A Center of Christian-Muslim Engagement for Peace and Justice: News and Views

cairo fatherBy James Martone
Catholic News Service

CAIRO (CNS) — On a recent afternoon in Cairo, Comboni Father Giuseppe Scattolin was delving into 13th-century Sufi poems at his desk in the single room he inhabits, on an upper floor of a building that also houses an Arabic language school and its related administrative offices.

The ancient odes he studied were written by Sufi Arab poet Umar Ibn al-Farid, who lived in Egypt eight centuries ago, leaving behind a trove of verse in Cairo when he died there in 1235.

They are little known in the Arab and Muslim world and even less so in the Christian West. Bringing such Muslim texts to a wider audience is not only Father Scattolin’s passion, but his duty as a Christian, he said from behind his open laptop and piles of books in Arabic, French, Italian and English.

“What does it mean to be Christian?…

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