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Think Tank 2022

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UPF and Al Liqa' Webinar: Feb.25th Bios

Speakers of the Webinar:

Freedom of Thought and Belief: Theological, Philosophical, Political and Sociological Perspectives. 

 

المؤتمر السنوي الدولي

"حرية الفكر والمعتقد"

من وجهات النظر اللاهوتية والفلسفية والسياسية والاجتماعية

25 فبراير 2022 ، الجمعة

16:00 - 19:00 القدس ⁕ 9:00 ص إلى 12:00 م نيويورك

 

25 February 2022, Friday
16:00-19:00 Jerusalem ⁕ 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM New York

Register Here to watch the Webinar on 25 February 2022: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_DA2tQVQ_Q6ObZZuEw-3lpQ

 

Program Speakers' Bios:

(Please click on their name to see their bios below in English.)

 

Opening Session:

Session Two: Philosophical and Political Foundations of Freedom of Thought and Belief

  • Dr. Raed Abd-Al Masih, Professor of Philosophy and Medical Ethics-Bethlehem University
  • Dr. Ján Figel, Member of the Governing Board of The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)-Slovakia

Session Three: Nation States and the Freedom of Religion and Thought

Session Four: The Role of Educational Institutions in Educating on Freedom of Thought

  • Dr. Omar Abed Rabo, Professor of Islamic History and Archaeology, Cultural Heritage, and Jerusalem studies, Head of the Humanities Department- Bethlehem University

Session Five: The Role of Media and Social Media in Promoting Freedom of Thought and Belief

  • Ziad El Sayegh, Expert on Public Policies, Executive Director of Civic Influence Hub- Lebanon

 

 

Program Speakers' Bios:

Bishop Munib Younan

  • President, Lutheran World Federation (2010-2017)
  • Honorary President, Religions for Peace, Palestine    
  • Bishop Emeritus, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL)
  • MA in Theology, Helsinki University
  • Studied theology, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
  • Sunhak Peace Prize laureate, Korea (2020)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munib_Younan

Dr. Yousef Zaknoun, Director, Al Liqa Center

  • Director, Al-Liqa' Center for Religious and Heritage Studies in the Holy Land
  • Professor, Philosophy & Ethics of Life, Bethlehem University
  • Director, Cardinal Martini Leadership Institute, Bethlehem University

https://lasallian.info/international-award-affirms-bethlehem-university-initiatives-in-interreligious-dialogue-and-peace-building/

https://cnewa.org/bethlehem-university-honored-with-international-award-50668/

Dr. Thomas Walsh, Chairman, UPF International

  • Chairman, Universal Peace Federation
  • Co-Chair, Coalition of Faith-Based Organizations, USA
  • Chair, Sunhak Peace Prize Foundation and the World Peace Road Foundation
  • Executive Editor, Dialogue and Alliance
  • Member, Board of Trustees, University of Bridgeport
  • Serves on the International Council of the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (WANGO)

Dr. Raed Abd-Al Masih, Professor of Philosophy and Medical Ethics-Bethlehem University

  • Born in 1963
  • He learned and finished secondary school in Jerusalem
  • He received his first and second degrees from the United States (Catholic University of America / Washington DC - in Theological Sciences)
  • He received his third degree from Spain (from the University of Theology in Granada)
  • In recent years, he completed his studies in Rome in Bioethics at Ateneo Regina Apostolorum University.
  • In the field of education for many years, between school and university education. And at Bethlehem University since 2012, between part-time and full-time education.
  • Professor of Philosophy and Medical Ethics
  • In the past, he participated in several meetings and conferences between the United States and Europe on issues of philosophy and theology.

Dr. Ján Figel, Member of the Governing Board of The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)-Slovakia

Nationality: Slovak

Political and Professional Engagements 

  • Since 2021
  • Member of the Governing Board of The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), Budapest, Hungary
  • 2016 – 2019 Special Envoy for promotion of freedom of religion outside the EU
  • 2012 – 2016 Vice-President of the National Council of the Slovak Republic
  • 2010 – 2012 First Deputy-Prime Minister of the Government of the Slovak Republic and Minister of Transport, Construction and Regional Development
  • 2009 – 2016 Chairman of the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH)
  • 2004 – 2009 Member of the European Commission – Education, Training, Culture and Youth portfolio
  • May 2004 – November 2004 Member of the European Commission – Enterprise and Information Society portfolio
  • 2003 – 2004 Head of the Standing Delegation of Observers of the National Council of the Slovak Republic in the European Parliament, also Member of the Presidency of the EPP-EP fraction of the European Parliament
  • 2002 – 2003 Representative of the Slovak National Council at the Convention on the Future of Europe
  • 1998 – 2003 State Secretary, Chief Negotiator of the Slovak Republic for negotiations on the accession of Slovakia to the EU
  • 1992 – 1998 Member of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, also Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and Vice-Chairman of the EPP fraction in the Parliamentary Assembly of the CoE (1998)
  • Since 1990 Founding Member of the Christian-Democratic Movement (KDH) 

Academic Activities and Formation

  • Since 2020 Fellow of Religlaw – ICLRS, Brigham Young University, Provo, USA
  • Since 2018 Visiting Fellow, Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
  • Since 2017 Member of International Advisory Council, ICLRS, Brigham Young University, Provo, USA
  • 2002 – 2007 PhD studies at St. Elisabeth University, Bratislava, Slovakia
  • 1995 – 2000 Lecturer in International Relations, Trnava University, Slovakia
  • 1994 Semestrial course on International relations, Georgetown University, Washington D.C., USA
  • 1994 Semestrial course on European economic integration, UFSIA, Antwerp, Belgium
  • 1978 – 1983 Engineering in Power Electronics, Technical University Košice, Slovakia

Membership in Non-Governmental Organizations

  • Honorary Chairman of the Centre for European Policy, Bratislava
  • Honorary President of the Kolping Society in Slovakia, Bratislava
  • President of the Anton Tunega Foundation, Bratislava (since 2009)
  • Former President of the Pan-European Union in Slovakia, Bratislava
  • Co-chair of the Executive IRF Roundtable, Washington D.C., USA (since 2020)

Publications

  • Ján Figeľ: In the Centre of Common Europe, MCP Žilina, 2011
  • Ján Figeľ: Maturation for Europe, Negotiator´s Chronicle, MCP Žilina, 2005
  • Ján Figeľ, Miroslav Adamiš: Slovakia on the Road to the European Union – Chapters and Contexts, 2003
  • Ján Figeľ, Wolfgang Roth: Slovakia on the Road to EU Membership (co-editor), 2002
  • Brett G. Scharffs, Ján Figeľ, and Jane H. Wise: Points of Light, ICLRS, Brigham Young University, Provo, USA, 2021

Awards

  • Human Tolerance and Humanitarian Award, The Czecho-Slovak Society of Arts and Science, Washington D.C., USA
  • Knight of the Honorary Legion, President of the French Republic, France
  • The Interfaith Golden Medallion, International Council of Christians and Jews, Cambridge, UK
  • Freedom award, International Peace Centre in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Doctor honoris causa, Technical University Košice, Slovakia (2006)
  • Doctor honoris causa, Dimitrie Cantemir University in Bucharest, Romania (2007)
  • Doctor honoris causa, Trnava University, Trnava, Slovakia (2009)
  • Doctor honoris causa, St. Elisabeth University, Bratislava, Slovakia (2009)

Dr. Iyad Al- Barghouti, Professor of political sociology and philosophy- President of the Arab Network for Tolerance

 

  • Professor of Political Sociology and Philosophy (retired)
  • Quarterly Editor-in-Chief
  • "tolerance".
  • President of the Arab Network for Tolerance
  • Researcher in the field of political Islam.
  • Latest publications
  • - Political Islam in Palestine.. Beyond politics
  • Political secularism and the religious process in Palestine.
  • Liberation of the East .. Towards an Eastern cultural empire

 

Bishop William Al-Shomali, General Vicar and Patriarchal Vicar for Jerusalem and Palestine

  • May 15, 1950: Born in Beit Sahour, Palestine
  • June 24, 1972: Ordained a priest and then served in Jordan for eight years.
  • June 1, 1980: Obtains a degree in English literature from the University of Yarmouk in Jordan.
  • September 1, 1980: Director of the minor seminary in Beit Jala.
  • May 6, 1989: Receives a doctorate in liturgical studies from the Pontifical Athenaeum of Saint Anselmo in Rome.
  • September 1, 1989: Professor of Liturgy, Vice-Rector and Dean at the Faculty of Philosophy and Theology of the Major Seminary of Beit Jala.
  • 1995: Publication of a book of songs with music used in the Diocese with several books on liturgy and spirituality.
  • 1998: General Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem
  • August 2, 2005: Rector of the Seminary of Beit Jala
  • September 3, 2009: Chancellor of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem
  • 2005 – 2013: Helps Palestinian families build 80 apartments in Jerusalem and sees the completion of the project in 2013
  • March 31, 2010: Appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as Auxiliary Bishop of Jerusalem for Palestine.
  • January 2014: Appointed as Advisor to the Council for Interreligious Dialogue in Rome and becomes Chairman of the Pilgrimage Committee for the Diocese of Jerusalem.
  • February 8, 2017:  Appointed Patriarchal Vicar in Jordan
  • June 18, 2018: Decorated by France as Chevalier of the Legion of Honor
  • August 20, 2019: Decorated with honor in the Order of Saint Stephen of Hungary
  • May 2018 – May 2022: Chairman of the Board of Trustees of AUM (American University of Madaba.
  • July 2, 2021: Appointed Patriarchal Vicar General in Jerusalem and Palestine.

Dr. Omar Abed Rabo, Professor of Islamic History and Archaeology, Cultural Heritage, and Jerusalem studies, Head of the Humanities Department- Bethlehem University

Dr. Omar Abed Rabo is an associate professor in Islamic History and Archaeology, Cultural Heritage, and Jerusalem studies. He received his PH.D. in the Fatimid History and Archaeology of Jerusalem from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 2012. Since 2013 he has been a faculty member at Bethlehem University. In 2014 Dr. Abd Rabo completed a post-doctorate studies at the Institute of Asian and African Studies at the Hebrew University in Islamic Archeology and History.

He has a long experience in Islamic archeology and history research and was the field director for several archaeological excavations, such as the Birzeit University excavations between 1998 and 2000 in Khirbet Birzeit.  He is also member of the Union of Arab Archaeologists and a member of the Palestinian-Danish Committee for Rewriting Palestinian History.

Ziad El Sayegh, Expert on Public Policies, Executive Director of Civic Influence Hub-Lebanon

Expert on Public Policies. Executive Director for Civic Influence Hub A researcher on the Palestinian Refugees issue in Lebanon and Peace Negotiations in the Middle East, on Syria Refugees and on Labor Policies and Social Protection. Expert – Member of the Political National Committee working on refugees issue at the Presidency of the Council of Ministries. He is Senior Policy Fellow at the Issam Fares Institute – IFI/AUB (December 2019 - December 2020). Member of ACT Alliance Peace and Human Security Reference Group-Geneva (November 2019 – December 2020). Policy Advisor in Adyan Foundation (2017-2019). Senior National Policy and Communication Advisor to the Ministry of State for Displaced Affairs (February 2017 - January 2019). Coordinator of "Better Lebanon Initiative" (December 2016 - December 2020). Policies and Communication Advisor to the Middle East Council of Churches – MECC (Sept 2018 - Dec 2020). Member of the Strategic Committee at the Maronite Center for Documentation and Research - MCDR (Sept 2018 - …). He was the CEO of the Civic Influence Hub (July 2012 - January 2016), Policy and Communication Strategies Advisor for the President of the Lebanese – Palestinian Dialogue Committee in the Lebanese Presidency of the Council of Ministers (2006 - 2009). He then was the Policy Advisor and Team Leader of Lebanese Minister of Labor (January 2010 - June 2011), and the National Policy Advisor to the International Labor Organization – (ILO) (September 2011 - June 2013). He was also a Strategies’ Communication Advisor for the Middle East Council of Churches, the Syndicate of teachers in Lebanon and the Health Establishment of the Druze Community. He has specialized studies in the Palestinian issue in Lebanon, Peace negotiations, and Labor and social Protection issues, Syria Displaced and published several articles and lectures in Public Policies, as refugees, Christian – Muslim Dialogue, Religious Freedom, Arab thinking and Citizenship. Co-author of “We Choose Abundant Life: Christians in the Middle East: Towards Renewed Theological, Social, and Political Choices” 

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