Dialogue Across Borders Sponsors Conference on Interfaith Engagement and the Environment

Sent On: 
Tue, 2023-06-06
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On May 29th and 30th, Dialogue Across Borders helped cosponsor a significant conference at the Centre for Christian-Muslim Understanding and Partnership (CCMUP) in the Anglican-Episcopal Church in Egypt under the theme, “The Role of Religious Leaders in Preserving the Environment.” Along with Dialogue Across Borders, the conference was supported by a diverse set of sponsors and partners, including Al-Azhar’s Islamic Research Academy (al-Majmaʿ al-Buḥūth al-Islāmiyya), the Egyptian Ministry of the Environment, the Egyptian Family House (al-Bayt al-ʿAʾilah al-Misriyya), the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion (U.K.), and SAT-7 Media, among other organizations. The primary objective of the conference was to build on the momentum of the 2022 U.N. Climate Conference (COP27), held in Sharm al-Sheikh last November, with a special focus on religious leadership and interfaith engagement in Egypt. 


(Coptic Orthodox Bishop Armīā offers remarks during the opening session.)


The opening session featured remarks from Dr. Naẓīr ʿAyyād (President of Al-Azhar’s Islamic Research Academy), Ambassador Raʾūf Saʿd (Egyptian Ministry of the Environment), Bishop Armīā (General Secretary of the Egyptian Family House and President of the Coptic Orthodox Cultural Centre), Father Rafīq Greish (Catholic Church in Egypt), Archbishop Samī Fawzī (Anglican-Episcopal Province of Alexandria), Archbishop Emeritus Mouneer Anīs (Angican-Episcopal Province of Alexandria), among others. This was followed by a session on the scientific evidence for climate change led by Professor Robert White (FRS) of Cambridge University/The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion and a second afternoon session featuring Dr. Sāmiḥ Rīād from the Egyptian Ministry of the Environment who presented on the impact of climate change and environmental degradation in the Alexandria region. 


  (Conference participants)

The second day began with a focus on theological perspectives on the environment and featured presentations from Muslim and Christian theologians. Father Rafīq Greish and Professor Robert White both presented a Christian theological vision of the environment, while Dr. Ismāʿīl ʿAbdullāh, professor of Islamic studies in the Department of German at al-Azhar, and Dr. Maḥmūd al-Ḥawārī, assistant dean at the Islamic Research Academy, presented Islamic perspectives. 


  (Panel for Christian and Muslim perspectives on the environment)


The afternoon sessions on the second day returned to more practical emphases. In the first afternoon session, Dr. Layla Iskander, former Minister of the Environment, presented an overview of environmental pressures and proactive responses in Egypt. Her presentation was followed by several Egyptian civil-society organizations which presented their ideas and work to the conference. These included Banlastic, Greenish, and Evergreen Energy, among others. Both the presentations by Dr. Iskander and the various organizations provided important practical insights into the challenges and potential solutions Egypt faces at present. The final session of the conference involved interfaith working groups which discussed a variety of ideas and proposals.


(A list of some of the main conference sponsors and partners)


Dialogue Across Borders is proud to have served as an official sponsor for this important conference and looks forward to further cooperation around the themes of interfaith engagement and the environment in Egypt.



With best wishes,

Matthew Anderson 

Executive Editor 

Dialogue Across Borders 



June 6, 2023