About the Arsenal
The name “Meeting Point Arsenal” was chosen to highlight our commitment on bringing together different cultures and religions, able-bodied and disabled people, young and adults. All of this, to search for a real opportunity of dialogue, focusing on the weakest and trying to overcome differences and pursue peace. The name we chose also highlights our commitment on promoting mutual respect between religions and helping people to focus on present difficulties, like disability and material and spiritual poverty, and not on past hardships.
Our Arsenal aims at being a place of profound change and meeting, in which people can try to find a meaning to their lives.
A place in which love for those who suffer can deeply unite people, beyond any differences.
A place in which everyone can feel loved.
A sisterhood from Sermig, formed by women who worked hard to study Arabic and to acquire the necessary cultural mediation skills, runs the Arsenal and organises its activities.
A continuous interchange with the Brotherhood of Turin is always taking place and some Italian volunteers alternatively travel there to help with the management and development of services with their professionalism.
Though working already in 2007, the complex was expanded through the addition of a second floor in 2009.
On the 15th of May 2010, it was inaugurated in the presence of His Royal Highness, Prince Ra’ad Bin Zeid, His Beatitude Fouad Twal, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem and Ernesto Olivero, founder of Sermig.This event marked a new beginning and represented a reason for the whole local community to commit to its welfare.
The Meeting Point Arsenal fulfils the prophecy of an ordinary day in which Christians and Muslims live as brothers, respecting their differences and collaborating for a shared goal: their children, especially those more in need.
The bond between Sermig and Jordan has deep roots,dating back to 1988, when the organisation first started to operate in the Middle East. Sermig then took part in the peacekeeping missions carried out in Iraq during the Gulf War and, in 1991, it started a close collaboration with the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. Since then, Sermig has always been sending material and financial help to the Middle East, an area in which many different cultures and religions coexist and dialogue and peace are essential.
On the 20th of July 2003, Sermig began its activity in Jordan thanks to a group of young volunteers that organised the opening of the Meeting Point Arsenal by learning the local language and culture and working at the Regina Paris Centre in Amman, a space dedicated to the help of disabled children.
Indeed, one out of ten Jordan citizens has a disability and this high percentage is a real problem for the Jordan society, which struggles to socially include a large group of young people, both Christians and Muslims. In this developing country, opportunities of assistance and rehabilitation for disabled people are still not so widely available, sometimes causing social marginalisation. Therefore, Sermig decided to work for helping that weakest part of Jordan society.
The Jordan population is also very young, with fifty percent of it under sixteen, but, unfortunately, places available to young people for meeting and starting a dialogue are not so many and society does not provide them with many points of reference for being able to balance the survival of local traditions and bursting modernisation. This is the reason why we thought it would be crucial to work next to young people in this country.
The city of Madaba was chosen as the right place in which to found Sermig’s Meeting Point Arsenal.
In this city of 70.000 inhabitants, located in the south part of Jordan, next to Mount Nebo and 25 kilometres away from the Dead Sea, a quite big christian community resides.
The Meeting Point Arsenal is housed in a former Mechanics school now refurbished, once belonging to the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and its aim is to help both the Christian and Muslim communities. In addition to its educational and working activities for disabled young people, the Arsenal also provides spaces for meeting and experience spirituality for families, young people and volunteers.