The Iftar was attended by His Beatitude John X, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East as well as the Representative of His Excellency President Bashar Assad, Minister Mansour Azzam.
His Excellency Syrian Prime Minister Mr. Imad Khamis and His Excellency Speaker of the Syrian Parliament Mr. Hammouda Sabbagh were present as well as their Excellencies: Dr. Mohammad Abdelsattar Al-Sayyid, Minister of Endowments, Grand Mufti Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Badreddine Hassoun, Mr. Atef Naddaf, Minister of Higher Education, Dr. Ahmad Qadri, Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Nizar Yaziji, Minister of Health, Mr. Bishr Yaziji, Minister of Tourism, Mr. Najdat Anzour, Vice Speaker of Parliament as well as members of the Syrian Parliament and parties representatives and Muslim scholars from Damascus and its countryside.
Their Eminences: Mor Selwanus Boutros Al-Nehmeh, Archbishop of Homs, Hama, Tartus, and Environs, Mor Justinos Paulos Safar, Patriarchal Vicar in Zahla and Bekaa, Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar of the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, and Mor Timotheos Matthew, Patriarchal Secretary for the Indian Affairs, were also present, as well as a number of priests, monks, and deacons from our church.
In his speech, His Holiness welcomed the guests at Mor Aphrem Monastery and considered that this “gathering today at this Iftar in Ramadan at a Christian Monastery is the strongest message to be sent to the entire world about the Syrian way of living which is a paradigm of the relations among a nation’s people despite their various ethnic and religious backgrounds”. He added that “ our message today is that we will not let go of our values in living together, agreeing to love our country and defend it despite our differences, because this is what protected us during the crisis and what will guarantee for us a peaceful future for the generations to come”.
His Holiness pointed out that “with this great victory, our battle to rebuild our dear country Syria begins… the biggest challenge is to rebuild the Syrian citizen because wars and crises affect hugelythe souls of people and leads to their moral and social corruption”.
His Holiness spoke about the “important role that the churches are doing in Syria facing the crisis” which is proportionally equal and efen greater to what the other social entities are offering in raising aware and guiding the people towards keeping higher moral standards.
His Excellency Minister of Endowments Dr. Mohammad Abdelsattar Al-Sayyid thanked His Holiness and spoke about the common history of Christians and Muslims, and their relationship together which is the greatest message that can reach the west and the entire world.
His Excellency the Grand Mufti Ahmad Badreddine Hassoun spoke about Syria and how it is paying the price of the good relations between Christians and Muslims.