May 4, 2013 by History in a Hurry
Given the violence in Syria and the recent kidnapping of clergy there, I thought this article might be of interest. In September 2011, an American delegation visited Syria on behalf of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. They met with religious leaders there and with President Assad. Below is the link to Father Patrick Henry Reardon’s article about their trip. It was published in the archdiocese magazine, The Word.
Delegation to Syria
by Patrick Henry Reardon
Here is my favorite excerpt:
My first interviewer, who was an Antiochian Orthodox Christian, began with the hope that I would consider Syria my “second home.” “No,” I replied, “Syria is my first home.” I went on to explain my regard for Syria, because it is the geographical and historical link between the cultures of the Fertile Crescent and the Mediterranean Basin. As such Syria is the capstone, the link that holds Western Civilization together. It was Syria—specifically Ras Shamra—that taught us the alphabet. Consequently, if anyone wants to disagree about his level of debt to Syria, I will insist that he communicates the disagreement in either cuneiform or hieroglyphics; he certainly has no right to use the alphabet. Syria is, in short, at the absolute root of who we are.