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

PerennesBy Christophe De Roquefeuil – CAIRO

With its shaded courtyard and quiet library, Cairo’s Dominican Institute for Oriental Studies is an oasis of research, aimed at fostering Islamic-Christian ties in a country riven with political and religious tensions.

The internationally-reputed IDEO institute aims to encourage not just study, but dialogue between the religions, in a context where “Islam can be scary and where a country like Egypt is trying hard to find its democratic voice,” director Jean-Jacques Perennes said.

The brick building surrounded by greenery is located symbolically in a neighbourhood close to Al-Azhar — Sunni Islam’s highest seat of learning — and the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral.

Created at the request of the Vatican in 1953, IDEO celebrated its 60th anniversary this week amid tensions in Egypt.

he celebrations come two years after the uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak in 2011 and led to last June’s election of the…

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