Prof. Dr. Mahmoud El-Metini, President of Ain Shams University, inaugurated the activities of the “Culture of Difference and the Art of Dialogue” symposium organized by the university within the framework of the cultural season, during which Dr. Amr Al-Wardani, Secretary of the Fatwa and Director of the Marriage Counseling Center at the Egyptian Ifta, hosted His Grace Bishop Jeremiah, General Bishop and Head of the Coptic Orthodox Cultural Center Mark's Cathedral in Abbasiya, and Professor Abdel Latif El-Manawy, editor-in-chief of Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper, in the presence of Prof. Dr. Abdel-Fattah Saud, Vice President for Education and Student Affairs, Prof. Dr. Hesham Tamraz, Vice President for Community Service and Environmental Development, and a group of deans, agents of faculties, faculty staff and administrators and students.
The symposium was coordinated by Prof. Gehan Ragab, Professor of Marketing at the Faculty of Business and advisor to the Vice President for Community Service and Environmental Development, and moderated by Prof. Dr. Dina Farouk Abu Zeid, Head of the Department of Communication and Media Sciences at the Faculty of Arts and Director of the University's Media Center, and the coordination of the students' family for Central Egypt.
During his speech, Prof. Dr. Mahmoud El-Metini, President of the University, welcomed the audience, stressing that the current academic year at the university is a rich cultural year, with various seminars and events, praising the remarkable activity witnessed by the community service and environmental development sector.
On the title of the symposium, he stressed that the return of terrorism was among the main reasons for choosing the topic of culture of difference and the art of dialogue.
Dr. Mahmoud El-Metini offers his sincere condolences to the martyrs of the homeland, who were killed by the hands of treachery during the terrorist act that took place in recent weeks.
He added that based on the university's societal responsibility, it is the responsibility of the university to address these important issues, and to work on developing communication and communication skills in the university community, pointing out that communication skills have become part of the curricula taught in different colleges, and that there are some centers in the university that specialize in developing them for the faculty staff, in addition to holding seminars and various events, noting that a series of workshops will be held with the same title as the symposium to develop a culture of difference and the art of dialogue in the university community.
Prof. Dr. Mahmoud El-Metini added that difference is very important, but we have to learn how to differ, stressing the importance of developing awareness to achieve this, especially in academic societies that must be more knowledgeable than others.
He also spoke about social networking sites and their misuse, stressing the need for solidarity to develop awareness and a culture of difference among users of social networking sites, calling them to investigate accuracy when publishing news.
During his speech, Prof. Dr. Abdel Fattah Saoud, Vice President of Ain Shams University for Education and Student Affairs, stressed that Egypt is the land of the partners who pledged to live together, and the genius of Egypt is that it is the only country that was able to volunteer everyone, even the invaders, so they fused into its civilization.
He also touched on the issue of renewing religious discourse, stressing that it should be based on searching for points of convergence, not points of difference.
In his speech, Prof. Hisham Tamraz indicated that the topic of the symposium coincides with the world's celebration of the International Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, which falls on May 21 of each year, pointing out that all religions emphasized the importance of acquaintance for the reconstruction of the earth, and that we all have to search for points of concord And renounce everything that makes us separate.
Prof. Dr. Hesham Tamraz stressed that the best weapon to confront extremism is cultural diversity and acceptance of the other, explaining the importance of strengthening the societal role to confront extremist ideas and support enlightened ideas through building bridges of communication.
Dr. Amr Al-Wardani, Secretary of the Fatwa and Director of the Marriage Guidance Center at Dar Al-Ifta, began his speech by conveying the greetings of the Grand Mufti of the Republic, Dr. Shawki Allam, then spoke about the culture of difference and the art of dialogue as a life necessity and duty if we want to change towards development.
Dr. Amr Al-Wardani touched on 7 features that have become dominant in our society at the present time, which are (the increase in individualism that creates mental selfishness, which in turn hinders the acceptance of a culture of difference, moods, skepticism that increased with the increase in information, a sense of grievance that has become dominating transactions, frustration and an increase in sensitivity towards thoughts and words and finally the randomness in which we are drowning)
He also spoke about social media, calling for social and psychological studies to be conducted.
Dr. Amr Al-Wardani also addressed the culture of difference, explaining that in order to reach it, it is necessary to know the other, then recognize it, and set the rules of dealing that bring them together to reach the difference that makes the coalition.
It also dealt with the elements of constructive dialogue that combines understanding (understanding the person as he wants), understanding (to put yourself in the place of the other) and understanding to come up with a common measure that brings them together.
In his speech, His Grace Bishop Jeremiah, General Bishop and Head of the Coptic Orthodox Cultural Center at St. Mark's Cathedral in Abbasiya, affirmed that Egypt is a country of pluralism that has witnessed civilizations and created a personality that recognizes and accepts diversity and pluralism through the ages, to accommodate everyone in harmony that no country in the world has witnessed, stressing that pluralism is brotherhood and not Mix and quote verses from the Qur’an and the Bible that encourage diversity and acceptance of the other.
He added that difference is not supposed to carry any negative feelings towards humans and each other, but it may create conflicts that turn into rivalries, so we have to learn how to differ, stressing that to spread the culture of difference we must raise the level of culture, which carries with it the establishment of a quiet dialogue away from controversy and conflict with Find common rules enable road completion.
His Eminence Bishop Jeremiah stressed that terrorism does not differentiate between a Muslim and a Christian, and that it represents a danger to all religious concepts, and all heavenly religions reject it and call for love and tolerance and not insult the other in any way, and he cited verses from the Qur’an and the Bible in this regard.
He added that the Egyptian people are one fabric, and anyone who tries to rip our unity cannot succeed, stressing the need for all institutions of society to unite against false ideas, affirm lofty values, and urge everything that is useful to defuse terrorism and preserve peace in this country.
In his speech, Professor Abdul Latif Al-Manawi stressed the need to continue holding such seminars and called on the university to hold a series of workshops that promote the exchange of opinions, provided that they are characterized by freedom and differing visions to produce positive results.
He also presented an observation of the reasons that changed the Egyptian society and made it less receptive to difference, which sometimes reached the rejection of the other, including immigration to the Gulf countries and the Iranian revolution, stressing that the secret of Egypt's strength lies in accepting the different.
He stressed the need to recognize the existing defect and called on Ain Shams University to launch a social study to monitor the changes that society has witnessed.
Mr. Abdul Latif Al-Manawi also reviewed some aspects of the lack of dialogue language by presenting some of the current events.
At the end of the meeting, the dialogue was opened and questions were received from the audience, and Prof. Dr. Mahmoud El-Metini, President of the University, honored the guests of the symposium and gifted the university shield to Dr. Amr Al-Wardani, Secretary of the Fatwa and Director of the Marriage Counseling Center at the Egyptian Ifta, and His Eminence Bishop Jeremiah, General Bishop and Head of the Coptic Orthodox Cultural Center at the cathedral. Mark Al-Abbasiya, and Mr. Abdel Latif Al-Manawi, editor-in-chief of Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper.