Last month, members of the Ghassanid Royal Family and also board members of the Royal House of Ghassan have visited the world leader of the Bektashi Order of Sufi Islam at their world headquarters in Tirana, Albania.
“His Holiness Grandfather” Hajji Baba Mondi (Albanian: Haxhi Baba Edmond Brahimaj) is the world leader of the Bektashi Order or the Bektashi Tariqah (Albanian: Tarikati Bektashi; Turkish: Bektaşi Tarîkatı), a dervish order (tariqat) named after the 13th century Alevi Wali (saint) Haji Bektash Veli from Khorasan, but founded by Balım Sultan. The order is mainly found throughout Anatolia and the Balkans, and was particularly strong in Albania, Bulgaria, and among Ottoman era Greek Muslims from the regions of Epirus, Crete and Macedonia. The order represents the official ideology of Bektashism (Turkish: Bektaşilik).
A large number of academics consider Bektashism to have fused a number of Shia and Sufi concepts, although the order contains rituals and doctrines that are distinct. Throughout its history Bektashis have always had wide appeal and influence among both the Ottoman intellectual elite as well as the peasantry.
The Bektashi have around 150 million followers worldwide and are well-known for promoting inter-religious dialog.
HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor discussed with His Holiness his ideas about dialogue between Islam and the west, receiving full support from the Sufi leader. For his work promoting peace between the religions the Royal House of Ghassanhas bestowed upon His Holiness the highest rank of the Order of Saint Michael Archangel.
The delegation was composed by the head of the Royal House of Ghassan, HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor, the honorary head of the House, HIRH Prince Cheikh Selim El Chemor, the International Vice-President of Operations and CEO of the Lebanese Branch of the House, Sheikh Dr. Elie Gharios, the President of the Royal Ghassanid Academy of Arts and Sciences and Protestant Grand Chaplain of the Royal House of Ghassan, Prof. Dr. Dr. Thomas Schirrmacher, PhD, ThD, Mr. Martin Warnecke, knight of the Order of Saint Michael Archangel, and Mr. Erion Prendi, the CEO of the Albanian Branch of the Royal House of Ghassan.