Paris, France—"Cultivating Hospitality" was the theme of the 22nd monthly meeting of the interfaith circle Dialogue & Alliance.
UPF-France received more than 150 requests from 22 countries for online participation in the February 19, 2023, meeting. Aside from the main group that met in the Espace Barrault conference center in Paris, two other groups watched the meeting online: one from the town of Loos in northern France, and the other from Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The moderator was Soraya Ayouch, a member of the sponsoring committee of Dialogue & Alliance.
To comment on the passage of Genesis 18:1-8, Maria-Antonietta Mollica, from the Swiss Society for Spiritual Assistance, presented a very complete text prepared by Rabbi Don Aristide De-Carli.
The program included a "cultural break" in which the participants watched a short excerpt from the 1982 film Les Misérables based on the Victor Hugo novel. In the scene, Bishop Myriel takes in the former convict Jean Valjean. When Valjean strips him of his silverware and then is recaptured by the police, the prelate claims that it was a gift, thus safeguarding the former convict's newfound freedom.
Monsignor Jacques Gaillot, the Catholic bishop of Partenia, then commented on the passage of Luke 24:28-35 (the pilgrims of Emmaus) by relating some personal experiences in Normandy and in Algeria.
A Muslim point of view, based on Verse 9 of Sura LIX of the Quran, was presented by Dr. Mohamed Larbi Haouat, the president of ASILEC (Association of Solidarity for Integration through Languages, Education and Culture), a doctor of state, strategic studies of international relations, Arab-Muslim world.
The meeting concluded with a question-and-answer session moderated by Laurent Ladouce, a UPF research fellow.