Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday evening was scheduled to meet with young people in the
square across from the Maronite Patriarchate of Bkerké, on the second day of his three-day
trip to Lebanon.
The gathering will bring to together young Christians from
the various Catholic Rites in the country, as well as those from non-Catholic traditions.
This visit is a sign for everybody here in the region that are afraid regarding
the Christian situation in the whole region…the emigration of Christians, the whole
situation around in Syria and Iraq and everywhere,” said Sabine Soueidy, the choir
director and musical coordinator for the event. “The Pope visit by itself is something
really, really…it was unexpected because everybody was saying it would be cancelled,
and it is a very hard situation to come here.”
She said some Muslim young
people will also attend the event.
“The most beautiful is it that the Muslim
society here in Lebanon is insisting as much as the Christian society to have the
Pope here, to tell everybody that the Pope is here for peace, to bring a message full
of hope, of life, of joy, and of peace for the whole region, and especially for Lebanon,”
Soueidy told Vatican Radio.
“As John Paul II said, Lebanon is a message for
the whole world; it is not only a country,” she said.
Listen to Tracey
McClure’s full interview with Sabine Soueidy: