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Scholar Presents Christian Material to Middle Eastern Division

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Habib Ephrem, left, presents a series of prints of Maronite Christian icons to Michael Hopper, head of Widener Library’s Middle Eastern Division, while Middle Eastern scholar Eden Naby looks on.


December 17, 2010 – Several dozen prints of Maronite Christian icons were recently presented to the Middle Eastern Division of Widener Library by Habib Ephren, president of the Syriac League in Lebanon and Secretary General of the Union of Lebanese Christian Leagues during a visit to Widener Library earlier this month.

The prints are of icons created by Father Abdo Badwi, director of the Institute of Sacred Art at the Holy Spirit University in Lebanon, and depict scenes from Jesus’ life and the Bible. The collection will be an important addition to the divisions’ collection documenting Eastern Christianity, said Middle Eastern Division Head Michael Hopper.

An author and TV commentator, Ephrem is a frequent lecturer on contemporary Middle East politics, Christians in the Middle East, and the effects of the World War I genocide on Assyrians and Armenians. Ephrem had been invited to Harvard by the Harvard Divinity School’s Center for the Study of World Religions, where he gave a lecture titled “Why Attacks on Christians in the Middle East Are on the Rise.” Also on hand for the presentation was Eden Naby, a prominent scholar and cultural historian of Central Asia and the Middle East.