JT reporter Samain to launch book on Jordan’s interfaith drive Monday

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AMMAN — The Jordan Times’ reporter Rula Samain on Monday will launch a book that presents and evaluates Jordan’s interfaith initiatives and highlights the Muslim-Christian coexistence which “distinguishes Jordan from other countries in the Middle East”.

Titled “Fortress of Peace: Jordan’s Interfaith Drive and Model of Coexistence”, the book, written in English, comes as the result of years of research on the subject. 

Samain has been reporting for The Jordan Times since 2005, mainly specialised in inter-religious dialogue, a beat she embarked on in 2007.

The book’s launch, to be held under the patronage of Ali Fazza, special advisor to His Majesty King Abdullah, will take place at the Regency Palace Hotel in Amman at 6pm.

In her book, Samain applies a journalistic style of writing based on interviews she conducted with stakeholders and local, Arab and international figures involved in the country’s efforts and activities to promote religious harmony. 

According to the author, Fortress of Peace “highlights the depth of the major initiatives launched by Jordan and the progress it has made in identifying and promoting the shared, common and universal human values. It also addresses fallbacks, why and what to do to modify and adjust the process and restore the momentum to achieve the envisaged goals.”

“The timing of publishing this book, I believe, is of a high value. It is the era of dialogue, though few understand the true meaning of this word,” she added.

The book starts by exploring the Hashemites’ interfaith philosophy and history, with a focus on His Majesty King Abdullah’s vision and approach. 

An entire chapter is dedicated to documenting some of the history of grassroots coexistence, by using oral testimonies and anecdotes collected from Muslims and Christians from the four corners of the Kingdom where religiously-mixed societies have been living in peace and harmony for centuries. 

The final chapter tackles the outstanding legal issues related mainly to Jordanian Christians, such as divorce, inheritance and child custody in ecclesial laws, mixed marriages and legal consequences, in addition to the issue of conversion.

 Samain, who holds a master’s degree in education from Framingham State University in Massachusetts, USA, and a BA in English literatures from the University of Jordan, with a minor in political science, has also prepared and hosted a TV show on interfaith coexistence on a local channel, focusing on the Jordanian context.