What is the Levant?

The old world of the Levant may serve as a source of inspiration for new relationships between states and nations, based on mutual understanding and not on military and economic pressure.

Egyptian, Judaic, Assyrian, Babylonian, Phoenician civilizations, Arabian Caliphates, the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires created, each in their own way, large spaces for the exchange of goods, ideas and cultural dialogue. In its turn, the Balkans and the South-eastern Europe have had a long-standing contact with North Africa and the Near East and the peoples in the former zones have a vast experience in intercultural dialogue. Eastern Mediterranean has fascinated the West since the Renaissance, through Romanticism and Modern times and the admiration of great writers, artists and musicians for the Levant has generated/given birth to magnificent visions and remarkable creation.

The cultural relationships between the Balkans, Near East and Northern Africa have continued throughout the 20th century, even during the Cold War and dictatorship, leading to the formation of an intellectual elite schooled in the universities of South-eastern Europe and to mutual cultural exchange.Re-connecting these ties may prove a good occasion for the diversity of mutual traditions to oppose the tendencies of uniformity and globalization overwhelmed by the pressure of profit, opening a new way of life, closer to the aspirations ofman. If globalization cannot be avoided, it can be modeled. Multiculturalism should be promoted and lived with respect for diversity, plurality of identity traditions, for human rights and liberty of conscience.

This visionary project of the Levant, adapted to the challenges of the present, will confer this area a new identity within Europe and the whole world.

Romania of today is able to open this new perspective, i.e. to re-discover the Mediterranean axis and the multisided cultural dialogue between the West and the Levant because Romania has inherited a significant number of interlocutors in the states and communities marked by innumerable dissensions and these states and communities might start a dialogue tomorrow.

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