Here’s what piqued our interest this week! Special thanks to Edirin Davis, Communications Officer and Hannah Ward, Communications Intern in compiling this list.
Alp Aslodogan of Alliance for Shared Values, wrote a response article to Halil Karaveli recently, which repeated the accusation that sympathizers of Fethullah Gulen are engaged in wiretapping. Aslodogan writes that these allegations have not been backed by any evidence and Gulen and the people of his movement are known to not have interest in political power. The non-profit organizations inspired by Gulen (such as Niagara Foundation), focus on education, health care, humanitarian assistance and intercultural dialogue. Aslodogan writes that Karaveli suggesting “Gulenists are prepared to fight against policies” is simply undemocratic.
In Florence, Italy, filmmakers from all over the MENA region come together to take part in the 5th year of the Middle East Now festival. The festival is a six- day journey through the “cinema, art, culture of the contemporary Middle East and North Africa. Included in the festival are food tastings as well as exhibits such as the “Urban Series” that features a series of video-portraits of personalities, artists and style icons from the Middle East.
Huffington Post Live video on the Interfaith Tour – A Group of five guys who are ending their trip around the world learning about interfaith initiatives came to Niagara last week to discuss their trip. Here’s a video describing their goals.
One of Niagara Foundation’s own, Director of Culture Exchange & Interfaith Collaboration, Brendan Dowd, recently had his article Tinted Glass: The Trinity and a Discourse of Dialogue published in the Theophilus: The Student Journal of the Catholic Theological Union.
As part of our Sharing the Faith program, Niagara is collaborating with Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Arlington Heights to create a space where people can learn about the traditions and beliefs around Easter. Maundy Thursday, or Holy Thursday, is a ceremony practiced on the Thursday before Good Friday in the Lutheran Church. It is the first of the three days leading up to the celebration of Easter and marking the end of Lent. The name Maundy Thursday is based on the Latin word “mandatum”, which means “to command”. Maundy Thursday is a ceremony for remembering and practicing the new commandment Jesus gave his disciples after the Last Supper. This commandment was “that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another” (John 13:34). The first Maundy Thursday was when Jesus gave his disciples his body and blood with the bread and the wine at the Last Supper. Lutheran services on Maundy Thursday focus on the meal and the communion to commemorate this event. Also, some Lutheran traditions include a foot washing ceremony in the service in remembrance of how Jesus washed the feet of his disciples before the Last Supper. This practice highlights the value of humility and sacrifice. After the sacrament of Holy Communion is celebrated during the service, it is customary to strip the altar as a symbol of the soldiers stripping Jesus before his crucifixion and the abandonment of Jesus by his disciples. Some traditions end the service by dimming the lights, stopping the music, removing the Holy Water, and leaving the service in silence. These parts of the service will return again on Easter in order to mark the return of Jesus.