Why are all Christians so peaceful

The Syrian model of peaceful coexistence: Muslims, Christians, Jews

Press release No. 2/2009
July 10, 2009
Colloquium at the International Science Forum on July 21 and 22, 2009
The Middle East is perceived in Europe as a region of conflict. In contrast, in Syria, which in the West is sometimes counted among the “rogue states”, a large number of peoples and religious communities have been living peacefully with one another for a long time. A colloquium in the International Science Forum of Heidelberg University, which will take place on July 21 and 22, will now deal with “Syria - Home of Different Languages, Religions and Cultures”. The focus is on the question of whether the Syrian model of peaceful coexistence can be an example for other countries in the Middle East. This conference, which is organized by the Seminar for Languages ​​and Cultures of the Middle East, is supported by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation.

"In no other country in this region live so many different peoples with different religions and languages ​​as in Syria", explains Prof. Dr. Werner Arnold, holder of the Heidelberg Chair for Semitic Studies and organizer of the colloquium: Arabs, Western Arameans, the Eastern Arabian Assyrians and Syrians, Armenians, Circassians, Chechens, Greek-speaking Muslims from Crete, Cathedral, Kurds, Turks and Turkmens. Mainly Semitic, but also Indo-European and Turkic languages ​​are spoken. In addition, all major religious communities - Islam, Christianity, Judaism - are represented. According to Werner Arnold, the fact that living together works in a peaceful way is "not least due to the non-denominational doctrine of the Arab-nationalist Baath Party, which governs the capital Damascus."

Numerous members of religious and ethnic groups from Syria will participate as speakers at the conference, including the Bishop of the Syrian Orthodox Church and the Metropolitan of the Chaldean Church. Interested parties, especially students who would like to take part in the colloquium, can register at the chair for Semitic Studies at the seminar for languages ​​and cultures of the Middle East by July 14th at the latest. Further information can be found on the homepage http://www.semitistik.uni-hd.de.

Conference program:

Prof. Dr. Werner Arnold
University of Heidelberg
Seminar for Languages ​​and Cultures of the Middle East
- Semitic Studies -
Schulgasse 2
69117 Heidelberg
Tel. 06221 / 54-2957; Fax 06221 / 54-3401
[email protected]

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