Syria’s Culture, History and Current Affairs with Revd. Andrew Ashdown (Video)

Frome Stop War 

Jun 26, 2018

Gaining genuine insight into the culture, history and current affairs of a Middle Eastern country is difficult in these times, especially when the view is dominated by a media which uses inaccurate portrayals. When it comes to a subject as complicated as the Syrian conflict, it becomes difficult to know from where one can get accurate and reliable information. And what about stories beyond the conflict? The people, the families, the communities?

Frome Stop War welcomed Reverend Andrew Ashdown, an Anglican Priest who has faithfully served many communities in the south of England for nearly thirty years, to share with us his insights and experiences gained through many journeys throughout Syria. Revd. Ashdown has travelled extensively throughout Asia, Africa and the Middle East, working not only to spread the gospel, but also to strengthen bonds between communities of different faiths. Through his work as an inter-faith specialist he has become part of many different communities, working alongside other faith and community leaders as well as members of the public.

Throughout his many varied missions and travels, one area piqued the interest of Revd. Ashdown in particular; the Middle East. With its rich and varied cultures and faiths, and deeply rooted traditions for both Christian and Muslim traditions, amongst many others, Revd. Ashdown found himself drawn to this beautiful and mysterious part of the world.

Revd. Ashdown has been a regular visitor to Syria before the conflict, and has visited the country ten times since April 2014, both independently and with delegations. He has also been undertaking doctoral Research into Christian-Muslim relations in the in the country. In this illustrated talk, Andrew contextualised the make-up of Syrian society, the impact of the conflict on the country, and the way in which Syrians, even amidst desperate circumstances, are seeking to support those in need, preserve their mosaic secular society, and rebuild communities.

With western leaders constantly sabre rattling at the Syrian government, the Syrian Arab Army and the Syrian people, can we believe the stories told by our political and media establishment, given their track record on ‘informing’ us about Middle Eastern affairs?


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