Пятница, 06 Март 2015 19:54

4 March, 2015: His excellency Doctor Amal Hikmat Abou Zeid delivered a speech in Moscow

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On the 4 March, 2015 in the «Ritz Carlton» Hotel a solemn ceremony of awarding an honorary doctorate (honoris causa) of the Institute of Oriental Studies with handling of the diploma and the mantle to the prominent Lebanese figure – Mr. Amal Hikmat Abou Zeid took place.

The ceremony was attended by notorious political figures, scientists, representatives of the diplomatic corps of the foreign countries and also by Mitropolit Niphon Saikali (Russia),  Representative of the Patriarch of Antioch in Moscow.

The congratulatory addresses  were delivered by Vitaly Naumkin (Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies, corresponding member of RAS), Shawki Bou Nassar (Lebanese Ambassador in Moscow), Vladimir  Sautov (Vice president of JSC "SPC Irkut", orientalist, Ph.D., Alexander Panov (Deputy director of the Department of the Middle East and North Africa, the Russian Foreign Ministry), Alexey Sarabiev (Head of Research and Publications of the Institute of the Oriental Studies, Ph.D.).

In his acceptance speech, Mr. Amal Hikmat Abou Zeid thanked the audience and the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences in the person of its Director Vitaly Naumkin for the honour to become its honoris causa.


LBC Group TV release on the event

 

Article covering the event on Tayyar.org:

أكاديمية العلوم الروسية تكرمّ أبو زيد .بانوف: لمساته واضحة في تطوير العلاقات ..بو نصار: ثروة لبنان في ابنائه المبدعين

 

Article covering the event on Lebanese-Forces.com :

بالصور: أكاديمية العلوم الروسية تكرمّ أمل أبو زيد

 

Article covering the event on Elnashra.com :

 

أكاديمية العلوم الروسية تكرم أبو زيد

 

Article covering the event on almarkazia.com :

الاكاديمية الروسية كرمت ابو زيد ومنحته الدكتوراه وتقديراً لنجاحه في تطوير العلاقات بين البلديــــن

 

Article covering the event on alkalinaonline.com :

بالصور - أكاديمية العلوم الروسية تكرمّ أبو زيد

 

The speech of his excellency  Doctor Amal Hikmat Abou Zeid in English:

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,


In such a moment, we realize the true concept of the “honorary doctorate”. The Latin roots of word PhD mean that we master knowledge, and who would be more worthy than your prestigious academy to be the great guardian of science and learning. And all the pride isn’t but being among you. Such Pride isn’t equaled unless by my feeling of gratitude and thanks.

Having said so, I’m here today, simply because I was and will remain a diligent assiduous student, walking on the path of historical communication and interaction, between the Great Russia and the country of Cedars. I say a simple student, because the relationship history of our two countries is so great that not only one person or people can preserve it. It belongs to History itself.


Nestorius tells in his history, that our relationship dates back to more than a thousand years. He says that Prince Vladimir of Kiev, and upon wanting to be guided to the upright religion, sent his envoys to various countries of the World. They went to the Volga Bulgarian people, where they found their faith, but without joy. They visited the countries of the Germanic and Rome, where they discovered their faith was deprived of beauty. Finally, they reached Byzantine, a neighbor of both your and our countries, and the twin of our Antiochian Church. They attended mass at “Hagia Sophia of Constantinople Church”, and wrote to Vladimir, telling him: “We did not know whether we were on Earth or in Heaven! All we can say that God was there among humans and that moment is unforgettable.”  This is how our life age extends back to more than one thousand years. Historian Platonov says about Russia Holy Church: “We owe it all to St. Mikhail, he was the first who established Christianity among us, and the first to build a monastery on our land. And St. Mikhail comes from Syria, and was the pupil of Patriarch John.”


Over thousand years, friendship, cooperation and solidarity ties went growing and consolidated between our region and your great country. Patriarchs, coming from our countries, participated in the synagogues of Moscow, since 1661.  Afterwards The Russian Government had a Consulate in Jerusalem, in 1819, aiming to surround with care the largest number possible among the Russian faithful people, who were going to pilgrimage in the holy land, through Syria and Lebanon. Hence, Russia became the owner of many properties in those territories: the Monastery of St. Theodora, the Monastery of Abraham (Ibrahim), as well as the Monastery of Tulkarem. Additionally, the Russian Church missionaries contributed in rooting our people in our home and surroundings. Our histories even remember that thanks to a Russian monk, Ospjanski, who due to his merit, the Arabic was adopted as the language of the Church of Antioch in 1891. Few years later, in 1895, the Russian Imperial Palestinian Association was established for providing free education, in Palestine, Lebanon and Syria. Its spreading went on increasing till having founded more than hundred schools. From Cairo in Egypt to Beit-Jala in Palestine, reaching Shoueifat and Baskinta in Mount Lebanon, Amyoun , Tripoli and Bayno in northern Lebanon, and ending in  Homs, Syria.


What is even more important than our common history is the fact that Russia did not only provide our children with school and education, but it gave them even more than this: It gave them freedom, especially the freedom of faith and belief. After Russia’s victory over the Ottomans and the imposition of Kucuk Qanarjh Treaty, 1774, Russia did not ask the Ottoman State for any properties or lands. But it imposed and obliged it to guarantee the religious freedom of the Christians living in the Sultanate territories. According to the terms of that treaty, Istanbul was committed to provide Christian religion, and churches with permanent protection. The Minister of the Russian Court was empowered to object, whenever he wanted to, before the Sultanate, about any violation of the freedom of the latter, additionally to having imposed the construction of the Church of the Embassy of Russia, and other church in the city of Galati, called the Russian Greek Church. This treaty between Russia and the Ottoman Empire formed the first evolution in our history, resulting some 65 years later and leading to the beginning of the establishment of the State of Lebanon, with the first international protection regime of Mount Lebanon, in 1841.


Today, Russia, the “Third Rome” is back as Soloviev wrote, the Holy Russia, with the two-headed Eagle. And thus its relationship with our country has become more important and strategic, because, the basic holder of  the Russian external and international dimension nowadays is nurtured on the global level, by the principle of freedom to groups and communities. Russia the Great in its people, land, history, economy and wealth, is even greater today, because it is the only superpower in the World, carrying the banner of defending those freedoms.

 

In contrast, the unique Lebanon shows to be the only place in the world, where Christians and Muslims live equally together despite all their ethnic differences. In the entire Islamic world, there are some Christian minorities living, while bowing under the yoke of their incomplete rights, threatened with their presence and existence, dying and gradually disappearing, either through self-immigration or forced displacement. In the entire Western world, there are Muslims living in a complete inner struggle on keeping their identity and integrating in their new societies. They even live the contradiction between themselves and the other ones, until often reaching rejection, violence and terrorism. Only Lebanon, among all the countries of the earth, is a different model. It is the place where Christians and Muslims, share equally their duties and obligations, with accurate and complete calculations, in one state and under the same one authority and power. It is a model that deserves to succeed, and the whole world needs its success, because if Christians and Muslims fail to live together in Lebanon, it will inevitably mean the failure of coexistence together on earth.


However, the threats to our unique Lebanese model are more than a few. The first one refers to the terrorism expiatory groups on our borders. The Second one refers to some policies of the West that care for their interest only, regardless of any values or moral dimension. The third one refers to the failure to establish a just solution to the Palestinian Cause. Russia, alone, understands these imminent threats against us. Only Russia can and is able to help us, through its resistance or Veto, because you also encountered terrorism, you knew as well the negative impacts of Western interests and disadvantages. You were and still are the first to commit, to find a just solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

A sovereign, strong and independent Lebanon is not only a need for his surroundings, region and to the world, but it is also a necessity and element of attraction. Democracy cannot be transferred to the Arabic region without the Lebanese model. There can be no concept of pluralism to the Middle Eastern societies, without the Lebanese model.  No lasting peace can be established in the Orient, without the stability of the Lebanese model. In exchange, Such Lebanon, being a friend of Russia, is the main partner of your great country, in cultural communication, human interaction, political and economic integration, between you and the entire Arab world. This world who is living today a state of anxiety, as an expression of undergoing some transition era, between a fallen past regime, and an alternative but not yet found one.

On this occasion, and before closing, let me first thank my family, especially my wife, for her support and understanding of the tasks that I accomplished and which sometimes required from me a long absence.


Second, let me also thank the Unknown Soldier, my friend Vladimir Sautov and his friends who believed and supported me in my endeavor.

Third, I address my thanks to the representative of the Antiochian Orthodox Church in Moscow Metropolitan Nifon Seikaly, for his support and help in all that would strengthen cooperation between the Eastern and Western Church.

The fourth thanks and last one is attributed to the Embassy of Lebanon in Russia, today represented by Ambassador Shawki Bou Nassar and his predecessors who played a helpful role in all visits of the  Lebanese officials to Russia and vice versa.


The Prophecy of an old Russian hermit says: “Rome I and II have fallen. The third one is Moscow, and the fourth will never show”. Our hope and trust, as we are today in Moscow, that “The Third Rome” will never fall, and shall remain for our people and our countries a beacon on top of the hill. Long live Lebanon, Long live Russia.

 

 

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The text of the speech in Arabic:

(Recommendation: open the previews in another window of your browser for a full size view)
 

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