Join "Maronites of the Whole World" on Facebook.





Sfeir in Zahle, is Presented Key to the City: Our Visit Affirms that Bkirki is for Everyone
(Retrieved from Naharnet on June 20, 2010)

Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir urged Sunday the residents of Zahle to unite and reach agreements regardless of their religious beliefs, stressing that their solidarity is strength, while their division is a weakness.

    He made his statements during his Sunday sermon at the Mar Maroun Cathedral in the city of Zahle, during which he called on Christian politicians to exercise forgiveness, adding: "They know that their religion is forgiveness and love."

    "Through unity, we protect our present, prepare our future, bolster our presence and make it beneficial for us and others," he stated.

    The Patriarch arrived in the city amid warm popular celebrations, and the sermon was attended by Tourism Minister Fadi Aboud, representing President Michel Suleiman, MP Abdel Latif al-Zein, representing House Speaker Nabih Berri, and Minister Adnan al-Qassar, representing Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

    Prior to his arrival at the Cathedral, Sfeir was presented with the key to the city from the head of the Zahle municipal council, Joseph Diab Maalouf, upon which he said: "We sought for Bkirki to be for everyone ever since we have assumed our responsibilities" of the Patriarchate.

    Sfeir added: "Nations are like individuals, and people need mutual cooperation among each other, and this is what we are calling for," similar to what is taking place between neighboring nations.




Explosion in Zahle Kills 1, Injures 2, on Eve of Patriarch's Visit
(Retrieved from Naharnet on June 20, 2010)

A powerful bomb ripped through a used car parts shop in the industrial city of Zahle in east Lebanon shortly before midnight Saturday, killing one person and wounding two others, reported the daily An Nahar Sunday.
It identified the victim as Ziad Hussein.

The explosion took place on the eve of Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir's visit to Zahle, where he will be presented with the key to the city.

The shop belongs to Khaled Dallah from the eastern town of Bar Elias.

The explosion caused major damage to the shop and two others adjacent to it.

Eye witness reports said that an individual, identified as Ammer al-Ajami, was trapped in a burning Mercedes and was later transported to the Lebanese-French Hospital for treatment.

Another individual, Khaled Hammoud, was also injured in the blast.

Primary investigation said that the explosion took place while preparing a bomb, with investigators' sources revealing that Hammoud, Ajami, and Dallah have been arrested for investigation.



Patriarch Sfeir in Zahle Sunday, to be Handed Key to the City
(Retrieved from Naharnet on June 20, 2010)

Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir is expected to arrive in the Bekaa city of Zahle Sunday to inaugurate the Mar Maroun Cathedral.

    The ceremony, which will take place under the auspices of President Michel Suleiman, will be attended by the house speaker, prime minister, and a number of ministers and MPs.

    Sfeir is due to arrive in the city at 9:00 am where he will head to the Zahle Serail where he will be presented with the key to the city.

    He is set to be welcomed by popular and official celebrations seeing as Zahle is considered "one of the greatest centers for Christians in the East."

    The event marks the first time a patriarch visits Zahle in 73 years.

    Sfeir had told Al Arabiyya on Saturday that Lebanon was not the suitable country to naturalize the Palestinians seeing as it hardly fits its own population.

    He added that other Arab states should take the responsibility because they have the means to do so, and denying that there are attempts to force the Palestinians out of Lebanon.

    He also addressed the issue of Hizbullah's arms, saying that it is an "unusual case" because other countries are allowed to set up a regular army, but this is not the case in Lebanon.

    Furthermore, he noted that Syria still has power in Lebanon, stressing that some Lebanese sides are strengthening their ties with the Arab state at Lebanon's expense.

    Asked about whether he intends on visiting Syria, Sfeir said: "Lebanon and Syria will not benefit from any trip I make at this moment."