Antonine University (UA) Celebrates Christmas at the Citadel of Peace in Tripoli - Université Antonine (UA)

  • Antonine University (UA) Celebrates Christmas at the Citadel of Peace in Tripoli

    12 décembre 2020
    To celebrate the Christmas season, the UA Mejdlaya – Zgharta Campus organized in collaboration with the Municipality of Tripoli and the Directorate-General of Antiquities of the Ministry of Culture, a Christmas musical evening entitled "Peace on Earth."

    The Antonine University Choir, led by the maestro Father Toufic Maatouk, and the Traditional Arabic Music Orchestra conducted by Dr. Hayaf Yassin gave musical performances throughout this concert that combined western and eastern melodies.

    The ceremony was attended by the Rector of Antonine University Father Michel Jalakh, the Mayor of Tripoli Dr. Riyad Yamak, the Director-General of the Ministry of Culture Mr. Sarkis El Khoury, the Regional Director of Northern Lebanon of the Directorate General of Antiquities Dr. Samar Karam, the Melkite Greek Catholic Archeparch of Tripoli, Eduard Daher, BC, the Patriarchal Exarchate for Zgharta – Ehden and El Jebbeh, Bishop Joseph Nafaa, Bishop Nabih Moawad, representing the Maronite Archbishop of Tripoli, Youssef Soueif, and Archbishop Georges Bou Jaoude.

    The Secretary-General of High Relief Commission, Major General Mohammed Khair, and the District Commissioner of Bcharre, Ruba Shafshaq, representing the North Lebanon Governor Ramzi Nahra were also present, along with Monsignor Estephan Frangieh, the Abbot of the Monastery of Saint Sarkis and Bacchus Ehden – Zgharta, Father Ibrahim Bou Ragel, and the Abbot of the Monastery of Our Lady of Deliverance – El Mina, Father Milad Abou Diwan. The ceremony was also attended by the director of the French Institute of Tripoli, Emmanuel Khoury, the mayor of Zgharta, Antonio Frangieh, the mayor of Mejdlaya, Joumana Beaini, the administrative director of the Mejdlaya – Zgharta campus at the Antonine University, Father Joseph Farah, in addition to many spiritual, political, security, and cultural representatives.

    Father Jalakh

    At the start of the ceremony, Father Jalakh said: "Perhaps Jesus was born in the night to shed light on the earth." These words bring me to the Swiss theologian (Francine Carrillo) on the birth of this exceptional year. The night that we live in is dark and gloomy, and what we need is "His luminous light," the light of love, justice, and hope. He continued by noting that "Christmas comes while the pandemic is still imposing physical distancing on us, and while our homeland is undergoing a multidimensional crisis. However, just as healthy people do not need a doctor, it is not the bright and glowing days that call for a miracle, but rather distress and intensity. Therefore, let us remember that when the world is dark, and no matter how dark it is, it will not hide the Christmas stars, but rather make them shine and bright." He added, "We meet to sing, and singing together brings us closer to heaven and each other, singing together makes us closer in every way; where the pandemic restrictions cannot reach us."

    Dr. Yamak

    In his turn, the Mayor of Tripoli Dr. Riad Yamak delivered a speech during which he pointed out that Antonine University, in cooperation with the Municipality of Tripoli, wanted through this concert to glorify the Creator who called on all creation to do good and to spread peace on earth, and we did not find a better place than the Citadel of Tripoli to realize this end. He added, "Tripoli Al Fayhaa, the city of coexistence and living together, witnessed through its streets and alleys the depth of the historical relationship between the Islamic message and the people of this nation of all sects and religions. The people of Tripoli have preserved this relationship, as we find the mosque and the church side by side." He continued by saying, "Muslim Tripoli has lived throughout these years with Christian occasions, especially the glorious Christmas, with stories filled with love, happiness, and joy. Our hand is outstretched for compatibility and peace towards building a nation again with faithful parties, enlightened education, and a policy without hypocrisy or liars."

    Dr. Karam

    Besides, Dr. Karam saluted the selection of the citadel of Tripoli, as a place to hold this concert. She considers that this landmark is a symbol of Tripoli's culture and civilization. She added, "If the mission of the Directorate General of Antiquities of the Ministry of Culture is to preserve and highlight our cultural and historical heritage, it also seeks, in every occasion and at all times, to enhance the cultural role of our sites by encouraging cultural and artistic activities. The activities that highlight the civilizational character of the citadel, but also highlight the city of Tripoli which has archaeological and historical monuments, and is full of life, culture, and art."

    Father Farah

    Father Farah expressed his great happiness during that Christmas evening. According to what he declared, Father Farah’s delight was shared by everyone who lived in Tripoli and who experienced the true meaning of coexistence in times of war and peace. He considers that what was achieved is like a childhood and youth dream, after the city of peace embraced the voices of the angels announcing the birth of God, on earth peace and among people with whom he is pleased.

    The citadel, which hosted the Christmas event that gave a glimmer of hope during our country recession, lighted up its passages and opened up its museum doors to the audience that toured around before the concert.