» 04/04/2005, 00.00
SYRIA - VATICAN
Assad will attend Pope's funeral
People wave photos of the Pope, whilst national media remembers his moral stature and historic 2001 visit.
Damascus (AsiaNews) An official Syrian government statement released today said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will attend Pope John Paul II's funeral, which is scheduled for Thursday. He will head an official delegation whose members have not yet been named.
Sorrow for the loss of John Paul II is palpable everywhere: in Catholic churches crowded with the faithful saying prayers for the soul of the Pontiff, but also in the streets plastered with photos of the Pope, especially the one that shows John Paul II planting a tree in the Golan and another in which he is kissing the Qu'ran in his visit to a mosque in Damascus in 2001.
Like the streets, the Pontiff is all over the front-pages of newspapers: Teschrine, a Damascus daily, carried a photo on its front-page of John Paul II in the Golan valley whilst an editorial focused on the Pontiff's strong religious charisma and his constant efforts in favour of world peace; Al-Sawrat led today's edition with the Pope's historic 2001 visit and its most significant moment, his visit to al-Qunaytirah, a city in the Golan destroyed in 1967 War with Israel.
Syrian media have also generally emphasised the role played by the Holy See in the Arab world and its efforts in favour of inter-faith dialogue and bridging the gap between Islam and Christianity.
Pope John Paul II's condemnations of the two Iraq wars and his repeated appeals for peace were given wide coverage.
04/04/2005 SYRIA TRIPS IN ASIA AN OVERVIEW
First Pope to visit mosque in 2001
03/04/2005 LEBANON - VATICAN
The Pope: Lebanon mourns the loss of a steadfast defender of the land of the cedars
The Maronite Patriarch, Cardinal Sfeir, calls John Paul II a unique figure who shall remain in the history of the world. As sign of respect local TV and radio stations are playing only classical music
Three million mourners in Rome for Pope's funeral
Pilgrims continue to arrive to visit John Paul II's final resting place.
Card. Ratzinger: The love of Christ, the dominant force of our beloved Holy Father
Here follows the text of the homily that card. Ratzinger gave at the funeral of Pope John Paul II.
A million people attend John Paul II's funeral
Defeated on ice, but 'first' in history, joint Korean hockey team players hug
After losing to Sweden in their last match, the Korean team ends up in seventh place. Players burst into tears at their imminent separation. "Politicians made that executive decision [to have a joint team]. Our players and staff are the ones that made it work,” said the team’s proud Canadian coach. One South Korean athlete hopes the country is proud of them. "It was bigger than hockey."
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.