Iraqi Minister of Foreign Affairs at the Forum of Ancient Civilizations

Peace may be upon you all.

I would like to thank the President of the Hellenic Republic for his outstanding words, which uncovered a deep sense of intellect. As I extend my thanks and appreciation to my friend, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Greece, as well as the Foreign Minister of China and all the attendees.

At the beginning of my speech, I would like to say that we are gathered here today because of the deeply rooted civilizations of ours.

Civilization has emerged long time ago, and enlightened the path of these countries. However, it may not cease at the boundaries of these countries; civilization must never cease to shine its light on other countries.

Iraq, is the cradle of civilization. Seven thousand years have passed since the first spark of civilization. It sprung from Mesopotamia; southern regions of Iraq: Amarah, Nasiriyah, Basra and other areas. Indeed, what I am trying to imply is that, those who carries the emblem of Civilization set forth a journey to different parts of the world. Furthermore, across the pages of history, in particular, 120 years prior to the birth of Christ 600 to 480 BC, witnessed the conceiving of five of the most prominent figures in the history of civilization, during that era, those: Buddha, Herodotus, Pythagoras, Zoroaster and Confucius. Those figures spread civilization across the world.

When we talk of civilization, we talk of the power of humanity and intellect which God has created in our psyches. There is a verse in the Holy Quran indicates that God created humans with diversity: (O people we created you male and female And made you peoples and tribes) {Al Hujurrat/ 13}

God has created Humans with differences. It was meant to be that way. However, diversity was meant so that we know each others, not to be in conflict, fight or to be secluded. Let us be, so that life thrive and integrate. There is a saying of the Prophet of Islam, peace be upon him, after he suffered from the Arabs in the Arabian Peninsula, particularly, Mecca. The prophet pointed with his hand, and said to them: (Go to Abyssinia where the king does not oppress anyone).. Thus, humans should carry civilization as he look at the horizon of earth; to find people akin in thought, values, in distant areas.

Today, distance must not be seen as a mean of division; on the contrary. While setting the basics of division, we must consider the values, humanity, morality, and common interests. This is the concept of the new world.

As Imam Ali (peace and blessings be upon him) had said: “People are one of two: either a brother in religion, or an equal in creation. “ a person hence to resemble others in manner, heart and emotions. It sanctity should be protected even if he was from a different religion, continent. That is what must be uphold.

The pioneer of human justice, Imam Ali –peace be upon him – proves this fact…

I would like to prove here, that China, is one dawn of civilization states, as Francis Bacon, one of the Philosophers and Prime Ministers of Britain, said: three inventions that changed the world: magnets; the secret of sailing and maritime trade, Gunpowder; the secret of weaponry, And Paper; the secret of understanding and communication.

I do not know whether he knew or did not know that the paper and gunpowder originated in China. So I remember the words of the Prophet of Islam – May God bless him-: “Seek knowledge even if it is in China.” Since then, every human must seek the sources of intellect, regardless of the distance, language, ethnicity, and even away from religion. See Knowledge even if it was at the farthest point in the world. These were the early features and seeds of intellectual civilizations.

My fellows, diversity is not a heresy, yet, a natural thing. Diversity is the secret of magnificence, and beauty. Let me imply an example for you: If all roses were one color, they would not attract anyone.

Today, our civilization is under threat, Terrorism menaces all civilizations. Iraq –the cradle of civilization- has been sabotaged by Daesh. They ruined the human psyche, messed up its intellect identity, and tried to subdue the heritage and cultural legacy.

What happened in Mosul, and Ur?

How did Daesh target it, and try to demolish it?

We must intensify efforts to preserve our genuine civilization; as long as, civilization aims at serving humanity, and it assesses the new present on the basis of respect for the rights of people, we must promote them, not just as civil phenomena. Civil phenomena are different from civilization phenomena, Lexus, Mercedes, Boeing and other industries are civil phenomena that reflect technological and economic power, but they are not cultural phenomena. Civilization phenomena; When UNESCO, defend human rights, respect children. And respect the existing diversity. These are cultural phenomena.

As we walk by, many signs, such as: the cross, crescent, the sickle and hammer; all denote and imply to an ideology. Whereas, civil phenomena refer to evolving technology.

The phenomenon of civilization must flourish. We must be committed to everything that is related to humans; and that, which respects human, children, women, and the elderly; everything that respects every single value of humanity.

Samuel Huntigton introduced the clash of civilizations.

What does this imply?

Why do civilizations collide?

Why not replace the clash of civilizations with the harmony of civilizations?

What is the purpose of civilization?

isn’t it mankind who started Civilization!?

A civilization that has not made by man must not be considered as one. Indeed, it may be civil, yet, it cannot be considered as a civilization.

The Creation of civilization was meant for the happiness of mankind and combating poverty, wasn’t it?

Nowadays, human suffers from diseases, ignorance, hunger, racial discrimination, and dividing the world for a northern and southern part. The North, which consists of 20%, enjoys 80% of the wealth of the world. While, the south enjoys only 20% world’s wealth. This requires the mobilization of all efforts, in order to confront it. When do we place the world in new civilized spaces in which men respect each others regardless of all considerations?

It is time for the countries of original civilizations to delineate the new path of modern civilization and to promote a civilized culture; differentiate nothing among mankind, unless by generosity, productivity, and humane to others.

We look forward to this conference to draw the path of cultural harmony, love, and new brotherly civilization.

Fellows, The human is the ultimate objective of each civilization. Thus, we must embrace and defend it, and preserve the civilization; to walk this path, is to stop a culture with welfare and prosperity to all people.

What is being done today in Iraq by Daesh is not targeting Iraq; it is targeting the cultural depth, civilized future, and targeting your countries as well; because those terrorists do not distinguish between countries. They want to assassinate culture. Everything is based on a culture. Neither building nor standing symbol of civilization was built without a culture, and no enemy more dangerous than the enemy of culture. We are invited not only to be the countries of ancient civilization, but to be the countries of renewed civilizations. No authenticity without renewal or renewal without authenticity, originality is renewed over time, as no one with respect to himself, and others, and who wants to cope with time, without embracing the first threads, all of which, exist in our civilizations.

I wish you all the best.

Once again, I extend my thanks and appreciation to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Greece, as well as to the Minister For Foreign Affairs of China.

Peace, mercy and blessings of God may be upon you.