Wednesday, November 14, 2012

More on the Party of the Levant

Arabic original here. All very curious, still....

The Rum Now Have a Party to Represent Them!

The leader of the Orthodox Party of the Levant, Rodrigue Khoury, explained the party to Lebanon Debate as "a new party with youth leadership, whose discourse is Christian and whose goals are to work to ensure a better future for the Christians of the Levant through keeping them in their land and preventing their emigration on the one hand, and making sure that they are not second class citizens used as fodder in others' conflicts on the other hand."

As to the idea of establishing the party, Khoury said that, "The idea has been there for a long time. The basic motivation was that the Rum do not have a party that works for their interest, only individuals who are beholden to political parties. We began three months ago by looking for young people with the same concerns and we discovered that social networking sites are the best way to do this, so we set up a page under the name 'Orthodox Party' on Facebook. From there we held a number of meetings to get to know each other and afterwards formed a committee to set out a political plan for the party. Afterwards, we informed the Ministry of the Interior and on October 15 we were registered officially."

Khoury made it clear that "the party's discourse is a Christian discourse, inspired by Christian principles that we harness for the service of mankind and the service of society in general, on a Christian ideological basis."

He said, "The Christian Rum do not have a political party that makes their presence effective. Such a party is a political necessity in light of the dependence of Maronite parties on political Shi'ism and political Sunnism. Thus we need a political alternative that is beholden to no one and that advocates the discourse of the Christians of the Levant." He indicated that "the parties combines the concerns of March 8 and March 14 in order to create a single Christian discourse emanating from youth leadership with the goal of change, so that Christians will become active rather than passive, as they are accustomed to being."

Regarding the party's future plans, Khoury indicated that the party's goals will focus on: "ensuring a better future though: first of all, an apparatus within the party for ensuring job opportunities for the youth through social networks; second, establishing social aid organizations; third, establishing organizations for preserving Christian heritage and Christian monuments which have no one to defend them; finally and most importantly, preventing the sale of Christians' lands in the Levant by coordination with various Christian organizations in the world."

It should be noted that the Orthodox Party of the Levant recently undertook a political-media campaign and sit-in against the Turkish film "Fetih 1453" which in their opinion falsified history and insulted the Christian religion. With the cooperation of the Catholic center, Orthodox priests, and security officials, they succeeded in stopping the film from being shown.

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