Figure 1 Archbishop Samy and Dr Nazir Ayad Opening the Centre
Archbishop Samy Fawzy Shehata, the Archbishop of the Anglican Province of Alexandria, opened the new Centre for Christian-Muslim Understanding and Partnership. The Centre is located in the Administrative building of the Diocese of Egypt.
In his opening address, Archbishop Samy said that the Church is proud to announce the opening of the Centre, he noted “The centre will promote an open dialogue between Christians and Muslims.” The Archbishop went on to say… ”Belonging to one God and common humanity is the uniting factor among all people”.
The opening of the new Centre was well attended by dignitaries from many Faiths, including: Dr Ziad Bahaa El Din, former Deputy Prime Minister of Egypt, Dr Moustafa El Fiki, The President of Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Dr Nazir Ayad, Secretary-General of the Council of Islamic Scholars, Ambassador Raouf Saad, former Assistant Minister for Foreign affairs, Fr Rafiq Graich of the Catholic Church in Egypt, Dr Sameh Fawzy, General Director at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Chancellor Adly Houssein, former Governor of Menoufia and Dr Girgis Saleh, former Secretary General of the Middle East Council of Churches. The Diplomatic Corps was also represented with the Irish Ambassador, His Excellency Sean O’Regan, and representatives of the British, Netherlands and US Embassies in attendance. In attendance also were Rev. Dr Stuart Brooking the Executive Director of Overseas Council Australia, Bishop Stephen Hale and a group of Deans of the top Anglican Theological Colleges in Africa; who were attending a conference organised by Overseas Council of Australia (OCA). We are extremely grateful for the support we have received from OCA in helping us to establish this Centre.
Former Archbishop Mouneer Anis, the Director of the Centre, presented a short introduction to the Centre and its Vision and Mission. He described the three main fields of activities of the Centre as:
Firstly; the Academic track, which involves Islamic Studies and Christian Studies.
Secondly; Community Initiatives, in which we encourage young people, children, girls, and women to work together in small projects for the common good of our society.
The thirdly; to develop a well-trained team to deal with conflict resolution and peace building, whenever this is needed.
The Centre will welcome students from all over the world who are interested in studying short or long term courses on Islam. The Centre will collaborate with Al-Azhar University in the area of Islamic Studies.
The Centre will welcome students from all over the world who are interested in studying short or long term courses on Islam. The Centre will collaborate with Al-Azhar University in the area of Islamic Studies. Alexandria School of Theology, who are located in the same building, will organise courses for Christian Studies for non-Christians.
It is very encouraging to report that we have attracted several high profile National and International partners such as, Al-Azhar University, Gingko Foundation, and Rose Castle Foundation. We are also developing partnerships with Adyan Foundation, Institut Dominicane d’etudes Orientales and the Centre for Muslim-Christian Studies, Oxford.
Please visit our website (still under construction) to learn more about us.