In his 2012 Eid Message, Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, writes of a hope we can all aspire to.
“I have found it a great gift to be a small part in the mutual discovery and intensifying of relations [between people of different beliefs] here in the UK, and I am aware that we are modelling something here that is creative, fresh, honest and deeply hopeful.
"It has not been an easy time, and there are huge challenges that we still face together. Nevertheless, we have learned how to quarry together the resources we have of a vision of human beings honoured before God.”
Those huge challenges can indeed be found at every level and in every corner of the world today - not least in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region, as it confronts its own huge challenges and struggles for hope.
So may the Eid el-Fitr that follows the month of Ramadan, where prayer and fasting are the order of the day, usher in a year of hope, justice, equality, service and good neighbourliness for all men and women.
© Harry Hagopian is an international lawyer, ecumenist and EU political consultant. He also acts as a Middle East and inter-faith advisor to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales and as Middle East consultant to ACEP (Christians in Politics) in Paris. He is an Ekklesia associate and regular contributor (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/HarryHagopian ). Formerly an Executive Secretary of the Jerusalem Inter-Church Committee and Executive Director of the Middle East Council of Churches, he is now an international fellow, Sorbonne III University, Paris, consultant to the Campaign for Recognition of the Armenian Genocide (UK), Ecumenical consultant to the Primate of Armenian Church in UK & Ireland, and author of The Armenian Church in the Holy Land. Dr Hagopian’s own website is www.epektasis.net