Translation of - http://www.geocities.com/orepal/knights.htm
Knights of Malta Osj - USA of Krac
....... In order to avoid misunderstandings and confusions with
other filiations of the Order of Malta, its Great Council, in the course
of a Chapter held in Damascus in 1988, decided to change name and I adopt
the new title of Sovereign Jerusalemite
Order of Malta - Osj USA " Knights of the Krac "
As its first new Grand Master the Syrian historian Faiz Ismail, of
Muslim faith, was nominated. His nomination to head an Order whose origins
are steeped in the defence of the Cross of Christianity and the Holy Sepulchre
of Christ, should not, however, draw hurried or superficial conclusions.
In fact the Great Council of this Order, in the course of the same Chapter
of Damascus of 1988, decided to repudiate every warlike means to constrict
the will of other people, abolished the use of the sword and other offensive
arm from its attire and sentiment, assumed among its statuary duties the
defence of the rights of the man and the promotion of universal fraternity,
assumed a strong revulsion towards every ideology exalting organised crime
and illegitimate action against democratic states, removed from its tenets
any form of hegemony or superiority of race, social and religious distinction
between people, and engaged itself to promote wherever and however possible
the creation of a University of Culture and a Campus for stages, reunions
and conferences. That, concludes the official document approved at the end
of the Chapter of Damascus, with utmost respect towards the famous branch
known as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM) recognised as the
prestigious heir of the tradition of the Order of Malta. one whose fecund
delegation also operates actively in Sicily, is committed to promote in time
the gathering of several branches of the Order under a single Confederation
to twin with the knights of the Temple (Templars) and with the knights of
the Teutonic Order. Other famous orders which are connected with the ancient
Knights of Jerusalem are the Independent Priory of Canada of San Francis
of Assisi of the English language, and the Teutonic Order of the Levant Trust,
the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, The Knights Hospitallers
International Headquarters Establishment.
On 30 September 1992, in the expectation of attaining a clarification between all the chivalric Orders that operate in the world, to comply with the bull (concordance) of 1/02/88/01 subscribed to in Malta in 1988 between the Crusader Knights, and ratified by the Chapter of Damascus on the 20 September 1988, an association named the International Federation of the Crusader Knights has been constituted which, among its tasks, resolves to disseminate ideas of ecumenism, peace, solidarity and fraternity among the people, assistance to children, the old, the sick and the indigent, the defence of human rights and the protection of the human personality. All chivalric Orders which embrace the same social aims of the Federation can join.
from the book by Salvino Greco
"THE CRUSADER KNIGHTS OF JERUSALEM and the Chivalric Military Orders in Medieval Messina" edited by Edizioni Skender Malta 1995
Krac of the Knights (Syria)
Knight of the Cross
Castle of the Barons
The Krac of the Knights, constructed on a height of Mount Khalil, is one of the greatest fortified castles of the world. Situated 750m above sea level it controls the strategic passage between Homs, the plain of Bekaa were olives, figs and grain grow, and Tarus. It had never been taken by assault and it surrendered to Baibars when, after a month of futile siege, a false letter from the Grand Master, then living in Tripoli, ordering them to yield was delivered to the head of the Krac. Because of its imposing structure it was called Qalaat al-Hosn, or fortress of fortresses. It was previously occupied by the Kurds from whom it was captured in 1099 by Taymond de Saint Gilles, Count of Tolosa. In 1110 it was occupied by Tancredi. The Knights Hospitaller occupied it in 1142 when the Atabeg Zenki, Lord of Aleppo, made it more threatening. Before its fall, it had resisted the attacks of Norendino and the selfsame Saladin who after having inspected the place preferred to withdraw without attacking. From within the castle, military expeditions set off against the Muslim cities of Hamae Homs. Participating was an army made up of Christians, Syrians auxiliaries, Armenians and Turks who formed a light cavalry of Muslim mercenaries at the service of the Crusaders under the command of a Hospitaller Knight called Turcopolier. Just 6 km. from the Krac, can be found the convent of Saint George constructed under Justinian (527-565) and still inhabited today by a community of Greek-Orthodox monks. To describe the structure is pointless: its beauty can be seen in person in its whole and in its part.