Tony

Tony Assaf studied philosophy, theology, and oriental studies in Rome, receiving his B.A. from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in 2000. He also received an International Masters Certificate in Management and Communication for Cultural Politics from the Libera Universita di Santa Maria Assunta in 2004. During his years in Rome, Tony has worked for the United Nation’s World Food Programme, the Italian news agency AdnKronos, the Italian television company RAI, as an on-call translator for the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and as a co-founder and researcher for the Italian think-tank Middle Eastern Geopolitical Observer. He also worked as a personal assistant to Cardinal Opelio Rossi at the Casa Internazionale del Clero and as a volunteer for Caritas Internationalis. In the field of communications, he has written for Inside the Vatican magazine, interned in the Arabic section of Vatican Radio, founded and edited the Arabic version of Zenit News Agency, served as Arabic editor, translator and speaker for H2onews, and now translates for the Arabic edition of Aleteia.org. Tony is a native speaker of Arabic and is also fluent in Italian, French, and English with an academic knowledge of Latin, Greek, and the Siro-Aramaic liturgy –the language spoken by Our Lord. He has taught Arabic to Italian and English speakers as a private tutor. Tony is a Maronite rite Catholic who has had the privilege to serve for Blessed John Paul II, read in Arabic at Papal Masses, and pray privately with then Cardinal Ratzinger.  Tony oversees the Rome Program and directs the tours and activities of the Vatican Studies Center in Rome, where he is also enrolled in graduate studies at the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies (PISAI). When not braving the traffic of Rome, Tony enjoys driving his tractor on his farm in Michigan.