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CIC National Office: Nadim Nassar – Displaced Minorities in the Middle East
October 16, 2017 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm EDT
The Revd Nadim Nassar, Director of the Awareness Foundation and tireless advocate for the rights and welfare of Christians and other minorities being attacked and displaced in Syria, Iraq and other Middle East countries, will visit Toronto in October 2017. He is visiting in order to increase awareness among Canadians of the crises facing the indigenous Christians of the Middle East today, to share their hopes and fears, and to discuss how we can help the embattled Middle Eastern minorities rebuild their communities alongside their Muslim neighbours.
The conflict in Syria has now lasted for almost six years and no end is in sight. A new sectarianism, combined with a brand of fundamentalist Islam that despises diversity, has resulted in mass displacement within the communities of Syria and Iraq. Many have left the region, possibly forever, while hundreds of thousands have moved to comparatively safer areas. A great deal is being done by nations and charities around the world to help those in the refugee camps. But those not in refugee camps are almost invisible to the outside world.
In particular, the Awareness Foundation helps the children and young people of one of the most persecuted minorities in the Middle East today: Christians. The Foundation’s Little Heroes program is helping displaced children in Syria and Iraq to deal with anger and despair, while giving them a new hope and a new energy to live their life without fear. The Awareness Foundation is also creating a Middle East-wide network of young Christians – called Ambassadors for Peace – who are building bridges of mutual respect and understanding in their diverse and war-torn communities.
Revd. Nassar, who travels frequently inside Syria and Iraq where few from the West can go, says his objective is to “work with those who cannot leave the region for many reasons, and to contribute to the ultimate healing and strengthening of the fabric of Middle Eastern society”.
Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History
Date and Time
Monday October 16th, 2017
6:30pm to 8:00pm
Library, Munk Observatory
University of Toronto, St. George Campus
315 Bloor Street West
Register online by clicking HERE.
Jennifer Chylinski | (416) 946-7209 | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Revd Nadim Nassar is the Director and co-founder of the Awareness Foundation.
He was born and raised in Lattakia, Syria; he is the only Syrian priest in the Anglican Church. Revd Nassar studied at the Near East School of Theology between 1981 and 1988 during the Lebanese Civil War, which had a profound effect on him. After working in Syria and studying in Germany, he then lectured in different universities in London, including the American Intercontinental University where he taught world religions, and London Guildhall University where he developed the ‘Faith and Citizenship’ seminar. In 2003, he co-founded the Awareness Foundation with Bishop Michael Marshall under the patronage of the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Williams.
He is a member of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland’s Inter Faith Theological Advisory Group, and the Coptic Orthodox Church UK Asylum Advocacy Group, and he advises the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on International Religious Freedom and the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He is also an advisor on Middle East affairs to the House of Lords. Revd. Nassar has briefed members of the Royal Family and has been recognised by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.
Nadim Nassar lectures, speaks and teaches in the Middle East, North America, Europe and Asia. He gives frequent public lectures for many organisations, including the Ismaili Centre, the Christian Muslim Forum and Near Neighbours, and has contributed articles to Britain’s Guardian and Daily Telegraph newspapers, as well as The Tablet. He is a regular commentator on BBC radio and television, and is frequently interviewed on ITV, CNN, CBC, NPR and many Arabic networks.