On February 26, 2020, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received His Excellency Minister of Endowments Dr. Mohammad Abdulsattar Al-Sayyid at Antioch Syrian University (ASU), in Maarat Saydnaya, in the presence of Dr. Rakan Razzouk, President of ASU.
His Excellency delivered a lecture at ASU entitled: “The Role of the Universal Interpretation in Facing Extremism”. The lecture was attended by His Excellency Dr. Shukri Al-Baba, Assistant Minister of High Education for the Private Education, as well as dignitaries from Saydnaya and Maarat Saydnaya, including many religious leaders, both Christians and Muslims. Their Eminences Archbishops: Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, and Mor Yacoub Babawi, Patriarchal Vicar for the Affairs of the Monks and the Administration of Mor Aphrem Seminary in Maarat Saydnaya, also attended.
Following the lecture, His Holiness met His Excellency at Mor Aphrem Monastery. They discussed the current situation in Syria, especially the role of religious institutions in educating the society and the youth, in order to face terrorism and extreme religious ideologies.