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05/12/2017 - 16:57hs
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Arab Chamber offers dinner to religious leaders

The organization welcomed clerics from the Arab community in São Paulo on Monday at an event to mark the end of the year.



Rodrigo Rodrigues

Yazigi (L) and Hannun (R) welcome sheikh Mohamad Al Bukai (C)

São Paulo – The Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce hosted a dinner on Monday evening (4) for religious leaders from the Arab community in São Paulo. The event was also attended by most of the Chamber’s board members and by delegates from Arab-related organizations, diplomats, politicians and businesspersons.

“You are continuously working for the community to integrate in peace and harmony, for social interaction and quality of life, without distinction [of creed],” Arab Chamber president Rubens Hannun told the religious leaders. “We hope that the example set by all [religious] leaders will remain in place and inspire us in 2018,” he said.

Hannun believes in the importance of showing that Arab-Brazilians are an integrated community, although they might profess different faiths. This becomes clear within the Arab Chamber, whose board and staff comprise followers of various religions. “The holiday season is drawing near, and this is a great time to get the community to interact,” he said.

Rodrigo Rodrigues

Hannun (L) speaks with bishop Edgard Madi

The president said 2017 also saw the Chamber’s 65th anniversary and the launch of its new headquarters, on São Paulo’s Avenida Paulista, where dinner was held. “This home is the home of all Arab-Brazilians, of all Arabs and all Brazilians,” Hannun asserted.

Guests included the Antiochian Orthodox Church’s metropolitan archbishop Dom Damaskinos Mansour, sheikh Abdel Hamid Metwally of the Muslim Beneficent Society in Brazil, Maronite bishop Dom Edgard Madi, sheikh Mohamad Al Bukai of the Santo Amaro Mosque, Melchite Greek Church bishop Dom Joseph Gebara, and priest Joseph Bizon, representing the Catholic Archdiocese of São Paulo.

Also in attendance were the head of Egypt’s Commercial Office in São Paulo, Mohamed Elkhatib, Syria consul Sami Salameh, state representative Fernando Capez, Brazil-Lebanon Chamber of Commerce president Alfredo Cotait, Morocco honorary consul Hilton Antonio Penã, architect Ruy Ohtake – who designed the new Arab Chamber headquarters – and Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry executive João Paulo Paixão, among other people.

Rodrigo Rodrigues

Clerics of different faiths sat down for dinner

Arab Chamber personnel in attendance included board chairman Walid Yazigi and deputy chairmen Osmar Chohfi (Foreign Relations), Riad Younes (Marketing), Ruy Carlos Cury (Foreign Trade) and Adel Auada (Administrative); treasurer director Nahid Chicani, cultural director Sílvia Antibas, investment director Daniel Hannun, and directors Cláudia Yazigi Haddad, Mohamad Mourad, Mohamad Abdouni Neto, Sami Roumieh and Wail Hababi; as well as former presidents Antônio Sarkis Júnior, Salim Taufic Shahin, Orlando Sarhan and Marcelo Sallum.

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

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