The Prince Gharios Foundation launches German website

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The Prince Gharios Foundation (Prinz Gharios Stiftung) is an organization founded and headquartered in Germany under the Sovereign Imperial and Royal House of Ghassan, which recently was recognized and accredited by the United Nations with the Special Consultative Status.

HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor of Ghassan Al-Numan VIII serves as the Chairman and Dr. Michael Hesemann, famous German author, is the President.

The organization’s main scope is the protection of all the Christians in the Middle East.

Today, the Foundation has launched its new website in the German language.

To visit the new website:

www.prinzghariosstiftung.org/   or   www.princeghariosfoundation.org/

 

HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor is acclaimed for lectures ministered in Brazil

HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor of Ghassan Al-Numan VIII visited Brazil from August 1st to 10th 2016 and ministered lectures about the situation in the Middle East and its effects in the Western world in five venues: at UCAM – Candido Mendes University (Latin America’s oldest private University founded in 1902), at the Fluminense Federal Institute (Technical Faculty), at the City Parliament (founded in 1652), at the Maria Imaculada Diocesan Seminary and at the Imaculada Conceicao Catholic Seminary. The lectures were very appreciated and acclaimed by the audience and the press.

(the above video is in the Portuguese language)

More about HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor HERE

HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor is Blessed by Ecumenical Patriarch

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HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor with His All Holiness Bartholomew I
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The Ecumenical Patriarch received the order of Saint Michael Archangel

HIRH Prince Gharios El-Chemor had an official audience with His All Holiness Bartholomew I the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople in Istanbul, Turkey. His All Holiness is the highest in honor (“first among equals”) between all of the Patriarchs of the Eastern Orthodox Church representing over 300 million faithful. The two hours long conversation was focused on the history of the Ghassanid and Nikephorian (Byzantine empire) Dynasties which HIRH Prince Gharios is the legal heir and, of course, the main topic was the survival of the Christians in the Middle East and Prince Gharios’ proposal of the Council of Oriental Christians. During the visit, Prince Gharios and the delegation composed by the scholar and protestant bishop Prof. Dr. Thomas Schirrmacher, PhD, Mr. Martin Warnecke (both from Germany) and Pastor Dr. Behnan Konutgan (from Turkey) were invited for a special luncheon with the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Synod of Bishops. blessingecumenical

Prince Gharios was honored by the personal Patriarchal Blessing. Historically in Christianity, only the Patriarchs of Rome (Pope) and Constantinople may grant and recognize imperial titles (see Royal and Republican Sovereignty in Early Modern Europe, Cambridge University Press, pg.360)

HIRH Prince Gharios and the delegation were listed as official visitors HERE

 

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Learn more about the Ecumenical Patriarchate

Learn more about HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor

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HIRH Prince Gharios’ delegation

HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor visits the Grand Mufti of Istanbul

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Prince Gharios shaking hands with Prof.Dr. Rahmi Yaran, the Grand Mufti of Istanbul

As part of a very successful trip to Turkey, HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor of Ghassan Al-Numan VIII had an audience with Prof.Dr. Rahmi Yaran the Grand Mufti of Istanbul . The Mufti has under him 3,100 mosques in Istanbul, one of the most populous cities in Europe with over 14 million people. The highest Muslim authority in the country being only under the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

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The Mufti praying with Pope Francis during his visit to Turkey in 2014

The Prince Gharios’ delegation had the scholar and protestant bishop from Germany Prof. Dr. Thomas Schirrmacher, PhD, Mr. Martin Warnecke also from Germany and Pastor Dr. Behnan Konutgan from Turkey. The Mufti joined Prince Gharios’ alliance for peace condemning the terror and any kind of violence against other religions. He also received the rank of Knight Commander of the Order of Saint Michael Archangel.

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More about HIRH Prince Gharios El-Chemor of Ghassan please visit www.princegharios.org

Democracy: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”?

Ancient Greece: the cradle of democracy

Can we have real democracy? The majority really rules in a democracy? Is democracy just an utopia?

 At this point I’ll imitate the mighty Morpheus, the character of the movie “Matrix”, and offer you one of the two pills: the red one, you should stop reading, at once. The green one, you’ll know the truth.

 Assuming that you’ve chosen the green pill:

 In practice, there’s no such thing as democracy. Especially, for a people that is not politicized, educated and used to the system.

 What we see is an illusion. Usually, we misplace the word “democracy” by the word “freedom”.

One of the most important aspects of Muslim Arab politics is the difference of concepts. In the West, Democracy is (or should be) ‘the government of the people, by the people, for the people’.

Personally, I believe that what we call Democracy is the ideal form of government; however, it doesn’t work for every situation and culture. It’s more dangerous to have a bad democracy than a good dictatorship. Plato agrees with me. Well, I can explain. If a democracy is based on the deception of voters, it’s a bad democracy. In some 3rd world countries like Brazil, a candidate can easily buy a vote today by giving the voter a t-shirt and a pair of flip-flops.

Even the multi-party system can be a deception since it’s not rare in the world  having politicians from opposite idealistic sides making collusions to achieve personal and political favors.

“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

 Winston Churchill

That principle can be easily verified in a very developed democracy, the United States. During the process of primaries to choose the candidate to run, for example, for the Presidency, all kinds of low attacks are made between the candidates. After the official candidate is appointed, they’re all best friends again and, usually, they’re part of each other’s administrations.

Back to the Middle East, since the very beginning, Islam was always associated with secular power; therefore, a purely secular Arab state sounds a little utopic after the Pan Arabism idea started to fade in the 60’s, although the separation of church and state in the region is around 300 years old.

According to Muslim politics, the sovereignty doesn’t belong to people but to God. That’s also conflicting with the monarchical hereditary regime, according to some scholars.

Professor Bernard Lewis said that we’ve this feeling in the West that Democracy is the natural and normal condition in humanity and any departure from it is “either a disease to be cured or a crime to be punished”. I agree with him, democracy is not for everyone. But freedom definitely is.

Nobody can deny that the called “Arab Spring” in 2011 was a hope of “winds of change”. However, the people’s mindset makes us believe that nothing significant will change. On the contrary, the quest for freedom will bring an unbalance to the region as the fall of Saddam Hussein did in 2003. And that brings us to a “golden rule” to understand the region.

Nothing is “black & white”.  Personally, I believe Saddam was a terrible person and tyrannical ruler. His regime was a burden to the Iraqis’ shoulders. No doubt, Iraq without Saddam is better than Iraq with Saddam, right?

 In theory yes, however the region went out of balance once Saddam’s regime used to “hold” one of the most important tension’s clusters of the Middle East: the Iran-Iraq.

According with Professor Chaney, from Harvard University:

“Will the Arab Spring lead to long-lasting democratic change? As Islamists perform well in elections across the Arab world, many have begun to predict that the recent uprisings will usher in a wave of Islamist-dominated autocracies instead of the democratic institutions many protestors initially demanded. These observers often point to the political trajectories of non-Arab states such as Iran and implicitly claim that Islamist-dominated states cannot be democratic. Others note that the emergence of democratic regimes in Indonesia and Turkey demonstrates that Islamists can play a constructive role in democratic institutions.” (Democratic Change in the Arab World, Past and Present, Prof. Eric Chaney, March 10, 2012, p.2)

“The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.”

 John F. Kennedy

I’m part of the observers that believe that the Arab Spring, although necessary, will bring unbalance to the region, at least in the first decades.

I agree with many things with Professor Chaney, however, I don’t think Turkey is a perfect example of democracy. It’s easy to see, for example, the constant censuring of the internet by the government, cannot be overlooked. Also, the lack of freedom of religion once the Patriarch of Constantinople, leader for the whole Orthodox Christian Church, has encroached over the years his freedom and also his monastery was closed by the government who also dictates the rules of succession in the Church of Constantinople which is, without a single solitary doubt, not their business.

The same with Lebanon, which was created to be a secular country with a Christian majority and now has less than 39% of Christians living there.

It’s very hard to have a real democracy if you have church and State together. A real democracy is not a rule of the majority but a regime where every single group of people is considered and equal.

For example, right after first Egypt’s presidential elections, Time magazine exhibits the following cover (July 9 2012):

 “The revolution that wasn’t – Why generals remain Egypt’s real rulers”

Inside (pg. 28), the article written by Jay Newton-Small (Washington) and Abigail Hauslohner (Cairo) starts:

“How military won the Egyptian Election – Mohamed Morsy may be Egypt’s first popular chosen President but a group of 19 generals are still the country’s real rulers”

Clearly, the power has changed hands, however for the people, very little will change. The worst form of dictatorship is the illusion of democracy. People think they’re choosing something but, in the end of the day, they’re just puppets in a pathetic but well-written play. In other words, they’ve no real freedom of choice.

“Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.”

 Franklin D. Roosevelt

There’s absolutely no precedent of an Arab country that had dethroned a monarchy and got a democracy. Even the countries that started as democratic countries have their impartiality challenged by the Islamic interests.

I’m not against Muslim regimes; I’m against any religious regime. I’m in favor of secular governments with total freedom of religion. If you want to be a Christian, a Muslim, a Jew, etc… God bless you! You should be able to worship with no fear.

To all of this, we can conclude that Democracy is a process, not some “magic trick”, and it’s only effective when the people / voters are relatively educated and politicized.

HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor of Ghassan Al-Numan VIII

visit HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor’s website HERE

Are the titles of nobility still relevant in the 21st century?

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The coronation of His Majesty Napoleon I as the Emperor of the French

The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius (121-180 AD) was may be one of the greatest rulers of all times. He hired a servant with the sole task of walking behind him as he received the accolades of his citizenry; every time the emperor was praised, the servant had been instructed to whisper in his ear, “You’re just a man…” Even being the most powerful man on the planet in his time, he was known as a kind and unpretentious person.

His Majesty Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius

In my humble opinion, a title of nobility is just a label, a beautiful golden label. We’re the product. You can have the most beautiful label in the world but if the product is bad, regardless of the label, it’ll still be bad. Personally, I rather a great product with a simple label (or no label at all) than a bad product with a great label. In the end, the product is what matters.

How could I dare to assume that I’m better than, for example, a fireman that saves lives (risking his own) every day for a minuscule paycheck just because I’ve a title? Nonsense.

The general people misunderstand the concept of Royalty. The sovereign (reigning or not) is the ultimate servant.

Two stories from the Brazilian Empire illustrate exactly my idea of Royalty:

Brazil was an empire from 1822 until 1889. The last emperor was Petrus II “the magnanimous” (1825-1891) known as the “greatest Brazilian”. His life taught me the real meaning of royalty. One day, he was receiving ovation from thousands in a public square and his then small daughter and heir, imperial princess Isabel asked the emperor: “one day they will all be mine?” And he wisely replied: “no dear, one day you will belong to them.”

His Majesty Brazilian Emperor Petrus (Peter) II

In 1888, the Princess now an adult and acting as regent, signs the law abolishing slavery in Brazil. She did it even after all the imperial ministers advised her that she’d lose the throne of her father if she signed it, since that was a terrible blow in the Brazilian’s elite back then. After the signing, the Baron of Cotegipe approached the princess and said: “You’ve freed a race but just lost the throne!” And she replied: “If a thousand thrones I’ve had, a thousand thrones I’d give to free the slaves of Brazil!”

That’s the real meaning of royalty to me.

A prince is not noble merely by the legitimacy of his claims but, above all, by his character and by the unconditional love for his people.

Her Imperial Highness Princess Isabel of Brazil

 A title from a deposed monarchy has little use in our world today. Socially, is more a bother, raising questions and jokes, than actually a privilege. There are better ways to get a good table in a restaurant or to be invited to cool parties.

The reason I’m keeping this tradition is simple: the world is lacking of historical secular advocates for the cause of the Middle Eastern Christians and they’re being exterminated as you read these words. There must be a worldwide enduring peace between Christians and Muslims. Also, because there’s a legacy that has to be preserved and that heritage belongs to over 15 million Ghassanids and descendants all over the world.

My office is important, my person isn’t.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not humble at all. You’ve to be really arrogant to think you can change the world. But I agree with the late Steve Jobs on the quote:

the ones crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”

I hope I’m “insane enough”…

There’s a popular saying which states that the difference between the insane and the genius is measured only by success.

Well, the future will tell…

Now, on a more serious tone, I believe one day, if the persecution of the Middle Eastern Christians stops, also the prejudice for Muslims in the west and the real history of the Middle East can surface being notorious worldwide preserving the Ghassanid heirloom, maybe then will be no need for a Prince of Ghassan.  I really hope to live enough to see this day.

HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor of Ghassan Al-Numan VIII

visit HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor’s website HERE

Leadership by example

Pope Francis takes Syrian refugees to Rome after the visit in Lesbos…

… and guess what? All the 3 families are Muslim!

What message that sends to the world?

That humanitarianism is the highest expression of religion, or at least, it should be. After all , basic logic dictates that we are humans before being Christian or Muslim.

BRAVO, Pope Francis!

More about the news: http://www.wsj.com/articles/popes-refugee-airlift-was-last-minute-inspiration-1460927822

Sectarianism: a social cancer

How ethnic and religious “labeling” is destroying the Middle East and menacing the whole world

As we watch bewildered the fantastic technological advancements in the world we also see the barbaric reflexes of our still primitive nature. It’s absolutely paradoxical to put a man on the moon and still kill each other because of religion or ideology. The rise of groups like

ISIS, recruiting people from many western countries shows how far behind we are regarding tolerance and coexistence.

Before, the worst sectarian conflicts were restricted to the Middle East region, but today we see them infecting the whole world as a social cancer. Unfortunately, the middle eastern “patient” is in a terminal condition and will die very soon if noting is done. As if it was possible the situation in the region to get any worse, some might question. The answer is a rotund “yes”!

Before the so-called “globalization”, nations could live almost independently as “social islands”. Currently, that behavior became more and more difficult. The most closed and solid regimes are getting more and more poriferous of the novelties from the “free” world. Naturally, the internet has a considerable share on this process of penetrating the once inexpugnable system.  The politicians and the religious leaders must fill the gaps creating legal systems where everyone is the same, regardless of any label.

Religions and ideologies are an important part of our individuality and shall be preserved as inalienable rights. However, when those transpire to the political and legal establishment, that’s when there are problems.

In a recent article on the Aljazeera’s website, the award winning Egyptian-Belgian journalist Khaleb Diab wrote an opinion article called: “Diversity in disunity in the Middle East -The practice of assigning a faith to every citizen promotes division and sectarianism” and he finishes the piece saying:

It is time for Middle Eastern countries to remove all mention of religious and sectarian affiliation from official documents, and to abolish religious family courts.

This would not only be good for the freedom of belief – not to mention love and the equality of citizens – it would also reinforce a sense of common national identity among communities within a country, promoting a sense of unity in diversity.”

We share this opinion. We shall never forget that before everything and anything we are human beings all sharing the same small planet. Sadly, sometimes the labels make us to forget this paramount and self-evident truth.