Dialogues meeting that open ourself up to the other

From Ramez Salamé

Video Interview Transcript

Much later on, much later on the thought came, well, keep being responsible for your country and maybe what you should do is try to organize dialogue meetings between Lebanese of different factions between Christians and Muslims etc. you know people who are not from one side. And so that was not easy because at that time the country was divided in areas where militias were controlling this area or that area and people did not cross over from one area to the other one. So we had to go to Cyprus. Our first meeting took place in Cyprus. Then we held other meetings too because we felt that these dialogue meetings which we were experiencing for the first time were very enriching especially humanly facing the other, staying with him, talking to him, listening to him brought in it a great human enrichment.
And gradually we felt that this is what we should be carrying out. And little by little people of influence like politicians or people who had a certain responsibility in their civil life or people who were leaders not top leaders, I mean, in the military also field. Others who were religious people who had a certain authority in the religious life of the country they joined these dialogue meetings. And we realized that these meetings made us grow in love to each other, in understanding each other. And it let us also grow in knowing that the truth that could unite us even the political truth you know. And so we kept on organizing such meetings later of course we started holding these meetings in Lebanon itself. And we felt that these meetings contributed to a certain something positive something constructive in the life of the country.
Fortunately, I mean other people were taking other you know, other initiatives too. We were not the only ones. And I could say that people who have attended these meetings were inspired. And later on they started something themselves and things which are admirable aiming at bringing peace bringing understanding bringing the Lebanese closer to each other.

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