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  French Ambassador Opens A livelihood new Project at Madaba

 

 
 

His Excellency Mr. David Bertolotti, Ambassador of France to Jordan inaugurated a new Project to start at the Greek Melkite Church premise in Madaba City with presence of Msgr. Roberto Cona, Archbishop Elie Haddad, Administrator of the Greek Melkite Catholic Archeparchy in Jordan, a number of Ambassadors, representatives from Madaba Governorate, Parish Priests of Madaba and representatives of some organizations.

The Project “Improving Displaced Iraqis and Vulnerable Jordanians Coping Strategies” that is funded by the French Government and implemented by Caritas Jordan, aims to strengthen the livelihood and social skills of refugees enabling them to be productive and efficient persons in their communities through some income- generating activities.

The location of the Greek Melkite Church garden in Madaba will have various workshops in which a number of Iraqi refugee families and some Jordanian families will be working. The workshops will mainly revolve around mosaic products and handicrafts to serve in particular markets of Madaba city.

The opening ceremony started with the national Anthems of France and Jordan played by the Choir “Fountain of love” followed by a speech from Mr. Wael Suleiman, Caritas Jordan General Director, “In the name of the Catholic Church in Jordan, I would like to extend our utmost gratitude to his Excellency the French Ambassador, and through him to the French Government and the kind-hearted French people our deepest consideration for their fraternal support, offered to our displaced Iraqi brothers who are staying on the Jordanian soil, with entrepreneurship projects that help them live in dignity.Today, we thank His Majesty King Abdullah for his love, modesty, tolerance and his relentless work for peace in the Middle East Region, asking God to bless him and give him power and grace to fulfill this course.”

His Excellency Mr. Bertolotti then made a speech in which he stressed the importance of such projects to France, country and Government and he wished that this project will contribute to the social and economic inclusion of Iraqi refugees who have left their country for the last years, many of them members of persecuted minorities. He also thank Caritas Jordan for being a remarkable partner.
Bishop Elie Haddad, administrator of the Greek Melkite Catholic Arch eparchy in Jordan expressed his thanks and gratitude as well for the French Government and for Caritas Jordan. He also thanked Parish Priest Moen Hilo for opening the doors of his parish and welcoming the Iraqi refugees.

His Excellency along with the participants toured the project’s workshops and got full information about the project by a team of Caritas Jordan.

 

السفير الفرنسي يفتتح المشروع الجديد للمهارات الحياتية في مادبا


افتتح سعادة السفير دايفد بيرتولوتي، السفير الفرنسي إلى الأردن، المشروع الجديد للمهارات الحياتية في كنيسة الروم الملكيين الكاثوليك في مادبا، بحضور المونسينيور روبيرتو كونا والمطران إيلي حداد مدبر أبرشية بترا وفيلادلفيا وسائر الأردن للروم الكاثوليك، وعدد من السفراء والآباء الكهنة لرعايا مادبا وعدد من ممثلي الجمعيات المجتمعية.

هذا المشروع "تحسين استراتيجيات التكيف المعيشي للأخوة المهجرين العراقيين والأفراد الأردنيين الذين يعانون من ظروف اقتصادية واجتماعية صعبة" هو بتمويل من الحكومة الفرنسية وبتنفيذ من كاريتاس الأردن، والذي يهدف إلى تعزيز المهارات الحياتية والمعيشية ليكون المستهدفين من المشروع افراداً منتجين في المجتمع عن طريق مشاريع مدرة للدخل. حيث يحوي موقع المشروع الكائن في حديقة كنيسة الروم الكاثوليك في مادبا على ورشات متعددة سيعمل فيها عدد من عائلات اللاجئين وبعض العائلات الأردنية، وسيتمحورعمل هذه الورشات حول منتجات الفسيفساء والشغال اليدوية لتسويقها في بعض الأسواق بمدينة مادبا.

وبدأ احتفال الافتتاح بالنشيد الوطني الفرنسي والسلام الملكي الأردني تلاها كلمة المدير العام لجمعية الكاريتاس الأردنية الذي رحب بسعادة السفراء وجميع الحضور قائلاً:

"أود أن أقدم وباسم الكنيسة الكاثوليكية في الأردن كل الشكر والعرفان لسعادة سفير دولة فرنسا الصديقة ومن خلال سعادة السفير الفرنسي الى الحكومة الفرنسية والشعب الفرنسي الطيب الشكر كل الشكر على دعمهم الأخوي لإخوتنا المهجرين من العراق والمتواجدين على الأراضي الأردنية بمشاريع ريادية يستطيعوا من خلال عملهم بها العيش بكرامة.

ونشكر اليوم جلالة الملك المفدى عبدالله بن الحسين على محبته وتواضعه وسعة صدره وعطائه وعمله الدؤوب من أجل احلال السلام في منطقة الشرق الأوسط، طالبين من الله العلي القدير أن يرافقه ويعطيه القوة والنعمة لإتمام تلك المسيرة"
ثم ألقى سعادة السفير الفرنسي كلمته مركزاً على أهمية مثل هذه المشاريع لفرنسا الدولة والحكومة، متمنياً ان يساهم المشروع بالاندماج الاجتماعي والاقتصادي لللاجئين العراقيين الذين تركوا بلادهم في السنوات الأخيرة، وبالأخص أولئك من الأقليات المضطهدة. وأعرب أيضا عن شكره لكاريتاس الأردن مثمنا بالشراكة المميزة.

وقال المطران إيلي بكلمته أنه سعيد بوجود هذا المشروع شاكرا الحكومة الفرنسية والكاريتاس الأردنية ووجه أيضا الشكر لكاهن الرعية الاب معين الحلو الذي لم يتوانى عن فتح أبواب الرعية للأخوة العراقيين.

ثم تجول سعادة السفراء والحضور في المشروع وتفقدوا ورشات العمل مع شرح مفصل من فريق عمل كاريتاس الأردن.
 

 
 
Speech of Mr Wael
 

Your Excellency Bishop Elie Haddad
Your Excellency the Papal Ambassador
Respected Priests
Distinguished guests and friends
Greetings

First of all, I would like to welcome you this blessed evening as we all meet with our heart filled with joy for having a new achievement that is “Improving the Living Conditions and Coping Strategies of Displaced Iraqi Refugees as well as Vulnerable Jordanians in Madaba” Project.

This project, in addition to securing a number of work opportunities to our Iraqi brothers as well as some Jordanians, will restore hope to those who lost it. It will secure chances for learning; giving and participation in livelihoods, each of us have a small part.
In the name of the Catholic Church in Jordan, I would like to extend our utmost gratitude to his Excellency the French Ambassador, and through him to the French Government and the kind-hearted French people our deepest consideration for their fraternal support, offered to our displaced Iraqi brothers who are staying on the Jordanian soil, with entrepreneurship projects that help them live in dignity.

Today, we thank His Majesty King Abdullah for his love, modesty, tolerance and his relentless work for peace in the Middle East Region, asking God to bless him and give him power and grace to fulfill this course.
Thank you for coming and have a happy evening
 

 
Speech of the French Ambassador
 

Ladies, Gentlemen, Fathers,
More than two centuries ago, in France, the 1789 Declaration of Human Rights, stipulated in its article 10 that “No one may be disturbed for his opinions, even religious ones, provided that their manifestation does not trouble the public order established by the law”.


This very principle of religious freedom has guided the action and policy of France domestically but also abroad. Its very meaning is that all religious beliefs, or non-beliefs, can peacefully coexist simultaneously in a same place. And, to some extent, this has been achieved, not only in France but also in a country like Jordan, where this daily coexistence exists and remains, as our presence in Madaba altogether now is a proof of.


One year ago, on September 8th 2015, Jordan and France co-chaired in Paris an international conference on victims of religious and ethnic violences in the Middle East. This was an opportunity for our two countries, as well as participating countries and other stakeholders, to show their determination to highlight that the Middle East has always been, historically, a region of diversity, which must be respected and protected.


Diversity of heritage and culture, of course religions: we’ve all seen the outrageous destructions in Palmyra or the old city of Aleppo, and the looting of archeological sites in both Iraq and Syria,. That is why the French President and the Crown Prince of the UAE have jointly launched an initiative on the preservation of heritage under threat because of conflicts, which will culminate with a high-level conference in Abu Dhabi on December 3rd.


But, first of all, diversity means people of different faiths, beliefs or convictions who, coexist in peace. Unfortunately what we’ve seen in this region for the last decade at least, was a long succession of bloodsheds and tragic blows to that peaceful coexistence: the church massacre in Baghdad in October 2010, the Alexandria bombing against Coptic Christians in January 2011, the rise of Daesh and the slaughter, on Mount Sinjar, of thousands of Yezidis in August 2014, the massacre of Druzes in Qalb Lawzah, in Northern Syria, in June 2015, and now the indiscriminate crushing of East Aleppo under thousands of tons of bombs, in addition to massive displacements of populations, millions of refugees and the temptation of ethnic cleansing.


This awful reality has triggered the decision, taken during that conference, to lay out an action plan. The main action in this plan was the creation of a dedicated fund for victims of religious and ethnic violence in the Middle East. This is through this dedicated fund that France has agreed to finance this project implemented by Caritas which aims at improving living conditions and coping strategies of displaced Iraqi refugees as well as Vulnerable Jordanians in Madaba. It has benefited, this year, of an amount of 250,000 euros.


I hope that this project, which I have the pleasure to inaugurate this evening, will contribute to the social and economic inclusion of Iraqi refugees who have left their country for the last years, many of them members of persecuted religious minorities.
France will resolutely continue to defend religious diversity, first and foremost by recalling the rich history of religious diversity in the Middle East. This is why, for instance, the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, is currently preparing a major exhibition for the Fall of 2017, and the 30-year anniversary of the Institute, about the peaceful coexistence of religions in the Middle East, and more specifically about the distinct identity of Middle East Christians. This exhibition will follow in spirit the large exhibition on “Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca” that was a popular success in 2014.


But we should not forget that our action isn’t only a matter of social inclusion or freedom of worship. It won’t be complete without ensuring freedom from fear. I know many of you tonight have fled Iraq, in particular Northern Iraq, in difficult and painful circumstances, because of the expansion of Daesh and its takeover of Mosul in June 2014. France and the other members of the International Coalition against Daesh, have mobilized considerable military means to fight it. The battle of Mosul is about to start and its liberation to take place. My deepest hope tonight is that it would mean the end of your ordeal and the beginning of a new era of peaceful coexistence and prosperity in this region.

 

 
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