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Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta


International Gathering to Commemorate 450th Anniversary of Great Siege

Sep 7, 2015
The Commemoration of the 450th Anniversary of the Great Siege of Malta offers an opportunity to reflect on those who lost their lives in the epic battle, both Christian and Muslim.
The Muslim and Christian communities of Malta are both participating in the Great Siege anniversary, and Imam Mohammed El Sadi and the Mgr Charles J. SciclunaArchbishop of Malta, joined together in the Birgu sections of the commemorations.
The Malta Independent carried a story on September 6th by Kevin Schembri Orland entitled "The 450th anniversary of the Great Siege – Unity, diversity and a new beginning" (see link below), which highlighted the hospitaller activities of the Sovereign Order of Malta in partnership with and in service to Muslim communities around the world, mentioning in particular the Holy Family Hospital in Bethlehem.
The article concluded by quoting Imam El Sadi calling on both sides of the historic conflict to focus on what unites rather than divides them : 
"Today, we should focus our efforts to lead better lives. We have many common religious and human values which help us live in harmony – and we all need to focus and promote what unites us, and not what divides us. We need more dialogue to get to know each other better and to remove prejudices and misconceptions in order to create more mutual understanding and respect.
We need to build bridges of trust between the followers of different faiths to secure a prosperous future for the coming generation. To be honest and just with ourselves and our children, we cannot ignore our past tragic confrontations, we should not ignore and forget the long historical peaceful coexistence we, Muslims and Christians, enjoyed together in different countries at different times in order to avoid the past tragedies and have hope for a better future. Today we should recall and restore such good times".

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