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
I had the honor of participating in this wonderful gathering of scholars, activists and artists working on gender and women’s rights issues in Southwestern Asia and North Africa. Once again, Dar al Kalima University College of Arts and Culture and CAFCAW have succeeded in challenging the intellect and establishing a dialogue between diverse identities and currents. The conference was successful by the wide range of speakers and by the attendees who contributed to the constructive debates.
We finally presented excerpts of our paper Dr. Nadia Wardeh and I, entitled ‘Against the Current: Religious Authority, Gender and Interreligious Dialogue’. We argued that feminist and liberal thinking/doing interreligious dialogue is a marginalized reality in our region at the institutional level, and particularly when it comes to decision-making tables within and across religious sectarian borders. This is largely unsurprising in so far as the leadership of most religious communities continues to be predominantly male (and patriarchal). The way we see it, there is a need for a shift from complementarianism to egalitarianism, and especially the production and use of Christian and Islamic theologies of gender equality as pillars of thinking and doing interreligious dialogue.
Théologies de la réconciliation
Sous la direction de Denise Couture et Jean-François Roussel
Direction de la revue: Alain Gignac (Directeur)
Éditeur: Faculté de théologie et de sciences des religions, Université de Montréal (QC – Canada)
ISSN1188-7109 (imprimé)1492-1413 (numérique)
Théologies chrétiennes de la réconciliation à l’heure de la Commission vérité et réconciliation du Canada
Denise Couture et Jean-François Roussel p. 7–30
La Commission de vérité et réconciliation du Canada sur les pensionnats autochtones : Bilan et prospective
Jean-François Roussel p. 31–58
Les Églises, la théologie et les Autochtones : De la réconciliation à la décolonisation
Michel Andraos p. 59–73
Le salut comme réconciliation
Jean Richard p. 75–101
La réconciliation chez Paul (2 Co 5,11–6,2 ; Rm 5,1-11) : Perspective discursive et socio-politique
Alain Gignac p. 103–131
La mission de l’Église : Réconciliation de l’humanité désunie
Gregory Baum p. 133–148
Pour des réconciliations ecclésiales, religieuses et personnelles : Les communautés locales de Poitiers et la confiance
Rémi Lepage p. 149–164
La réconciliation comme mission : De l’usage théologique de la notion de réconciliation par le décret sur la mission de la 35e Congrégation générale de la Compagnie de Jésus
André Brouillette S.J. p. 165–183
Les alliances interethniques en Afrique de l’Ouest : Nouvelles stratégies de réconciliation
Zaoro Hyacinthe Loua S.J. p. 185–201
Rôle de la femme dans la société et dans l’Église : Pour une justice et une réconciliation durables en Afrique
Albertine Tshibilondi Ngoyi p. 203–228
Entre le devoir de pardonner et le droit de ne pas pardonner
Karlijn Demasure et Jean-Guy Nadeau
Bien que les pratiques de réconciliation connaissent une longue histoire au Liban, celles-ci se diversifient à partir des années 1990. Elles constituent un important objet d’étude pour de nombreux académiciens et académiciennes ainsi que chercheurs et chercheuses ; elles sont devenues la cause commune d’une pléthore d’organismes non-gouvernementaux, d’associations civiles, de mouvements sociaux et d’artistes. Le thème de la réconciliation des Libanais et Libanaises sert aussi de cadre pour le discours politique. Cet article présente un état des lieux de ces pratiques en traitant premièrement de la relation de la réconciliation au dialogue interreligieux puis de la relation de la réconciliation à la mémoire nationale. Il présente par la suite certains exemples au sein de la société civile et identifie en conclusion quelques pistes de réflexion.
Although reconciliation practices have a long history in Lebanon, they have been diversifying since the 1990s. Furthermore, they have become an important object of study for many scholars and researchers, and the common cause for numerous non-governmental organizations, civic associations, social movements and artists. The theme of reconciliation also serves as a framework for political discourse. This article presents first an overview of these practices by tackling the relationship between reconciliation, interreligious dialogue and national memory. It then highlights some examples found in the Lebanese civil society. It finally suggests some avenues to be explored.
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).
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.
I was invited by the Visual Cultures Department and Dr. Woodman Taylor at the American University in Dubai to present a conference entitled ‘Dialogue through Religious Arts: the case of Syrian Aleppo Icons’ – April 6, 2016.
For a summary of my conference: AMERICAN UNIVERSITY IN DUBAI
The Christian Academic Forum for Citizenship in the Arab World (CAFCAW) brings together scholars, young graduates and activists in civil society to share research, experiences and insights.
Focusing on Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and Palestine, but also with a concern for Syria and Iraq, the Forum was launched in Beirut in December 2014 by DIYAR Consortium, based in Bethlehem, Palestine.
It released a document titled “From the Nile to the Euphrates: The Call of Faith and Citizenship.” The document sets forth 10 critical issues confronting the Middle East today, and expresses a statement of commitment to engage proactively in addressing those challenges.
Because of an unhealthy, and sometimes conflictual, relation between religion and state in the Arab world, the Forum seeks to educate for, and promote, a culture of full citizenship for all among the Arab people, especially youth, in order to create more peaceful, democratic and prosperous societies built on strong pillars, such as: just constitutions and the rule of law, the full dignity and security of every person, a healthy quality of life for all, gender justice, a hopeful future for youth, etc.
This initiative captures a new approach to a vital and active faith that employs critical thinking for participatory and fulfilling citizenship.
For more information, check the CAFCAW’s Facebook Page:
Dr. Pamela Chrabieh talks democracy, democratic institutions, citizenship and advocacy
Dr. Pamela Chrabieh, Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at AUD and a member of the Christian Academic Forum for Citizenship in the Arab World (CAFCAW) Executive Committee, met her peers during a workshop on Lebanese Youth and Citizenship held in Beirut recently.
Dr. Chrabieh comments, “The gathering of Middle Eastern Christian and Muslim scholars, religious leaders, media figures and politicians, initiates a regional dialogue between academicians from diverse backgrounds and identities, who debate issues related to religions-politics’ relations, interfaith dialogue, Christians’ roles and situations as well as theology of public life, and propose alternative worldviews, narratives and projects facing the culture of violence.”
The CAFCAW forum was part of the ongoing academic work of the Executive Committee on the Religion-State relations in the Middle East, and on the roles of diverse stakeholders and activists in diversity management. The workshop gathered more than 25 young Lebanese and included trainings and conferences tackling the subjects of democracy, democratic institutions, citizenship and advocacy.
This meeting and workshop followed 4 previous events held in 2014 and 2015 in Amman, Istanbul, Beirut, and Cyprus. Future initiatives include a Middle-Eastern Youth Conference in Cyprus in April 2016 and the publication of the July 2015 Conference proceedings.
About the Christian Academic Forum for Citizenship in the Arab World (CAFCAW)
CAFCAW is a forum that aims to provide a more public voice for Christians and interreligious dialogue in the Arab world. The association was established at its inaugural meeting in February 2014 in Istanbul under the Diyar Consortium, a Lutheran-based, ecumenically-oriented organization serving the whole Palestinian community, with emphasis on children, youth, and women. CAFCAW convened its second meeting in Istanbul in June 2014. CAFCAW’s third conference held on 5 and 6 December 2014 in Beirut served to create broad support among Christian and Muslim academics, stakeholders in interreligious dialogue, civil society and policy makers.