On November 2, 2020, Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East addressed on the occasion of the inauguration of Dr. Farzat Ayoub University Hospital.
The inauguration took place at Al-Hawash Private University, Syria.
How good and pleasant to meet in our cherished Wadi, especially that the meeting of beloved ones is truly uplifting.
We meet today, here at the Al-Hawash University, knowing well what the name of Al-Hawash carries in terms of a long lasting heritage and honor, in order to inaugurate this university hospital, named after Dr. Farzat Ayoub. We gather here to affirm first and foremost that we come from the heart of this land, from its womb, and we continuously look forward primarily to whatever is good and beneficial for its human.
We meet, carrying in each one of us the hardship of this world, the cross of the East, and the suffering of its humanity. Despite all this, we are laying cornerstones, building universities, hospitals, and institutions, and sacrificially offering our blood and heart in order to present to our future generations a better future.
Human civilization is first and foremost the civilization of the spirit and thought. History is the history of thought and spirit. A sound thought and a sound spirit are, together, the pillars of every civilization and modernity.
We say all this bearing in mind that the nation’s glory, and the glory of its children, and their good, comes from educating a creative and innovative generation. Hence, the importance of universities and their essential role in building a healthy nation and society.
The nations’ glory is universities that educate while not just looking for profit. Its glory is universities that help building bridges of encounter, while breaking towers of insularity. Its glory is universities that look with one eye at the human soul and spirit, and with the other eye at the body and its periphery. Hence, the importance of medical science and the importance of this hospital.
The university, as its name indicates, is the “mother of sciences.” Science is foremost an ardent, humble, thought and a noble character, upon which we raise our children. This is required in all branches and all discipline.
However, what always grabs my attention in the faculties of medicine and medical sciences is that oath that the graduates pronounce, which distinguishes them from students of other branches. This distinction indicates, if anything, that God has entrusted them with the souls in which He has breathed into them the breath of life. So theses souls are a deposit in their hands, and they must always contemplate the greatness of this task that lies on their shoulders, and remember that the eye of God watches over them and takes care of them, and His hand is working with them in bringing forth all that is good.
This hospital begins its work today, and that means that the will to live in Syria must break every siege. We do this to confirm that we are the children of a life that knows neither subservience nor submission nor humiliation to anyone. We do this to say that we remain with the truth, and from this truth, our God, we derive relief in every tribulation.
Today we are in Wadi-al-Nassara and in Wadi-al-Nadara (the Valley of Freshness), whose Christianity is its being and identity, deriving from its heritage and the freshness of its people’s faith. It also derives its freshness and elegance from these people’s continuous experience of having the best relationships with all their neighborhoods.
The history of this valley sums up something from the unique character of the Church of Antioch. Its people have preserved the long heritage of their faith, with which they have lived within its mountains and plains. However, these people were not taken by the glory of the past or by insularity. They have always been advocates of moderate thought, and promoters of intellectual and social encounter with the rest of this nation’s various spectrums.
Our prayers today are for the good of Syria, for its peace, and territorial integrity. Our prayers are for every displaced, needy, and orphan. Our prayers are for those who keep a watchful eye over its security and stability. Our prayers to the Virgin Mary, St. George, and all the Saints, for the blessed repose of the souls of the Wadi’s martyrs, and all our martyrs.
Our prayers are for all the kidnapped and abducted, including our two brothers, the Archbishops of Aleppo, Youhanna Ibrahim and Paul Yazigi. How miserable are these days in which the dignity of the human being is being trodden upon by starvation, siege, violence and kidnapping, in a market of self-interests and investments.
Despite all difficulties, we continue steadfast in hope, remembering that the way of the cross released the light of the Resurrection.
May God bless the administrators of this university and this hospital, and I particularly mention Mr. Kamel Ayoub. May God bless these noble towns and this good neighborhood. God bless this Wadi and all its people, living here and abroad.
May God bless this good land, filled with delightful olives and bread mixed with the ancestors’ sweat May God bless this land, fresh waters which all emigrants thirst for and choicest wine of pure love dripping from its blessed vineyards. May God bless her, “fawar,” a sparkling spring overflowing with peace, noble love, and faith for the entire world.
May God bless you all.