Newsletter — March 2021

Dear friends,

From March 5ᵗʰ‒8ᵗʰ, Pope Francis traveled to Iraq and visited many Christian and Muslim religious leaders, both Sunni and Shia. The scars left by the successive conflicts in Iraq and by the grip of Daech are not only visible on the buildings. They are deeply engraved in the flesh and the memory of the Yazidis, the Christians and Muslims who were accused of not being “orthodox enough”. This visit will not change anything if we do not change the way we see others. This visit testifies that it is possible, and it encourages all of us to do it. We wish you all a great feast of the Resurrection, Christians, Muslims, believers or not!


On March 1ˢʳ, Amir Jajé, OP gave a lecture entitled “Interreligious dialogue in Iraq and its impact on the future of Christians in the region”, at an online conference dedicated to the history of Christians in Iraq and the impact of the Pope’s visit. The conference was organized by al-Balaghi Academy (Al-Khoei Foundation) and the Academic Research Center in Najaf.

On March 22ⁿᵈ, Julien Loiseau & Robin Seignobos gave an online lecture as part of the “Midan Mounira” series. This lecture was entitled “Christians and Muslims in the Nile Valley in the Middle Ages”. Click here to watch the lecture on Youtube (in French with Arabic subtitles)…

Online course

In March, Adrien Candiard, OP gave a three-week online course entitled “Introduction to Islamic theology” to students of the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies (PISAI), in Rome.

Interreligious meeting

Amir Jajé, OP participated in the organization of the interreligious meeting, which was held on March 6ᵗʰ in Ur as part of the apostolic journey of Pope Francis in Iraq (photo). It was a historic meeting, which brought together religious leaders from different Iraqi religions and beliefs: Shia and Sunni Muslims, Christians, Sabians, Mandaeans, Yezidis, Zoroastrians, Bahá’ís, Shabaks and Kakais.


On March 19ᵗʰ, Paul Akpomie, OP and Jean Druel, OP participated in an online seminar on mixed marriages organized by a group of Coptic-Orthodox professional youth.


On March 2ⁿᵈ, we welcomed a group of Arabic language students at the American University in Cairo in the CASA program. They were accompanied by Mr. Amr Abdelaty Saleh, professor of Islamic studies in English at al-Azhar University and in Arabic at the American University.

On March 14ᵗʰ, we welcomed Mr. Kevin Mark Lee, the new Political Counsellor at the Embassy of Singapore, and Mr. Nikhil Jonas, his predecessor.

On March 15ᵗʰ, we welcomed Mr. François Cornet d’Elzius, Ambassador of Belgium.

Scholars’ House

In March, we had the pleasure of receiving in the Scholars’ House Ms. Marie-Nil Chounet, who is giving a course in political philosophy at the Cairo Institute for Liberal Arts and Sciences (CILAS), and Mr. Simon Conrad, PhD student in Islamic Studies at the Princeton University.

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