Ilona Sābera – portfolio

blogging, journalism, semiotics, short stories


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Anna Lindh Forum: A Need for Cross Cultural Approach to Ensure Diversity

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Father Paolo dall’Oglio speaking at the Anna Lindh Forum in Marseille in April 2013. Foto: Anna Lindh Foundation

Published on Anna Lindh Forum
Highlights of the 3rd day include: Strategic debate on Diversity, discussions on ethical cross cultural reporting, a debate of Young Arab Voices representatives with president of the European Parliament Martin Schulz.

Promoting Diversity in the Euro-Med

How to value diversity and share universal values? was the main question of one of the strategic debates that took place on Saturday morning, marking the general line of the third day of the Forum. Father Paolo dall’Oglio, Italian Jesuit priest exiled from Syria by the Assad’s regime, reminded about the ongoing conflict in the country: “Population of Syria have been abandoned by the knowledgeable so called international community. Now it is in a chance to express for the Academy.” He also underlined the necessity to show more support for Syria from civil society organisations by developing initiatives on a common ground, criticising one scale approach for different values: “Our idea or your idea for the civil society must be linked. Society is only healthy when it is like western society. We look for people who look like us. We choose our partners that look like us. I really encourage your society to be a fertile society. Destructive differences can exist not only on different shores of the Mediterranean, but also in the same religious community.

“My country suffers from fundamentalism in all three religions. Can we all be equals? Religion does not represent our identity, we should define a common ground for the identity. When the power embraces religion, there is no diversity.” pointed out Asmae Al Ghoul, Palestinian blogger and women rights activist. “Anthropological changes during centuries have not been properly accepted by my religious community. My concern is how can we reconcile ourselves with this anthropological revolution?” added father Paolo.  Continue reading
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Searching for a dialogue in a desert: hospitality of the Christian community at Mar Musa

Published on EMAJ Magazine

After a lonely and silent climb up the desert mountain, you enter an isolated microuniverse. A group of young people are clearing the table, others are cutting vegetables. Suddenly you are at the table, refreshed after a climb with some water, Syrian bread, tea and goat cheese are brought to the table by a volunteer of unknown nationality. Everyone here takes part in a system which hinges on solidarity.

The ancient monastery Dier Mar Musa el-Habashi of the Syrian Catholic church is located 80km from Damascus and 1320m above sea level. The uniqueness of this place  is due to in its hospitality: open to every visitor, from day trippers who come  to see the 12th and 13 century frescoes to the authentic spiritual pilgrims. Continue reading