Africa, the Middle East was the cradle of great civilizations and 3 monotheistic religions. For thousands of years these lands held a very noticeable influence on Asia Minor and the European Mediterranean. Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Hittites, Phoenicians, Persians, Greeks, Arabs and Turks have let an indelible mark through their culture, art and religions. Judaism, Christianity and Islam were begun in this region, and it was here in Jerusalem that their holy city is found.
November 27, 1999 in Jordan is a day that will forever remain an unforgettable day for the members of the Focolare in these lands. Founder Chiara Lubich visited the Middle East and met some thousand members of the Focolare in Amman. They came from more than 20 countries (from the Middle East and beyond), some travelling over 20 hours by bus, others in airplanes, and overcoming impossible obstacles. A thousand people representing the more than 25,000 people who belong to the Movement in those lands. On that occasion, Chiara said to the crowd: “It’s wonderful to be with you. We are many peoples, but in this hall we are one.”
Two days later, on November 29, during the 7th Assembly of the World Conference of Religions for Peace (WCRP), which was held in Amman, during her speech, Chiara Lubich presented the “Art of Loving” including the aspect of loving everyone without distinction, taking the initiative in loving, putting yourself in the other person’s shoes and remembering that every human being has made in the image and likeness o God. She offered as an effective way of building peace among individuals and peoples.
On August 28, 2013, the current president and co-president of the Focolare, Maria Voce and Giancarlo Faletti, are expected to meet with the Focolare community in Jordan. Their visit will last through September 1, 2013 and is seen as an important and delicate encounter, considering the latest painful events in that region, especially in Egypt.
At the WCRP Assembly in 1999, Chiara Lubich had stated: “We are here today because we believe that in spite of everything,, peace is still possible. In fact it is the only path for a future that is worthy of the highest human values.” Perhaps these words are the key or understanding the upcoming visit of the Focolare president in Jordan.