#The Future of Minorities in the Middle East – May 24 in Rome

” Brothers Betrayed” is the story of the jihadist persecution of Christians in Syria. The author is the war correspondent Gian Micalessin, the journalist of Il Giornale born in Trieste. The book is not an essay, but a long reportage that walks the readers through the streets of Damascus, the heights of Mal’ula, until Aleppo. During this journey, we can meet people and look into the stories of those who have a direct experience of this war, and have even lost a relative or a friend.

Micallessin’s book describes the reality of the conflict. From 2011 until today, the author argues that Europe and the West have stood idly by the drama of the Syrian Christians in Syria, who were persecuted by ISIS and other jihadist groups.

The betrayal begins with the myopic illusion of the Arab Spring, depicted as a wave of democratic and liberal uprisings. But behind them something very different was hiding: the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist forces, which spearheaded the insurrection against the regime of Bashar Al Assad. That insurrection – backed by the America of Barack Obama and by most of the European nations, including Italy – turned very soon into an attempt to hand over the country to the fundamentalism. Syrian Christians, as evidenced by Micalessin in his work, are the first to denounce this situation, the first to report the atrocities and massacres carried out by the jihadist groups.

Nevertheless, the Syrian Christians were not heard nor believed. The narrative promoted by the majority of the Western governments and the mainstream media, told us that our “brothers in faith” were become accomplices and supporters of the regime of the dictator Assad.

The West, says Micalessin, is prisoner of a great mystification.

This is why the “Averroes” Study Center and Acmid-Donna Onlus are organizing a new Conference on “The future of minorities in the Middle East,” scheduled to take place on Thursday, May 24. The meeting will start with the presentation of the book “Brothers Betrayed”, and will give the opportunity to engage the author in a broad discussion on the thousand facets of international jihadism: the funding coming from rogue states, including Qatar; the complicity of countries like Turkey, which allowed the trafficking of jihadists to and from Syria; the guilty and criminal myopia of the West about what happens both there and here.

This meeting is part of a program of high-level conferences and seminars that aim to shed light on the phenomenon of jihadism and radicalism, and to understand where to start in order to slow down and gradually eliminate this threat that is deeply-rooted in our societies.

The television journalist, Maurizio Martinelli, will moderate the debate and interview Micalessin along with Souad Sbai, President of “Averroes” Study Center. The Conference will also feature the remarks of Hon. Elisabetta Gardini, Member of the EU Parliament.