Top international scholar joins “One Voice for Christians”

Yesterday, the production team of the project “One Voice for Christians” was received by one of the greatest middle eastern scholars in the world, Dr Joseph Kechichian. He was interviewed for the series of documentaries of the project “One Voice for Christians“. The Doctor graciously hosted at his home HRH Prince Gharios El Chemor, Mr Antoine Kalaydjian (Director of Ecumenical Dialogue), Mr Tony Partamian and his assistant.

Dr Kéchichian is the leading authority in Middle Eastern Royal succession in the world today. He has received his doctorate in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia in 1985, where he also taught (1986-1988), and assumed the assistant deanship in international studies (1988-1989). In the 1989, he was a Hoover Fellow at Stanford University (under the U.S. State Department Title VIII Program). Between 1990 and 1996, he labored at the Santa Monica-based RAND Corporation as an Associate Political Scientist, and was a lecturer at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA).

Between 1998 and 2001, Dr Kéchichian was a fellow at UCLA’s Gustav E. von Grunebaum Center for Near Eastern Studies, where he held a Smith Richardson Foundation grant (1998-1999) to compose Succession in Saudi Arabia (New York: Palgrave [2001]) and Beirut and London: Dar Al Saqi, 2002, 2003 [2nd ed] (for the Arabic translation)]. He published Political Participation and Stability in the Sultanate of Oman, Dubai: Gulf Research Center, 2005, Oman and the World: The Emergence of an Independent Foreign Policy (Santa Monica: RAND [1995]), and edited A Century in Thirty Years: Shaykh Zayed and the United Arab Emirates (Washington, D.C.: The Middle East Policy Council [2000]), as well as Iran, Iraq, and the Arab Gulf States (New York: Palgrave [2001]). In 2003, he co-authored, with R. Hrair Dekmejian at USC, The Just Prince: A Manual of Leadership (London: Saqi Books), which includes a full translation of the Sulwan al-Muta` by Muhammad Ibn Zafar al-Siqilli.

In 2008, he published two studies, Power and Succession in Arab Monarchies (Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner Publishers, and Beirut: Riyad al-Rayyes Books, 2012—in 2 volumes for the Arabic translation]), and Faysal: Saudi Arabia’s King for All Seasons Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida and Beirut: Dar al-‘Arabiyyah lil-Mawsu‘at, 2012]. His newest book is Legal and Political Reforms in Sa‘udi Arabia, published by Routledge in December 2012, and he has just completed a companion volume to Faysal on ‘Iffat Al Thunayan: An Arabian Queen (London: Sussex Academic Press, 2015).

Some of his works:

From Alliance to Union, Sine loco : Sussex Academic Press, 2016

Power and Succession in Arab Monarchies,Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2008, ISBN 1-58826-556-0

Faysal: Saudi Arabia’s King for All Seasons, Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida, 2008, ISBN 978-0-8130-3242-9

Political Participation and Stability in the Sultanate of Oman, Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Gulf Research Center, 2005

The Just Prince: A Manual of Leadership,London, England: Saqi Books, 2003, ISBN 0-86356-783-5

Succession in Saudi Arabia, New York City, United States: Palgrave, 2001, ISBN 0-312-23880-0, Beirut and London: Dar Al Saqi, 2002, 2003 [2nd edition (for the Arabic languagetranslation), ISBN 1-85516-445-0

Oman and the World: The Emergence of an Independent Foreign Policy, Santa Monica, California: RAND, 1995, ISBN 0-8330-2332-2

“The Enduring Saudi Oil Power,” in Robert E. Looney, ed, Handbook of Oil Politics, London and New York: Routledge, 2012, pp. 284-294.

The Sultanate of Oman and the US, in Robert E. Looney, ed, Handbook of US-Middle East Relations: Formative Factors and Regional Perspectives, London and New York City: Routledge, 2009, pp. 417-433.

Reforming the Judiciary in Saudi Arabia, in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 1979-2009: Evolution of a Pivotal State, A Special Edition of Viewpoints, Washington, D.C.: The Middle East Institute, 2009, at http://www.mei.edu/Publications/WebPublications/Viewpoints/ViewpointsArchive/tabid/541/ctl/Detail/mid/1623/xmid/784/xmfid/11/Default.aspx[permanent dead link]

Refining the Saudi ‘Will to Power’, Perspectives 003, National University of Singapore Middle East Institute, Singapore, 2009, pp 1-16 at http://www.mei.nus.edu.sg/publications/MEI%20Perspectives%20003-Final.pdf

Affirming the Saudi Will to Power: Domestic Challenges to King `Abdullah, Middle East Institute Policy Brief, Number 16 (June 2008), pp. 1-9 at https://web.archive.org/web/20090503081050/http://www.mideasti.org/policy-brief/affirming-saudi-will-power-domestic-challenges-king-%E2%80%98abdullah

Can Conservative Arab Gulf Monarchies Endure a Fourth War in the Persian Gulf, The Middle East Journal, 61:2 (Spring 2007), pp. 283-306.

Extremism & Opposition Movements on the Arabian Peninsula, ORF Studies in Muslim Societies-V, New Delhi: Observer Research Foundation, 2006, pp. 1-55.

Democratization in Gulf Monarchies: A New Challenge to the GCC, Middle East Policy 11:4 (Winter 2004), pp. 37-57.

Testing the Saudi ‘Will to Power:’ Challenges Confronting Prince Abdallah, Middle East Policy 10:4 (Winter 2003), pp. 100-115.

The Burden of Saudi Arabia [Review Article], The Middle East Journal 57:3, (Summer 2003), pp. 492-497.

The Throne in the Sultanate of Oman, in Joseph Kostiner (ed.), Middle Eastern Monarchies: The Challenge of Modernity, Boulder, Colorado and London: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2000, pp. 187-211.

Saudi Arabia’s Will to Power, Middle East Policy 7:2 (February 2000), pp. 47-60.

Trends in Saudi National Security, The Middle East Journal, 53:2 (spring 1999), pp. 232-53.

As editor:

A Century in Thirty Years: Shaykh Zayed and the United Arab Emirates, Washington, D.C.: Middle East Policy Council, 2000, ISBN 0-943182-08-5

Iran, Iraq, and the Arab Gulf States, New York City, United States: Palgrave, 2001, ISBN 0-312-29388-7

“One Voice for Christians” releases its first video teaser

Christianity is bond to completely disappear in the Middle East in less than 20 years if nothing is done NOW! The initiative “One Voice for Christians” is not just another organization to protect Christians in the Middle East but the creation of an international multimedia platform to channel and to amplify the voices of all Christian denominations present in the Middle East and also all organizations working for the cause all over the world. Through the production of high quality documentaries, interviews, lectures and events we will gather all available information on the subject and together we will end this ongoing tragedy!

The initiative from the Royal House of Ghassan (a certified charity/non-profit accredited by the United Nations since 2016) will last as long as Christianity’s existence  is threatened in the Middle East and its success depends on donations.

You can help donating any amount at the GoFundMe page HERE

 

 

Descendant of Blessed Patriarch Duaihy joins “One Voice for Christians”

Last Saturday, at the beautiful city of Ehden in North Lebanon, one of the main representatives of the Duaihy family joined the project “One Voice for Christians”. Mr Boutros Duaihy, a former CEO of the water company of Zgharta and a known author is one of the heads and spokespersons of the family and promoter of his ancestor, the Blessed Maronite Patriarch Estephen Duaihy (1630-1704). Blessed Duaihy is considered one of the greatest middle eastern historians of the 17th century and is in the final steps of becoming a saint since 2008 when he was declared “Blessed” by Pope Benedict XVI. Mr Boutros is the president of the Lebanese commission for the beatification of the Patriarch. Blessed Duaihy was also one of the historians to mention the ruling El Chemor Sheikhs in his chronicles of the Maronite history. Mr Boutros was interviewed for the series of documentaries and declared himself supporter of the cause. For his promotion of the life of Blessed Patriarch Duaihy, he was bestowed with the order of saint Michael Archangel. In the delegation that visited Mr Boutros Duaihy was HRH Prince Gharios El Chemor, Sheikh Dr Elie Gharios, Mr Petro Al Achkar, Mr Firas and Prof Sarah Kanji, Mr Carl Doumit, Mr Toni Partamian and his assistant Michel.

Armenian Orthodox Patriarch joins “One Voice for Christians”

On August 22nd, 2018, His Holiness Catholicos Aram I, the Armenian Orthodox Patriarch of Cilicia has generously received the delegation from the Royal House of Ghassan headed by HRH Prince Gharios El Chemor of Ghassan Al-Nu’man VIIIat his summer residence in Bikfaya, Lebanon. Also part of the delegation Mr Antoine Kalaydjian, international Director of ecumenical dialogue, Mr. Petro Achkar, Public Relations Manager, Mr. Toni Partamian, Director of Photography and producer, his assistant Michel and Mr. Carl Doumit, Prince Gharios’ assistant.

The Patriarch and the Prince spoke lengthily about the work being developed by the Royal House of Ghassan in raising awareness about the situation of Christianity in the Middle East and promoting dialogue with Muslim leaders. The Royal House of Ghassan has bestowed upon the Patriarch the highest rank of the Order of Saint Michael Archangel. The Patriarch was also interviewed as part of the initiative “One Voice for Christians”, the international multimedia platform founded by the Royal House of Ghassan. Part of the initiative is producing a series of high quality documentaries about religion, history and politics of the Middle East. Patriarch Aram, gave his Blessings and full support to the initiative and the work of the Royal House of Ghassan.

From the official website of the Armenian Orthodox Church and His Holiness Catholicos Aram I the Armenian Patriarch of Cilicia #OneVoiceForChristians http://www.armenianorthodoxchurch.org/en/archives/22619

Leading Lebanese newspaper confirms El Chemor family’s Royal origins in 1981’s article

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The As-Safir (Arabic: السفير‎), meaning The Ambassador, was a leading Arabic-language daily newspaper in Lebanon. The headquarters of the daily was in Beirut.

It has been in circulation from March 1974 until December 2016. The last issue of the paper was published on 31 December 2016.

As-Safir had the second highest circulation in the 1990s after An-Nahar. Its circulation was 45,000 copies in 2003, being the second best selling paper in Lebanon. In 2012, the Lebanese Ministry of Information stated that the daily had a circulation of 50,000 copies, being the first in the country.

In addition to its Arabic website, the paper had also an English website. The paper’s online version was the 16th most visited website for 2010 in the MENA region. The As-Safir has published a broad article about the El Chemor family in its August 18th 1981’s edition. Almost two full pages giving broad historical references and information. Amongst many relevant facts, the newspaper states:

“… [last Ghassanid] king Jablah Ibn Aiham went out [of Syria] during the reign of Caliph Omar Ibn Al-Khattab to Lebanon where he made his land in Akoura and ruled this country since it was Christian in those days.” As-Safir newspaper 08/18/1981.

That being the reason why the El Chemor family have effectively ruled Akoura centuries later (1211-1633 CE), by being direct descendants of the Ghassanid King Jablah. The newspaper also confirms the El Chemor rule of Zgharta-Zawiye from 1641 until 1747 CE. The Muslim branch of the El Chemor family has ruled the Emirate (principality) of Jabal Shammar or Ha’il from 1830 until 1921 CE.

Special thanks to HRH Prince Sheikh Antoine El Chemor for the archive.

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Encyclopedia of Maronite families confirms the Sheikhs El Chemor’s chronicles and makes a surprising statement

The Encyclopedia of the Maronite families of Lebanon, published by the prestigious Catholic Notre Dame University, in its volume 4, mentions the El Chemor family.

The text is very concise but confirms the chronicles of Maronite historian Patriarch Stephen Duaihy (1630-1704 CE) and the 1948’s book of historian Ignatios Tannos El Khoury, mentioning both sources as some of the many references.

The text focus more on the rule in Lebanon and confirms it:

And from Syria, some of them moved to Mount Lebanon and lived in Akoura, and they followed the Maronite sect. They became the Sheikhs there [Akoura] in 1211 CE and they received offerings from the Sheikhs of Al Shawk and Al Hashem [From the Hashemite family].” p. 2236, Encyclopedia of the Maronite Families, v.4, Notre Dame University

Important to mention that nobody has bestowed the titles upon the El Chemor family. They were considered sovereign (or quasi-sovereign) like their counterparts in the Gulf today (the rulers of Dubai, Bahrain, Abu-Dhabi, Kuwait, Qatar, etc.)

During the El Chemor rule, three major powers ruled the surrounding region: the County of Tripoli, the vassals of the European kingdom of Jerusalem (until 1289 CE), the Egyptian Mameluks (from 1289 until 1517 CE) and finally the Ottomans (from 1517 CE on) of but the Sheikhs El Chemor remained autonomous ruling Akoura from 1211 until 1633 CE.

In 1633 CE, the Sheikhs El Hachem (related by marriage to the El Chemor family) took the power by force in Akoura. According to the Encyclopedia, the Ottoman governor of Tripoli gave to the Sheikhs El Chemor the region of Zgharta-Zawiye where they’ve ruled for over a century from 1641 until 1747-48 CE. Here, the empire has directly assigned a region to the Sheikhs El Chemor but due to the titles and prestige they already had. Very important to point that they didn’t receive their titles from the Ottomans (or any other authority) like many other Sheikhs in Lebanon.

Learn more about the difference between a royal Sheikh and a noble Sheikh HERE

The governor of Tripoli gave them the ruling of Al Zawiya, and the Sheikhs of the Daher household were surprised by it. And so, assassinations took place between the two sides until the Sheikh Youssef El Chemor was murdered in 14/3/1748 CE, and in that death, ended the Chemor’s ruling on Al Zawiya which was handed over to Al Daher.” p. 2236, Encyclopedia of the Maronite Families, v.4, Notre Dame University

Regardless of the end of the rule in the 18th century, the Sheikhs El Chemor never stop using their Royal titles until the present date. You can see documents and evidence HERE The Encyclopedia also mentions the origins of the Gharios family:

Four brothers moved from the Chemor family to Beit Habbak and from there they spread: The first went to Baskinta and was known by the name Habika, a pet name for the household name Habbak. The second settled in the Habbak house and the family Farjan was made because of him. The last two, Farahat and Gharios, went to the Suburbs of Beirut, Farahat Chemor resided in Al Hadas, and his family name became Farahat, and Gharios’ family name became Gharios after his own first name.” p. 2236, Encyclopedia of the Maronite Families, v.4, Notre Dame University

The Encyclopedia confirms that the reason for the El Chemor brothers, the sons of the assassinated ruler, changing their names was due to the lethal persecution from the El Daher family, assigned to the El Chemor properties and estates. Also, the Encyclopedia’s entry for the Gharios Family (page 2912) also mentions the first ancestor as “Gharios El Chemor“.

Learn more about the legal royal rights of the El Chemor family HERE

At this point, no surprises. However, the Encyclopedia also states that the El Chemor family and the El Shammar family of Saudi Arabia are the same. The way of writing the family name in Arabic is identical and there are absolutely no other family with this name in the whole Arab world. If that fact is true, there’s no harm to the Ghassanid Royal Claim since the El Shammar family is Muslim and there was a prohibition of Ghassanids to even marry non-Christians. (See Yasmine Zahran, “Ghassan Resurrected”, p. 150).

Some of them [Chemor/Shammar family] migrated to the north of the Arabian Peninsula, and they founded in year 905 A.D the capital of the Emirate of the Shammar. It remained with the takeover of [king] Abdul-Aziz Al Saud forces on all parts of the region in 2/11/1921 A.D, and the announcement of the establishment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 23/9/1932 …” p. 2236, Encyclopedia of the Maronite Families, v.4, Notre Dame University

But such statement makes the El Chemor family even more prestigious and Royal since that would make the Lebanese El Chemors cousins of the Emirs of Jabal Shammar (1836-1921 CE). The family has ruled virtually almost all the Arabian Peninsula: the Christian Family has ruled the whole Levant (today Syria, Jordan, part of Iraq and Lebanon) and the Muslim family has ruled the majority of today Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Iraq. Important to note that the El Chemor family of Lebanon (the heirs of all the Christian titles) doesn’t claim the Muslim titles and vice-versa.

“The Emirate of Jabal Shammar (Arabic: إمارةجبلشمر‎), also known as the Emirate of Haʾil (إمارةحائل)[1] or the Emirate of The House of Rashīd (إمارةآلرشيد), was a state in the Nejd region of Arabia, existing from the mid-nineteenth century to 1921.[2] Jabal Shammar in English is translated as the “Mountain of the Shammar“. Jabal Shammar’s capital was Ha’il.[2] It was led by a monarchy of the House of Rashīd. It included parts of modern day Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Jordan.” https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emirate_of_Jabal_Shammar

Above: Map of the Emirate of Jabal Shammar

Above: Flags of the Emirate of Jabal Shammar

The emirate of Jabal Shammar (or Ha’il) is portrayed in the movie “Queen of the desert“(2017) by the acclaimed director Werner Herzog and starring the academy award winner Nicole Kidman.

Also, by that statement, the Sheikhs El Chemor of Lebanon are cousins of several Saudi Princes that descend from Princess Fahda bint Asi Al Shammar, wife of the founder of the Saudi Kingdom, King Abdul-Aziz Ibn Saud. Amongst them, the late King Abdullah (1924-2015) of Saudi Arabia, son of Princess Fahda and King Ibn Saud.

Above: King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia (1924-2015), according to the Maronite Encyclopedia, cousin of the El Chemors of Lebanon

Special thanks to Thea Doumit for the translation