A Dinner Conversation: Interfaith Leaders on Syria

On Monday, August 6th, Tanenbaum hosted an interfaith dinner for our Syrian Peacemaker Hind Kabawat, and her friend and longtime mentor, Father Paolo Dall’Oglio.

Father Paolo, an Italian priest who has lived in Syria for over 30 years, was expelled from the country in June for openly criticizing the Assad regime and its crushing response to the civilian opposition. His visit to New York was part of a North American tour which aims to garner greater support for the Syrian opposition and encourage a global response to the violence which has killed nearly 20,000 people since it began 17 months ago.
 
In attendance at the dinner were the two prominent Muslim members of the Syrian expat community in New York, as well as Dr. Burt Visotzky from the Jewish Theological Seminary, Rabbi Joe Potasnik who is currently serving as the Executive Vice President of the New York Board of Rabbis, and a high profile representative of the Greek Orthodox Church. Despite the wide range of faiths and backgrounds represented at the table, the conversation focused on just one topic: the bloodshed in Syria and what can be done to end it. Each dinner attendee was impressed by the intrepidness of Father Paolo and Hind Kabawat, who continue to work for peace, justice and freedom of expression in Syria at great personal risk. Each offered their support and vowed to help Father Paolo, Ms. Kabawat and the Syrian people in any way they could.
 
On August 10th, Rabbi Potasnik invited Father Paolo to his talk show Religion on the Line, which airs every Sunday on WABC, to help him reach a greater audience. The interview demonstrates the passion and righteous ire of a man who was expelled from the country he loved for his outspokenness and dedication to peace and interfaith harmony.
 
You can catch last Sunday’s installment of “Religion on the Line” by following the link. Father Paolo’s interview begins 41 minutes into the show.
 
 
Bruce Crise,
Peacemakers in Action Network Coordinator