Issued by CEMO Center - Paris
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Ali asks French to stay away from clichés in understanding Arabs, Muslims

Friday 07/April/2023 - 09:50 PM
The Reference

Renowned writer, Abdelrahim Ali, who is the Chairman of the Board of Directors and Editors of al-Bawaba News and the Centre for Middle East Studies in Paris (CEMO), concluded his speech at a seminar organized by the centre in the French capital Friday by referring to French scholar, Jacques Berque, once more.

He said this French scholar's love of Islam and reverence of the Arab and the Islamic civilization did not prevent him from remaining a Catholic.

"His affinity with Arabs did not prevent him from remaining French until the end," Ali said of Berque.

The CEMO director said he strives to bring Egypt and France together and other Arab countries and France together as well.

This is needed, he said, so that both sides can understand each other and so that French citizens can understand the reality of the Islamic religion.

Ali quoted Berque as saying, "I want my French readers to understand what Arabs and Muslims are, away from clichés, fanaticism and ready-made ideas," when he was asked about how he classified himself.

"I borrow that phrase from him and say: and so am I," Ali said.

Called 'Egypt … Dawn of Conscience', the seminar is held at the ancient French Le Creon hotel, which overlooks an ancient Egyptian obelisk, on the margins of the opening of the Ramses II Exhibition at the Grand Halle de la Villette. The exhibition will last for five months.

Attending the event is a host of dignitaries, including Egyptian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Ahmed Essa, leading Egyptologist, Zahi Hawass, and Egypt's Ambassador to France, Alaa Youssef.

A host of chief editors of French newspapers attend the seminar, along with several French MPs, senior politicians and Egyptologists.