Caritas Middle East and North Africa (MONA) opened its three-day meetings on Tuesday, July 12, in cooperation with Caritas Jordan which included various Middle East Caritas organization, namely Caritas Jordan, Syria, Jerusalem, Lebanon, Cyprus, Iraq and Iran with discussions focusing on the condition of the member organizations and means to preserve the basic services needed to meets the needs of people. The meetings also include more than 28 Caritas partners in Europe, northern America, and Asia.
At the opening session a panel discussion was held which dealt with the geopolitical and economic situation in the region and the impact of the conflict in Eastern Europe. Some ideas and proposals were discussed dealing with means to confront this reality and to enhance opportunities for the sustainability of the services provided by Caritas in the region.
In the first session, Director of the Catholic Center for Studies and Media (CCSM) Fr. Rif’at bade delivered an address in which he welcomed the participants in the meetings and thanked Caritas and its partners for all the services they provide to the suffering people in the Middle East, North Africa and all over the world.
He said, “I welcome you in the name of the local Church in Jordan as well as on behalf of the Latin Patriarchate, the Catholic Church and all those whom you deal with in this beloved country. You are all welcome in the Land of Baptism, the land of John the Baptist, the land of the prophets, namely Moses and Elijah as well as all those who walked in this region, particularly Lord Jesus Christ and His virgin Mother Mary.”
Reviewing what Caritas plays at these times, he said, “You played a fundamental and pivotal role in the past by caring for the refugees and the displaced persons. We thank His Holiness Pope Francis, who played a noble role, as well as Jordan and Lebanon by hosting every forcibly displaced person who was looking for a shelter, safety, and faith as has been the case with the Christians of Mosul.”
President of Caritas MONA Gabriel Hatti, delivered an addressed during which he expressed joy for the resumption of “physical” meetings which were interrupted over the past three years due to the emergence of Corona pandemic. He also paid tribute to the efforts exerted by Caritas MONA in times of war and Corona pandemic.
In a special session, former Minister of Political and Parliamentary Development Dr. Khalid Kalaldeh spoke about the ramifications of the Russian-Ukrainian war on the region and the world from political and economic aspects. He also talked about the situation in noble Jerusalem and in the rest of the Palestinian territories reiterating that peace in Jerusalem will lead to peace for the whole world. Later, a discussion ensued on these issues, which are considered of extreme importance at this time.
The first day’s sessions were attended by Chargé d’Affaires of the Apostolic Nunciature in Jordan Msgr. Mauro Lalli and Director of Caritas Jordan Wael Suleiman.
By Munir Bayouk/ en.abouna.org