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Author Martin Accad

Martin Accad is director of the Institute of Middle East Studies (IMES) at the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary in Beirut, Lebanon.

During a conference I was attending in Ghana, I joined a group on a visit to one of the “slave castles” on the southern coast. I expected it to be another touristic experience, as ancient castles are no rare sight in my country, Lebanon. I am not known to be particularly emotional or to easily […] Read More

Living in Lebanon when you have the opportunity to leave is a choice that demands a “theology of staying.” Four ideas, which may form the starting components of such a theology, come to mind when I consider why my family remains in Lebanon. First, a theology of staying is rooted in a fundamental trust in […] Read More

Sometimes Lebanon is charming. When you approach the Lebanese coast as your plane takes position for landing, the beautiful mountains gushing out so close to the glassy sea captivate your attention. When you drive up the windy mountain roads of the Qadisha valley, you are taken by surprise with striking natural beauty at every turn, […] Read More

I visited Washington, D.C., recently with Sheikh Muhammad Abou Zaid, president of the Sunni Religious Court of the city of Saida in South Lebanon. The central piece of our visit was the National Prayer Breakfast, but our hosts organized meetings and visits with members of Congress and other people of influence in the city. In […] Read More

Hamas’ shift from its allegiance to the Syrian regime back to its ideological roots in the Muslim Brotherhood is setting new priorities in the regional politics of the Middle East and North Africa region. I’ve set forth the historical and political factors contributing to this shift in a previous column that is available here. The […] Read More

On March 13, 2013, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected to the papacy. The media highlighted right away the newness that the 266th pope ushers in for the Catholic Church, even simply by virtue of who he is: the first Jesuit pope, the first pope from the Americas, and the first pope from the Southern Hemisphere. […] Read More

The mandate of the Institute of Middle East Studies is “to bring about positive transformation in thinking and practice between Christians and Muslims in the Middle East and beyond.” In continuation with last year, the organizing team of this year’s Middle East Conference felt it needed to keep tackling some important human rights issues that […] Read More

How lightheartedly we break the ninth commandment: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16). This is a constant problem in my area of work: Christian-Muslim relations. Granted, some teaching and writing about Islam these days are the result of skewed knowledge or missing information, which would perhaps not qualify as “false […] Read More

Many years ago, when I was 12, I took part in a children’s summer camp in Switzerland, attended mainly by Lebanese, but also by a dozen Syrian kids. I remember a game where children were asked to declare who their hero was. There were, of course, those who had been well groomed in Sunday school […] Read More

On June 4, 2009, about eight months after he took office for his first term, President Barack Obama addressed the Muslim world from Cairo, Egypt. His remarks were titled “A New Beginning” and were delivered¬†from the stage of the University of Cairo, at the joint invitation of the Universities of Cairo and Al-Azhar. The title […] Read More