثير الاستغراب هو هذا الخوف الذي يبديه المسؤولون من أثر النقد والتهكّم (حتّى ولو كان فيه إسفاف) على قناعات الإيمان المسيحيّ. ويصل بيان اللجنة الأسقفيّة إلى حدّ التعبير عن الاعتقاد أنّ المسّ بالشعائر الدينيّة يشكّل “خطراً على المجتمعات وتهديداً للسلم الاهليّ”. أمام دعوات العنف التي ملأت صفحات التواصل الاجتماعيّ، كان من واجب القيادات الدينيّة الوقوف ضدّها بلا لبس، وضدّ التعرّض لأعضاء الفرقة، وإبداء الحميّة في الدفاع عن حياة أعضاء الفرقة المهدّدة، لا الانسياق وراء مشاعر دينيّة انفعاليّة وغرائزية.

4- نعتبر إنّ دور القيادات الدينيّة، المؤتمنة على الرعيّة، هو ضبط الانفعالات عوضاً من تأجيجها وإعطائها طابعاً شرعيّاً. فالقانون المدنيّ والجزائيّ يعاقب على العنف وعلى الدعوة إلى العنف وعلى التهديد بالإيذاء. إنّنا نعتبر أنّ أيّ مسّ بأعضاء الفرقة هو أيضاً من مسؤوليّة القيادات الدينيّة إن هي شاركت في تفلّت الانفعالات أو تبريرها.

5- إنّنا ندعو الإخوة المسيحيّين في لبنان إلى التحلّي بالعقلانيّة وشجاعة الشهادة المسيحيّة التي ترى في كل إنسان أيقونة حيّة للسيّد المسيح، والتي تمتاز بمحبّة أيّ إنسان.

6- أخيراً، نودّ أن نذكّر بأنّ أوضاع الفقر والانهيار الاقتصاديّ التي وصلت إليها بلادنا، والتضييق على حرّيّة نقد السلطات السياسيّة، والطائفيّة التي تقسّم البلاد وتسمح بنهبها، كلّ هذه هي أمور مناقضة لكرامة الإنسان وحرّيّته. لذلك ندعو كلّ مواطن لبنانيّ إلى الأهتمام بالخير المشترك والعمل من أجله.

الموقّعات والموقّعون أدناه (بالحروف الأبجديّة):

هبة أبو الروس (مهندسة داخليّة)، وليد أبو حمد (طبيب)، بيير أبو خليل (طبيب)، نيقولا أبو مراد (أستاذ كتاب مقدّس)، سيلفي أفاكيان (أستاذة جامعيّة)، نعمه أميوني (إدارة أعمال)، غسّان أنطون (أستاذ ثانوي)، جورج أيوب (إدارة أعمال)، رنا الياس (مديرة تنفيذيّة)، اسكندر بندلي (مهندس)، غسان بندلي (إدارة ومعلوماتية)، جورج الحاج (باحث في اللاهوت والتاريخ)، طوني حافظ (إقتصادي)، ميشال حجي جورجيو (صحافي)، مروان حرب (أستاذ جامعي)، خليل حلو (جنرال متقاعد)، حنّا حيدر (أستاذ جامعي)، زينة حيدر (طبيبة)، غادة حيدر (مترجمة)، ساري الخازن (مهندس)، ملكار الخوري (صحافي)، اسبرانس دبس لوقا (أستاذة جامعيّة)، فؤاد دهان (مهندس بيئي)، جوسلين الديري (إدارة أعمال)، شربل روحانا (مؤلف موسيقي)، هيفا روحانا (مهندسة)، فارس سعيد (طبيب)، مجدي سمّوري (طبيب)، نورما شاهين (صحافية)، باميلا شرابية (باحثة وفنّانة)، إلهام صوايا (علم إجتماع)، أنجيلا عقل (إدارة تكنولوجيا)، ريمون غالب (مع تحفّظ) (فنّ تشكيلي)، ألين فرح (إدارة أعمال)، أنطوان قربان (مع تحفّظ) (أستاذ جامعي)، إيلي قصيفي (صحافي)، أسعد قطّان (أستاذ جامعي)، نجيب كوتيا (مهندس)، سعد كيوان (صحافي)، نيقولا لوقا (أستاذ جامعي)، خريستو المر (أستاذ جامعي)، سندرا نجيم (صحافيّة)، نصري نحاس (رئيس تنفيذّي)، ميشال نصير (لاهوتي)، شنتال ينّية (تربية وإدارة).

يمكنك المشاركة بالتوقيع الإلكتروني على الرابط التالي.

almodon.com

&

Legal Agenda

Liberté d’expression: ne cédons pas à la violence

La rédaction de L’Orient-Le Jour
“Mashrou ‘Leila case Following the cancellation of the Mashrou’ Leila concert “to avoid bloodshed” and after discussion within the editorial office, it seemed to us that to try to stop a risky gear from the start Beyond this affair, to prove fatal for the values that have always been defended by this newspaper, we had to react otherwise than usual. This reaction takes the form of a call (adopted almost unanimously by the editors) to fully learn the lessons of this case, never to let fear triumph. We then wanted to associate with this call, by artisanal ways and in a very short period of time, members of the civil society sharing our indignation (that the potential signatories who were not joined and that we suppose many want well excuse this gap).”

“Affaire Mashrou’ Leila Suite à l’annulation du concert de Mashrou’ Leila « afin d’éviter une effusion de sang » et après discussion au sein de la rédaction, il nous a semblé que pour tenter d’enrayer d’emblée un engrenage risquant, bien au-delà de cette affaire, de s’avérer fatal pour les valeurs défendues depuis toujours par ce journal, il nous fallait réagir autrement qu’à l’accoutumée. Cette réaction prend la forme d’un appel (adopté à une quasi-unanimité par la rédaction) à tirer pleinement les leçons de cette affaire, pour ne plus jamais laisser la peur triompher. Nous avons alors voulu associer à cet appel, par des voies artisanales et dans un laps de temps très court, des membres de la société civile partageant notre indignation (que les signataires potentiels qui n’ont pas été joints et que nous supposons nombreux veuillent bien excuser cette lacune).”

Les signataires
1. La rédaction de L’Orient-Jour
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2. Michel Eddé (PDG de L’OLJ, ancien président de la Fondation et de la Ligue maronites, ancien ministre)
3. Nayla de Freige (administratrice déléguée de L’OLJ ; présidente du Festival de Baalbeck)
4. Michel Hélou (directeur exécutif de L’OLJ)
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5. Michel-Antoine Abchi (architecte)
6. Shirine Abdallah (activiste)
7. Gaby Abdelnour (investisseur privé)
8. Nada Abdel Samad (journaliste)
9. Nada Abi Akl (journaliste)
10. Élie Abouaoun (consultant)
11. Bassam Accaoui (chimiste)
12. Nidal Achkar (artiste)
13. Etel Adnan (artiste)
14. Adonis (poète)
15. Georges Aftimos (médecin)
16. Misbah Ahdab (gestionnaire)
17. Rasha al-Ameer (chercheuse)
18. Ali el-Amine (journaliste)
19. Asma Andraos (consultante)
20. Chadi Aoun (réalisateur, créateur)
21. Philippe Aractingi (cinéaste)
22. Zeina Arida Bassil (directrice de musée)
23. Nadim Asfar (artiste)
24. Renée Asmar (présidente de la Fondation Cénacle libanais)
25. Wadih el-Asmar (activiste)
26. Roger Assaf (dramaturge)
27. Antoine Atallah (architecte)
28. Sahar al-Attar (rédactrice en chef du Commerce du Levant)
29. Christiane Audi (présidente de la Fondation Audi)
30. Gérard Avedissian (metteur en scène)
31. Akl Awit (journaliste, écrivain)
32. Chawki Azouri (psychanalyste)
33. Ayman Baalbaki (artiste)
34. Dr Mohammad Badaoui (professeur d’université)
35. Joseph Bahout (professeur d’université, chercheur)
36. Hoda Barakat (écrivaine)
37. Saleh Barakat (galeriste)
38. Karim Basbous (architecte)
39. Dr Noha Baz (pédiatre)
40. Patrick Baz (photographe)
41. Nadine Begdache (galeriste)
42. Gérard Bejjani (professeur d’université, écrivain)
43. Hala Bejjani (directrice de Kulluna Irada)
44. Abbas Beydoun (poète)
45. Karim Émile Bitar (professeur à l’USJ)
46. Nada Boulos (galeriste)
47. Naji Boulos (publicitaire, consultant)
48. Lucien Bourjeily (metteur en scène)
49. Jocelyne el-Boustany (écrivaine, chercheuse)
50. Nora Boustani (journaliste)
51. Rafic Boustani (écrivain, démographe)
52. Soha Bsat Boustani (consultante aux Nations unies)
53. Fady Bustros (consultant)
54. Sabine Bustros (activiste)
55. Brigitte Caland (professeure à l’AUB)
56. Rabih el-Chaer (consultant)
57. Sara Chahine Ammar (enseignante)
58. Ali Chahrour (chorégraphe, danseur)
59. Jihad Chamas (activiste)
60. Père Jad Chebli (s.j.)
61. Hanan el-Cheikh (écrivaine)
62. Joanna Chevalier (directrice artistique de Beirut Art Fair)
63. Dr Pamela Chrabieh (professeure d’université)
64. Jean-Claude Codsi (cinéaste)
65. David Corm (éditeur)
66. Joseph Courbage (démographe)
67. Antoine Courban (professeur d’université)
68. Fadlallah Dagher (architecte)
69. Salim Dahdah (ancien PDG du Casino du Liban)
70. Pierre Daher (directeur de la LBCI)
71. Hadi Damien (activiste)
72. Père Fadi Daou
73. Hind Darwich (éditrice)
74. Ivan Debs (illustrateur)
75. Nada Debs (créatrice)
76. Nasri Diab (professeur d’université)
77. Dinah Diwan (architecte, peintre)
78. Georges Dorlian (professeur d’université)
79. Jabbour Douaihy (écrivain)
80. Anne-Marie Eddé (professeure émérite à la Sorbonne)
81. Dominique Eddé (écrivaine)
82. Maroun Eddé (cofondateur de Murex)
83. Salim Eddé (cofondateur de Murex)
84. Georges Eid (journaliste)
85. Arwad Esper (programmatrice artistique)
86. Hala Fadel (managing partner de Leap Ventures)
87. Johnny Farah (designer)
88. Simone Fattal (artiste)
89. Mona Fawaz (professeure à l’AUB)
90. Mona Fayad (professeure d’université)
91. Rached Fayed (journaliste)
92. Jean-Pierre Frangié (avocat)
93. Samer Frangié (professeur d’université)
94. Michèle de Freige (journaliste)
95. Monalisa Freiha (journaliste)
96. Emma Gannagé (professeure d’université)
97. Léna Gannagé (agrégée des facultés de droit)
98. Myrna Gannagé (psychologue)
99. Fady Gemayel (ingénieur télécom)
100. Père Ronney el-Gemayel (s.j., directeur du Cedrac–USJ)
101. Dima Germanos Besson (psychologue)
102. Marcel Ghanem (journaliste)
103. Pascal Hachem (artiste)
104. Abdallah Haddad (activiste)
105. Antoine Haddad (professeur d’université)
106. Diala Haddad (architecte paysagiste)
107. Joumana Haddad (écrivaine, activiste)
108. Rana Haddad (architecte)
109. Joanna Hadjithomas (artiste)
110. Élie el-Hage (journaliste)
111. Patricia Hakim (écrivaine)
112. Hanane Hajj Ali (dramaturge)
113. Youssef Haïdar (architecte)
114. Hiam Halawi (enseignante)
115. Shady Hamadeh (directeur de l’ESDU-AUB)
116. Lina Hamdane (activiste)
117. Jamil Ali Hassan (entrepreneur)
118. Abdallah Hatoum (créateur)
119. Mona Hatoum (artiste)
120. Karina el-Helou (curatrice)
121. Khalil Hélou (professeur d’université, général à la retraite)
122. Madeleine Hélou (ancienne vice-présidente du Festival de Baalbeck)
123. Philippe Hélou (cofondateur de Murex)
124. Joseph el-Hourani (architecte)
125. Alia Ibrahim (journaliste)
126. Bélinda Ibrahim (éditrice)
127. Hicham Jaber (metteur en scène)
128. Abdul-Halim Jabr (architecte, professeur d’université)
129. Sana’ el-Jaq (journaliste)
130. Khalil Joreige (artiste)
131. Souheil Kach (professeur)
132. Elham Kallab (professeure d’université)
133. Houda Kassatli (anthropologue, photographe)
134. Zeina Kassem (activiste)
135. Jean-Pierre Katrib (activiste)
136. Rabih Kayrouz (créateur en haute couture)
137. Naila Kettaneh-Kunigk (galeriste)
138. Père Gabriel Khairallah, (s.j., professeur de littérature à l’USJ et à Sciences Po Paris)
139. Talal Khawaja (professeur à la retraite)
140. Antoine Khoury Tawk (ancien chef de municipalité)
141. Eli Khoury (spécialiste en communication)
142. Elias Khoury (écrivain)
143. Fouad el-Khoury (photographe, cinéaste)
144. Gisèle Khoury (journaliste)
145. Liliane Khoury (professeure à l’USJ)
146. Marwan el-Khoury (mathématicien)
147. Melkar el-Khoury (activiste)
148. Cheikh Michel el-Khoury (ancien gouverneur de la BDL)
149. Rana Khoury (activiste)
150. Imad Komayha (journaliste)
151. Albert Kostanian (journaliste)
152. Nadine Labaki (cinéaste)
153. Lynn Maalouf (chercheuse, activiste)
154. Amal Makarem (journaliste, écrivaine)
155. Ziyad Makhoul (ancien rédacteur en chef de L’OLJ)
156. Georgia Makhlouf (écrivaine)
157. Chibli Mallat (avocat)
158. Janane Mallat (productrice TV)
159. Mohammed Matar (avocat)
160. Paul Matar (musicologue)
161. Saoud el-Mawla (professeur d’université)
162. Fadi Melhem (avocat)
163. Sam Menassa (chercheur)
164. Ayman Mhanna (directeur de l’ONG SKeyes)
165. Nada Mhanna (activiste)
166. Lameh Mikati (professeur d’université)
167. Wajdi Mouawad (écrivain, dramaturge)
168. Alia Moubayed (économiste)
169. Claude Moufarege (artiste peintre)
170. Roger Moukarzel (photographe)
171. Nadine Moussa (avocate)
172. Kamal Mouzawak (entrepreneur)
173. Malek Mroué (journaliste)
174. Jyad Murr (directeur de médias et organisateur de concerts)
175. Sami Nader (économiste, analyste politique)
176. Fouad Naïm (journaliste, peintre)
177. Alexandre Najjar (avocat, écrivain)
178. Sobhia Najjar (journaliste)
179. Nahida Nakad (ancienne directrice de la rédaction de France 24)
180. Maya Nassar (écrivaine)
181. Colette Naufal (directrice du BIFF)
182. Joseph Nehmé (avocat)
183. Vatcheh Nourbatlian (professeur d’université)
184. Hassan Ramadan (urologue)
185. Jean Riachi (PDG de la FFA Private Bank)
186. Hassane Rifaï (avocat)
187. Bahjat Rizk (avocat et écrivain)
188. Wissam Saadé (journaliste, professeur d’université)
189. Dima Sadek (journaliste)
190. Marc Saghié (journaliste)
191. David Sahyoun (psychanalyste)
192. Nasser Saïdi (ancien ministre)
193. Oussama Salam (ingénieur, entrepreneur)
194. Ghassan Salhab (réalisateur)
195. Sana Salhab el-Khalil (enseignante)
196. Tania Saleh (chanteuse)
197. Paul Salem (président du Middle East Institute)
198. Ahmad Salman (ancien directeur general d’as-Safir)
199. Farès Sassine (écrivain)
200. Mona el-Sayegh (céramiste)
201. Ziad el-Sayegh (consultant)
202. Antoun Sehnaoui (directeur de la SGBL)
203. Nada Sehnaoui (artiste)
204. Leila Shahid (sociologue, ex-ambassadrice)
205. Lokman Slim (chercheur)
206. Monika B. Slim (chercheuse)
207. Salah Stétié (écrivain)
208. Nayla Tabbara (vice-présidente de la fondation Adyan)
209. Ibrahim Tabet (écrivain)
210. Jad Tabet (président de l’ordre des ingénieurs et des architectes)
211. Sary Tadros (blogueur)
212. Yakzan el-Takki (journaliste)
213. Nayla Tamraz (professeure à l’USJ)
214. Louis Tannoury (sommelier)
215. Alfred Tarazi (artiste)
216. Talal Tohmé (journaliste)
217. Nadine Touma (écrivaine)
218. Hala Wardé (architecte)
219. Mohammad Wehbé (architecte)
220. Fathi el-Yafi (professeur d’université)
221. Gabriel Yared (musicien)
222. Akram Zaatari (producteur)
223. Talal Zeidan (architecte)
224. Jihad el-Zein (journaliste, écrivain)
225. Asmahan Zein (présidente de la LLWB)
226. Nada Zeineh (designer)
227. Zeina Zerbé (psychanalyste)
228. Lamia Ziadé (dessinatrice, écrivaine)
Make no mistake: the cancellation, under duress, of the Mashrou ‘Leila concert, scheduled for August 9, is an attack on the rule of law and freedom of expression.
Admitted to a campaign of demonization of an incredible violence against the Lebanese rock band, the International Festival of Byblos announced last Tuesday to have made this decision “in order to avoid bloodshed and in order to preserve the security” of the according to its terms. Although this decision is driven by a concern for responsibility that contrasts with the collective unreason of recent weeks, we can only regret it, as it sounds like an admission of helplessness in the face of political or religious obscurantism.
We immediately reaffirm our commitment to religious pluralism and respect for the faith of every believer, as well as the freedom of everyone not to believe, in a region where these principles are every day a little more threatened. However, and regardless of our sensitivities and differences of opinion on the grievances against this group, we can only be indignant at the sequence of events that led to this renunciation.
Indignant that no action has so far been taken by the authorities against the irresponsible party cadres and marginal groups who have called for preventing this event by force and multiplying the incitement to violence (sometimes going as far as calling for murder ). And even as members of the group were very quickly summoned by the judicial authorities, which found no violation of the law on their part nor banned the event.
Indignant that despite this discharge, some religious authorities have persisted in yielding to the temptation of imitation mimicry – especially on the pretext that the group had not publicly made his mea culpa. If our law effectively limits the freedom of expression, especially in matters of religion, it has not provided anywhere for this substitution of the spiritual authorities to the judiciary!
Indignant finally by the attitude of the political and elected parties that have played the overbid of the withdrawal of identity. In a context of obvious regression of individual freedoms and at a time when the country faces serious financial, security and social challenges, was it wise to give its youth a new reason to despair?
At a time when this coup de force of the logic of fear against reason risks imposing itself as a jurisprudence of fact and force infringing the freedom of expression of artists and the cultural influence of the country, we ask :
– to the Lebanese State and its representatives, starting with the President of the Republic, guardian of the Constitution, to take full advantage of their powerlessness in this matter. This implies that justice does not leave the misdeeds of hate propagators unpunished, today and in the future, regardless of their community or political affiliation. As for the Ministry of the Interior, it is his responsibility to fully guarantee the security of any authorized cultural event. This is the raison d’être and the credibility of the rule of law;
– the political and religious leaders who have demanded and obtained this annulment to remind their faithful and supporters that the freedom of expression of their convictions can not cross the limits of law, civility and tolerance;
– finally and above all, to our fellow citizens of all persuasions who share this indignation to join this call and to remain more than ever vigilant in the face of such abuses. It is our duty to all to ensure that our country remains faithful to its vocation, to be “a message of freedom and an example of pluralism for both the East and the West” (John Paul II).

Source: https://www.lorientlejour.com/article/1181476/liberte-dexpression-ne-cedons-pas-face-a-la-violence-.html

Pop Culture and Social Media in the Arab World

I was interviewed by Terrance Mintner about Pop Culture and Social Media in the Arab World. Here are excerpts of the interview: 

Dr. Pamela Chrabieh, a Beirut-based writer and activist, told The Media Line that young people in the Arab world are using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, WhatsApp and Snapchat at an increasingly faster rate despite government controls and restrictions.

“Several studies conducted in the last decade have shown that pop culture and social media have helped Arab youth express and promote alternative political and social discourses and practices to the ‘official, normative, and institutional’ ones,” she said.

Although social media offers opportunities for creative expression and interaction, Chrabieh explained, there are many young people who must use these mediums while constantly negotiating complex and layered pressures to maintain online identities that meet the expectations of their societies, especially in the Gulf region.

“Fageeh’s work [generating online videos, for example] is one of many initiatives in the Arab world that addresses social and political issues. In fact, there has been an explosion of artistic and cultural productions since the 2000s in the forms of music, poetry, theater, graffiti, movies, etc.,” Dr. Chrabieh noted.

“There are of course cultural icons or ‘figureheads’ but we are witnessing the rise and proliferation of cultural democratization and transnational cultures [global cultures], especially when it comes to street art, videos and digital expression.”

Popular culture in the Arab world should not be viewed as byproduct of the Arab Spring, she explained. Even before the uprisings, it played a significant role in creating social and political transformations in response to what she termed “Ottoman and European colonialization.

“Lastly, it is hard to characterize Arab pop culture as one category given the diverse political institutions, regional history and the many different discourses about identity. Nevertheless, popular culture can help make sense of this complexity.”

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

Du choc des titans et de la culture de la guerre

Mon article paru ce matin dans l’Orient-le-Jour (Beyrouth – Liban) sur la nécessité de déconstruire la culture de la guerre et d’édifier une culture de la paix. C’est le énième article que je publie sur ce sujet depuis les années 90. La guerre est continue au Liban. Elle n’est pas que physique, elle est surtout psychologique et culturelle.

Voilà des années que le Liban vit au rythme de guerres de paroles, de mémoires meurtries, d’identités meurtrières, d’autoritarisme et de crises sociopolitique, économique et environnementale.

Dans cette saga libanaise aux allures de choc de titans, les héros ont bel et bien disparu, laissant la place aux fanatiques, démagogues, corrompus, méduses, sorcières du Styx, montagnes de détritus, scorpions monstrueux, sacrifices humains et maléfices de Hadès.

Près de trois décennies après la fin des combats, il est triste de constater que le pays n’est pas en mode « postguerre ». En fait, la guerre est continue, et les leçons qui auraient dû être tirées n’ont pas pu l’être, justement parce qu’une véritable construction de la paix n’a pas eu lieu, et ce en dépit des initiatives de certains groupes et individus œuvrant pour la convivialité et un système sociopolitique aconfessionnel assurant l’unité dans la diversité des voix(es) libanaises. Une chose est de faire taire les canons, de faire disparaître les frontières territoriales et de constamment faire miroiter bonheur et prospérité ; une autre est de renouer le contact entre les communautés et d’établir des liens solides au-delà des dissensions et des clivages.

Comment penser et vivre une catharsis salutaire lorsque le Kraken de la culture de la guerre constitue la toile de fond du Liban contemporain? Cette culture s’impose comme réalité du quotidien physique et virtuel. Avec son cortège de djinns et de démons, elle enflamme les esprits, sème la zizanie et ravage les vies. Elle est à la fois le produit et le producteur de choc de titans, un cercle vicieux formé d’oppresseurs et d’opprimés, d’accapareurs de pouvoir, de démunis et de boucs émissaires.

Chaque instant qui passe sous l’emprise de la culture de la guerre creuse davantage le fossé entre Libanais, sanctifie l’assassinat du semblable et du différent, transforme le meurtre en devoir, banalise les suicides individuel et collectif, et interdit toute réflexion critique, toute évolution et toute richesse émanant de la diversité.

Tant que la culture de la guerre sévit dans les cœurs, les criminels continueront de perpétrer leurs crimes et les victimes de mourir par omission. Tant que cette culture existe, l’étripage des dieux se poursuivra. Tant que l’hégémonie culturelle est celle de la guerre et non de la paix, on ne pourra garder l’espoir face aux bouchons inextricables du passé et à la léthargie étouffante du présent, révéler les non-dits, muer la douleur en souvenir fondateur et retenir la principale leçon de la guerre, de toute guerre : qu’elle ne se reproduise plus.

SOURCE: https://www.lorientlejour.com/article/1157956/du-choc-des-titans-et-de-la-culture-de-la-guerre.html

CAFCAW Meeting in Jordan: Working for the Renewal of Religious Thought in the Arab World

It’s a wrap! #CAFCAW meeting @Dead Sea Marriott Resort & Spa, Jordan, January 2019 
CHRISTIAN ACADEMIC FORUM FOR CITIZENSHIP IN THE ARAB WORLD
– FOUNDING MEMBERS/BOARD
لتجديد الفكر والخطاب الديني في العالم العربي وتعزيز الوجود الفعال المسيحي والعمل من أجل مواطنة الوحدة في التنوع وكرامة الإنسان

Dr. Atef Gendy, Dr. Victor Makari, Maya Khadra, Dr. Mitri Raheb, Dr. Pamela Chrabieh, Mary Mikhael

Successful International Conference held on Migration in/from the Arab World

The International Conference “A Century of Migration, Displacement and Diaspora: Demographic Shifts in the Arab World 1917-2017” convened in Limassol-Cyprus (November 30- December 3, 2017) and was hosted by the Bethlehem-based Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture in collaboration with the Christian Academic Forum for Citizenship in the Arab World (CAFCAW).

Academic researchers from 11 countries and 24 regional and international universities participated in the conference” that provided a forum for sharing numerous approaches of migration studies in an ecumenical and intercultural atmosphere. Papers ranged from demographic and socio-economic researches to anthropological and political analyses, and religious/spiritual responses to changing contexts.

The first session on Lebanon and Syria introduced the audience to the refugee crisis in Lebanon, and forced migration and international law with a special focus on the Syrian refugee crisis. The second session on Sweden was about the identity and mission of expatriate/diaspora Churches from the Middle East, and the work with asylum seekers and newly settled persons in the Church of Sweden’s Parishes in 2015 and 2016. The third session, dedicated to Germany and Austria, tackled the issues of border discourses, asylum and neo-colonial modernity and Arab refugees in Europe (the German case), Palestinian refugees from Lebanon in Germany – narratives, realities, perspectives: the case of Berlin in the 1980s, a study of failed integration and its consequences -, and Middle Eastern communities in Austria after 2015. The fourth session was about Egypt with a focus on Coptic migrants – immigration and diversity of discourses, followed by “The Parrot” film screening produced by Deema Azar on stories of displacement in 1948 Palestine. The fifth session on the Gulf included the following topics: Art, Peace and Migration in Dubai – the title of my paper -; and Economic migration in the Arabian Gulf: The religious and socio-cultural impact off the Expatriate Church in a multi-national community. The sixth session was about the presentation of the findings of the latest poll regarding the migration of Palestinians from the West Bank. The seventh session was about migration viewed from Europe and the US, and the Humanitarian Corridors project. The last session was dedicated to a Youth Forum on Migration.

Scholars, researchers and activists sparked multilayered debates on current migration situations, dynamics and perceptions in Southwestern Asia, North Africa, Europe and North America. Panel discussions broke away from the norm and shook up the audience.  Stories of empowerment, empathy and cooperation were shared, as well as stories of discrimination, exploitation and marginalization. Certainly, the conference organizers succeeded in facilitating meaningful interchanges of varied viewpoints and brought the participants to a place where they felt confident in expressing their opinions while recognizing the fact that there was still so much that needed to be done.

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Reverend Mitri Raheb

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Reverend Victor Makari

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Session 1 chaired by Mary Mikhael

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Session II chaired by Hilary Rantisi, and Session III by Martina Wasserloos-Strunk

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Session 4 with Khaled Elsayed

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The Parrot film by Deema Azar

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CAFCAW EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE LUNCH – November 30, 2017 with Mitri Raheb, Victor and Peter Makary, Mary Mikhael and Pamela Chrabieh

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CAFCAW EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING with Mitri Raheb, Victor and Peter Makary, Mary Mikhael, Pamela Chrabieh and Maya Khadra

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Session 5 – Gulf – with Pamela Chrabieh on Peace, Migration and Art in Dubai

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Dr. Pamela Chrabieh

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Pamela Chrabieh, Viola Raheb and Maya Khadra

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Pamela Chrabieh, Mary Mikhael and Maya Khadra

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Source: Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture

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Source: Reverend Mitri Raheb Facebook Page

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Youth and Citizenship in the Arab World

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Associate Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at AUD Dr. Pamela Chrabieh and a member of the Christian Academic Forum for Citizenship in the Arab World (CAFCAW) Executive Committee met her peers and presented a communication on the challenges of citizenship at a two-day conference and workshop held in Cyprus on Youth and Citizenship in the Arab World.

This initiative followed a series of academic gatherings, international conferences and youth workshops in 2014, 2015 and 2016 in Lebanon, Egypt, Cyprus and Turkey, co-organized by CAFCAW and Diyar’s Consortium – CAFCAW is one of Diyar’s initiatives. It gathered more than 60 young academics and activists and included trainings and conferences tackling the issues of citizenship and youth initiatives.

Four young activists and social change makers were awarded Best Citizenship Awards: Yorgui Teyrouz from Lebanon for ‘Donner sang compter’, a non-governmental organization which promotes responsible citizenship through raising awareness on and encouraging safe blood transfusions in Lebanon. The second place went to Randa Farah from Lebanon for Lebtivity, a social events calendar that gathers people from different socio-economic backgrounds and religions. Two projects shared the third place: Ghadeer Najjar from Palestine for her research and upcoming publication to preserve Bethlehem’s social and architectural history, and Peter Magdy from Egypt for empowering marginalized groups.

According to Dr. Chrabieh: “youth in the Arab World are facing numerous challenges, including unemployment with a 30 to 35% rate (compared to a global rate of 14%), political oppression in most countries, socio-economic disparities, gender injustice, corruption, forced migration, physical and psychological wars, etc. However, young Arabs positively engaged in their societies and in diaspora are many. They are change makers who offer an alternative to the disenchantment nowadays experienced at different levels. This alternative, as I mentioned it in previous publications and conferences, is about taking small, varied, contextual and diffuse but continuous steps, and about recognizing and appreciating the many lights that help us walk through the tunnel.’

President of Diyar’s Consortium Dr. Mitri Raheb comments: “one out of five youth in the Arab World belong to the creative class. The Arab world has seen a surge in the arts, encompassing film, visual art, poetry, and music.”

University enrollment in the occupation-torn Palestine exceeds that of Hong Kong. Female university graduates outnumber male graduates in the Arab world. In the UAE female count to 70% of the student body; 77 % of Emirati women are educated. Globally 10% of entrepreneurs are women, in Lebanon over 30%. 60-80% of the people in the Arab world used to work in the public sector. In 2012, 55% of Arab youth wanted a public sector job, in 2014 only 43%. The Arab world experienced a surge in higher education: since the early 2000s the number of universities in the Arab region has doubled from 178 to 398, if one adds colleges and institutes, the number rises to 1139. This is higher than the population growth. There is hope in spite of all challenges. It is imperative to combat the image of the violent Arab youth and to replace it with that of the creative class,” he continued.

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