Over the past five years, based on my work as a journalist specialised in religious ecclesiastic media affairs through the Catholic Centre for Studies and Media and Lebanese NourSat satellite station, I accompanied several ecclesiastic delegations as well as organised and furthermore participated in conferences and workshops most of which discussed the issues of dialogue, solidarity, reconciliation, man's dignity and rights, as well as issues of justice, peace and prosperity. All these values support human causes which incorporate pain, suffering, displacement, murder and death.
The delegations I used to accompany were distinguished because they were mostly foreign official delegations coming from the State of Vatican. They were interested in our Arab region, in the suffering of its peoples, especially in sisterly states. They were interested in wiping tears of sufferers or consoling the oppressed to instill a hope for a better tomorrow and a new horizon, confirming the presence of the Merciful, Compassionate Lord in whose hands are the reins of authority, and directing our fates towards progress and prosperity.
At the end of May and June, I accompanied two dear guests who came from Rome on an official mission representing His Holiness Pope Francis to share with us our concerns and hopes.
The first guest was Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, head of the Congregation for Eastern Churches at the Vatican, who came to console the displaced Syrians. He met them in Zarqa, got acquainted with their conditions and stressed continued assistance to them through the Caritas Jordan that provides services in the Kingdom for hundreds of thousands of Jordanian, Iraqi and Syrian families.
Secondly, Cardinal Sandri participated in the inauguration of the American University of Madaba, a renowned university owned by the Latin Patriarchate, whose inauguration was officially patronised by His Majesty King Abdullah.
In his speech on this occasion, Cardinal Sandri, conveyed a message from the Pope which contained heartfelt wishes to this dear country, Jordan, and further wishes for more "prosperity, dialogue and fraternity". These three words outlined the characteristics of our dear Jordan, which has always been keen on experiencing and exporting to the whole world.
The second guest was Archbishop Claudio Maria Chili, the head of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications in the Vatican, who participated in a conference titled, " Christian Arab Media in the Service of the issues of Justice, Peace and Human Rights", organised by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications in the Vatican, and the Catholic Centre for Studies and Media in Amman.
Archbishop Chili was received by Jordanian officials, where he was received by Prime Minister Abdullah Nsour with discussions focusing on public and general affairs. The prime minister stressed Jordan's keenness to maintain relations between Jordan and the Holy See.
It is worth noting that Bishop Chili was the architect who had laid the bases of these relations in the 1990s. He also visited a number of leading media institutions such as the Jordan Media Institute where he was received by HRH Princess Rym Ali and the administrative body. During the visit, he was briefed on the institute's achievements and the prospects of communicating with similar institutions in Rome through student exchanges.
During the reception accorded to our distinguished guests, I noticed the extent of "openness and hospitality" being felt in Jordan, especially with regards to the reception of delegations that enjoy official religious character. I also noticed the extent of respect security men accord to these personalities and their willingness to facilitate their missions.
While accompanying them, I was proud to be of Jordanian origin, treasuring our Arabism and land as well as proud of our people. My pride in my countrymen stems from their devotion to their country, Jordan, and its soil, standing up against any one who would jeopardise its security and stability, maintaining their national unity, which provides security for its entire people regardless of their roots, gender or religion.
Within the framework of the visit, our guests talked to me about the openness of His Majesty King Abdullah II and Queen Rania, particularly during their last meeting with Pope Benedict XVI, before his resignation, where they always sought to have positive dialogue that maintains mutual respect. Jordan is always keen to maintain such dialogues. They also mentioned that Pope John Paul II , who visited Jordan in 2000 and celebrated the grand Jubilee in Amman, was referring to Jordanians as "the brotherly descendents of Abraham."
During several meetings at the Vatican, His Majesty the King accentuated that Jordan is "a homeland for a Christian Arab community that can be traced back to over 2,000 years, and that we live together as one individual in cohesion through our contribution to the vitality of our country and our quest for maintaining its peace."
Pope Francis' words on Jordan did not come from a vacuum, but from a history abounding with events, so let us demand for Jordan further "prosperity, dialogue and brotherhood."