WASHINGTON DC – On Monday, January 11 2016, Sir Rateb Rabie, Holy Land Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF) President/CEO met with King Abdullah II of Jordan. In addition to representing HCEF, Sir Rateb went to the meeting on behalf of all Christians in the Middle East and as Chairman of the U.S. Muslim Christian Coalition, which seeks to protect Christians in the Arab world while also advocating for Muslims in the West. Sir Rateb was also accompanied by Dr. Hanna Hanania, HCEF Board Member.
King Abdullah II briefed attendants at the meeting on the current situation in Jordan and the Arab world in general. Despite the regional violence and division, the King is hopeful that Arabs, both in the Middle East and those throughout the worlds, particularly the U.S., can come together to create positive change. He also expressed his ongoing commitment to serve the Holy Land and care for its sacred places, especially Al Haram Al Sharif (Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem).
During their time together, King Abdullah II and Sir Rateb spoke extensively about the current issues surrounding the Middle East. They focused on the root problem of radicalism and how to counter this movement by promoting interfaith coexistence and building peace among all peoples in the Arab world. They also addressed dispelling negative stereotypes against Muslims in the West as a necessary step towards peace and universal dignity.
Sir Rateb praised King Abdullah for being the only head of state in the Arab world to meet directly with Arab Americans, taking the time to listen to their thoughts, concerns and to heed their perspectives on global issues.