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May 2013 Posts

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  Fighting Fathers Peace Mission to Syria
Blog Entry

Day one (in Beirut)

posted by Dave Smith, Group AdministratorFriday, May 3rd 2013 @ 1:52 PM (not yet rated)    post viewed 3189 times

I met some amazing people today and learnt a lot!

  • We met two monsignors from the Maronite church here in Lebanon. They were lovely men.
  • We met the head of the Druze community in Lebanon. He has the softest beard I've ever kissed!
  • We met Sheikh Kabalan, the Grand Mufti of the Shi'ite community in Lebanon - a true man of peace.
  • I met the great Mairead Magure! I had the pleasure and privilege of chatting to her over two bus journeys and over pizza at dinner! She's an amazing woman. :)
Two things in particular that I learnt today:Firstly, I learnt that Lebanon has an incormprehensible refugee problem!
Lebanon has a population of roughly 4 million. There are roughly 600,000 Palestinian regugees here as well. Over the last two years another 1.4 million Syrian refugees have crossed the border and are being housed here!
One of the delegates, Franklin Lamb, pours his time into trying to get proper human rights for these refugee people. Understandably though, it is s major issue for the Lebanese government. After all, there are roughly two million refugees for a population of 4 million. This is not a sustainable situation!
It was impressive to hear the religious leaders - Sheikh Kabalan in particular - speak with compassion about the situation of these people. His home is in the middle of the chaos - right alongside Sabra and Shatila (the scenes of the terrible massacre of 1982).
The other thing I learnt today was from Mairead Maguire. She said "peace is too precious to leave in the hands of politicians".
See my photo album from today here
 
 
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mussalaha, mairead maguire