Ramez Salamé

Ramez Salamé

Country: Lebanon
Activity: Activist
Keywords: activism, change, contemplation, dialogue, empathy, listening, love, mindfulness, practices

Ramez Salame is a lawyer from Lebanon. He gave up his militia gun during the civil war in Lebanon to start dialogues during the war.

Presentation

Ramez Salame as young Christian lawyer 30 years ago, decided to take stock of his life, putting right what was wrong, and to accept the daily discipline of listening for God's guidance. He returned library books he had intended to keep, and found a new frankness in his family through asking forgiveness from his father for his hatred and from his brother for his jealousy. As he took these steps he began to get ideas for his country, and, in the midst of the civil war, felt that he was not fighting the right battle.

‘In a moment of prayer, I believed God was telling me that he had a more important role for me to fulfil than to engage in the military fight.' He gave up his gun and courageously began having conversations with his Muslim compatriots. As a token of a new approach he sought out the Mufti, the leader of the Muslim Sunni community, to apologize for the way the Christians had conspired to keep the reins of power in their hands, not permitting the Muslims to be fully responsible for the country. He told the Mufti that he wanted to accept the changes in his own life which would help create a new Lebanon. The Mufti rose and shook his hand: ‘What you say is one ray of light in the present darkness. Thank you.'

It was then that Salame began to bring together groups of Lebanese, wherever possible both Muslims and Christians. ‘Dialogue is a powerful weapon which unfortunately is little used,' he says. ‘After our first meeting we felt joy in our hearts; we saw the beauty in the other person. We saw our enemy had fears like our fears, aspirations like ours. We grew in love and appreciation of each other.'

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