Connect with:
Saturday / December 15.

Young Saudi author’s journey to meet pope

JEDDAH: Author of three books and a leading light on social media, Sultan Al-Mousa has accomplished much in the field of anthropology through his love of history and ancient civilizations. Also a member of the Vatican religious dialogue committee, Al-Mousa is working to bridge religions through his work.
In November, a Saudi delegation visited the Vatican, led by the head of the Muslim World League (MWL), Dr. Muhammed Al-Issa, and Sultan Al-Mousa, to meet the pope.
This was the third visit to the Vatican in Saudi history. The first took place during the reign of King Faisal, the second in King Abdullah’s reign and the third during King Salman’s. “I was honored and delighted to be part of this delegation,” said Al-Mousa. “We visited the Vatican three times in a month for the joint committee of interfaith dialogue.
“Saudi Arabia is considered the center of Islam, as is the Vatican for the Catholic faith. In order for there to be a continued understanding and common dialogue between the two states, a joint committee was established, with representatives from each country. Representatives from the Vatican included three cardinals, and from Saudi Arabia, Dr. Mohammed Al-Issa, Dr. Abdul Aziz Sarhan, the office director of the MWL in Italy, and myself.”
Al-Mousa was presented with a gift from the pope, and snapchatted it. One of his followers commented that 15 years ago this would have been unacceptable.
“We now have awareness, we live in a time of globalization. Now more than ever we need enlightenment, to have an open mind and to develop a deep knowledge of history,” Al-Mousa explained.
Al-Mousa was chosen to be part of the delegation not only for his knowledge of cultures, ancient history and religions, but also because he speaks fluent Italian.
He has taken part in many dialogues at various centers, such as the King Abdullah Center for Interfaith Dialogue, the King Abdul Aziz Center for National Dialogue, and other interfaith dialogues worldwide.
The joint committee of the interfaith dialogue committee’s initiative is to bridge the gap between the two religions and form a better understanding of them globally, while helping to prevent extremism and hate. One of their goals is for peace to prosper and thrive.
Al-Mousa said: “All religions have been hurt by extremism, hate and racism. We are trying to find a middle ground on the basis of humanity.”
Young people are encouraged to take part in activities that the committee will oversee, which are aimed at promoting better understanding of religions, “such as visiting the Vatican, which is part of history and considered a human legacy.”
One of the many points that Al-Mousa consistently emphasizes is the importance of learning and understanding history. “History is not only secluded to a certain country, it is our human legacy,” he said.
Many have criticized him for speaking on and admiring other nations’ legacies and history, and for not focusing on the Arabian Gulf’s history. But Al-Mousa said: “If the Qur’an mentioned all these vivid cultures and religions, and we are rewarded with each word we recite from the holy book, then who are we to erase them?”

via AN