"Al-Bushra"

Seeking truth and justice

Natural history, conservation, and politics meet

Posted on May 25, 2019

O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. Psalm 124:24

Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh writes on May 25 in the Palestinian Christians newsletter:

Today we concluded a week of public activities related to biodiversity (we even got live coverage on Palestine TV). We had lectures and workshops on faunal and human diversity and how to protect those. We had hands-on work in preparation of specimens for biodiversity studies. Coincidentally it was also the last week in the semester for my classes; I teach Biodiversity at Birzeit and Research methodology at Bethlehem University (both master level).

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The “Children’s Charter” of the Latin Patriarchate Schools

Posted on May 24, 2019

Believing in Christian values and in the universal commitment of the Catholic Church to the protection of children, the General Administration of the Latin Patriarchate Schools represented by its Director General, Br. Iyad Twal, in collaboration with the World Vision Foundation, published the “Children’s Charter” on Wednesday 22nd May at the Al-Ahliyah School in Ramallah.

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A Call for the German Bundestag to Reverse its May 17, 2019 Resolution

Posted on May 23, 2019

 

A Call for the German Bundestag to Reverse its May 17, 2019 Resolution, “Resisting the BDS movement decisively – fighting antisemitism”

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Granddaughter fasts during Ramadan; Grandmother recounts Nakba

Posted on May 23, 2019

Lena Abdelhamid writes:

If you celebrate Ramadan, I’m sure you’re counting the days along with me. Being in the heart of the month, I’m starting to overcome my longing for coffee and beginning to enjoy the real treasure of Ramadan: moments of reflection.

This year, I commemorated Nakba Day through the lens of my fasting. I went through photos of my family and my friends’ families and took time to absorb their stories and to internalize their—our—loss that has become decades of continued suffering. 71 years ago, more than 750,000 Palestinians were displaced and 400 villages destroyed. The depth of the tragedy of the ongoing Nakba was illustrated to me in ways I’m not used to hearing.

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Is the U.S. prepping for a war in the Middle East with Iran?

Posted on May 22, 2019

by Kevin Clarke, Senior Editor/Chief Correspondent

Many Americans were startled on May 5 when John Bolton, the national security advisor, announced that the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier strike group had been rushed from the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf to counter “a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings” from Iran. His threat assessment went without much further elaboration.

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Pax Christi International, member organisations acknowledge 71 years of the Nakba

Posted on May 22, 2019

Wednesday, 15 May 2019, Brussels – Today, Palestinians throughout the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, Israel and the diaspora mark seventy-one years since the Nakba (Arabic for “The Catastrophe”). It marks the deliberate destruction of over 400 Palestinian towns and villages and the planned forced exodus of more than 750,000 men, women and children from their ancestral homes, between 1947 and 1948, to make way for the State of Israel. We deeply regret that the Israeli government has made it unlawful for the Nakba to be recognised in Israel, denying many of its citizens the right to acknowledge an historic event which is pivotal to the Palestinian narrative. (1)

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A Letter from a Palestinian Christian to EWTN

Posted on May 21, 2019

A copy of this 2014 letter from a Palestinian Christian to EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network or Global Catholic Network) was recently shared with us.

Bethlehem, 22 August 2014

Dear Raymond Arroyo,

I was watching your world over segment last night on EWTN and I had some concerns. My name is Mary. I’m a conservative Catholic from Bethlehem, Palestine.

I know you didn’t think we existed – don’t worry you’re not the only one.

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AUM celebrates 10th anniversary of the blessing of its foundation stone

Posted on May 18, 2019


 

Madaba, Jordan – Dr. Rajai Muasher patronized on Thursday, May 9, the American University of Madaba (AUM) celebration marking the 10th anniversary of the blessing of its foundation stone by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.

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One million face hunger in Gaza after US cut to Palestine aid

Posted on May 18, 2019

UN relief agency warns of crisis next month unless donor countries provide $60m

Image: A Palestinian man loads a horse-drawn cart with food aid provided by the UNRWA in Gaza

A Palestinian man in the Gaza Strip loads food aid provided by the UN relief agency UNRWA, which the US abruptly stopped funding last year. Photograph: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images

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The pilgrimage of trust. A conversation with Brother Emile

Posted on May 17, 2019

A small seed from France, where the community was founded by Brother Roger at the beginning of World War II, spread to the Middle East.

Brother EMILE Community of Taizé “When you’re a pilgrim, you know it’s best not to have much luggage. This is the spirit we want to bring to encourage young people to enter into the reality of life, even if they don’t have all the answers, but with faith in God. Pilgrimage is an important word because you do it with your faith. But trust is another important word: trust in God, among people, sometimes even in ourselves.”

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Israel Creates A New Political Normal

Posted on May 17, 2019

Netanyahu has pretended peace, while expanding a settlement policy designed to create an Israeli state from the Sea to the Jordan River. The peace façade has been dropped. Palestinians are officially second class citizens and captives in their own ancient land.

by James M. Wall

Adam Shatz, writing in the London Review of Books, described Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s legislative victory on April 9, as a “tribute” to his “transformation of the political landscape”.

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Maryknoll: Middle East Notes, April-May 2019

Posted on May 15, 2019

The seven featured articles in this issue of the Middle East Notes focus on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent reelection and the influence of the right-wing in the new government; the need for the Palestinian Authority and the U.S. Congress to put pressure on Israeli Jews to fight to end the Occupation; the Palestinian PLO’s consideration of breaking ties with Israel and rejecting the U.S.’s peace plan; one father’s feelings of helplessness when Israeli airstrikes fall on his Gazan neighborhood; the UN envoy to the Mideast warning of potential for war between Israel and Hamas; the importance of Muslim and Jewish civil society groups forming positive connections; and the link to the latest CMEP bulletin.

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Annual Advocacy Summit: Persistent Hope: 35 Years of CMEP

Posted on May 15, 2019

 

Persistent Hope: 35 Years of CMEP

A Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) Advocacy Summit
June 23-25, 2019
Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church
Washington, D.C. 20001

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Ceremonial Communion for Children of St. Aphrem Center for Religious Education – Tabbale.

Posted on May 14, 2019

Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch

On May 10, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo at St. Georges Patriarchal Cathedral, in Bab Touma – Damascus.

Image: Children and all who were present partook of the Holy Mysteries

Children and all who were present partook of the Holy Mysteries

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Will a new gathering of Orthodox scholars and leaders push ecumenism forward?

Posted on May 14, 2019

by Thomas P. Rausch, SJ*

The ecumenical movement in Christianity seems to have stalled today. But the responsibility for moving it forward may fall upon the historic churches: the Roman Catholic Church, the 14 autocephalous Orthodox churches (churches who choose their own leaders; now 15, with the addition of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine) and the ancient Oriental Orthodox churches—the Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopian, Eritrean, Malankara and Syriac.

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How Mary can be a bridge between Christians and Muslims

Posted on May 12, 2019

He said, ‘I am but a messenger from your Lord, [come] to announce to you the gift of a pure son.’ She said, ‘How can I have a son when no man has touched me? I have not been unchaste.’

—Qur’an, Sura 19:19-20

by Cardinal Blase J. Cupich*

It might surprise some Christians to learn that the excerpt from the Annunciation narrative above comes not from the Gospel of Luke but the Qur’an, the holy book of Islam. In fact, the Qur’an contains not one but two Annunciation stories. (The other is in Sura 3.) Mary, the only woman mentioned by name in the Qur’an, has an entire chapter named after her (Sura 19, “Maryam”) and is honored by Muslims as the Virgin Mother of Jesus.

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Churches are called to defend human dignity in the Middle East

Posted on May 9, 2019

“When engaging in such situations, we are not asking questions on our theologies or doctrines– we are concerned with how to restore the dignity of people from whom it has been taken away”, said Badr, senior pastor of the National Evangelical Church of Beirut. “Going to places where there is hell, suffering, is not easy. We are risking our lives. But that is exactly we are called to do”.

World Council of Churches, 09 May 2019 – Restoring human dignity where people suffer most is the ultimate calling for churches in the Middle East and their partners worldwide, stated an annual partners meeting of the Middle East Council of Churches held in Ain el Qassis, Lebanon this week.

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Hostilities in Gaza ‘morally and ethically untenable,’ religious leaders state

Posted on May 9, 2019

World Council of Churches – On 8 May, the World Council of Churches (WCC), Middle East Council of Churches, and ACT Alliance released a message expressing deep concern over the latest hostilities in the Gaza Strip, describing the present situation as “morally and ethically untenable.”

Last weekend, the region near the Israel-Gaza border saw the most intense escalation of violence since the 2014 war.

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Madonna & Gaza

Posted on May 9, 2019

The bombing in Gaza has stopped – and, incredibly, one of the reported reasons is that Israel doesn’t want fighting during next week’s Eurovision song contest when millions of TV viewers will tune in.

For months the Israeli government has pulled out all of the stops to make Eurovision a huge moment for ‘Brand Israel,’ even recruiting one of the world’s biggest stars to perform: Madonna. 

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CPT Palestine School Semester Report

Posted on May 9, 2019

Palestine School Report:
Education under Military Occupation,
January 2019

 

Christian Peacemaker Teams Palestine – The Israeli occupation continues to impact Palestinian children and limit access to education, in al-Khalil and across occupied Palestine.

Restriction of movement and the threat of attacks from Israeli military personnel and settlers often negatively impact both school attendance and children’s school performance. The physical dangers of travel to school can cause parents to search for alternative schools or remove children altogether, while the psychosocial impact of potential violence influences a child’s ability to focus and learn well.

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How you can challenge Israel’s erasure of Palestinians

Posted on May 9, 2019


Israel’s horrific attacks on the besieged Palestinian population of the Gaza Strip last weekend reminded us, once again, of our responsibility to support justice and freedom. As we stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people in the face of injustice, it’s important find ways that we, as people who live in the US, can take action.
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King Abdullah II of Jordan makes donation for restoration of Holy Sepulchre

Posted on May 8, 2019

Jordan News Agency, AMMAN – On Monday, May 6, 2019, His Beatitude Theophilos III, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem, all Palestine and Jordan, thanked His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan on behalf of the Holy Land’s Christian community for covering the costs of the restoration of the Holy Sepulchre Church in Jerusalem at his personal expense.

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Pope Francis makes history in North Macedonia

Posted on May 8, 2019

by Gerard O’Connell, America’s Vatican correspondent

Pope Francis wrote a new chapter in the history of the church today by being the first pope ever to visit North Macedonia and the first to celebrate Mass in this country, almost certainly the largest ever held in this land.

According to official sources, 15,000 people attended the pope’s Mass in Macedonia Square in the center of Skopje, the capital city. The size of the crowd was surprising given that Catholics are a tiny minority in this land of two million people, a mere 20,000 faithful divided into two rites—Byzantine and Latin, served by one bishop, 20 priests and 30 religious women and men.

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Pope Francis: Catholics and Orthodox are united by “ecumenism of blood”

Posted on May 6, 2019

Image: Pope Francis and the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church May 5, 2019. Credit: Vatican Media.

Pope Francis and the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church May 5, 2019. Credit: Vatican Media.

By Hannah Brockhaus

Sofia, Bulgaria, May 5, 2019 / 08:54 am (CNA).- In Bulgaria Sunday, Pope Francis said Catholics and Orthodox are united by the blood of the martyrs and the Christians who continue to suffer for the faith even today.

“How many Christians in this country endured suffering for the name of Jesus, particularly during the persecution of the last century! The ecumenism of blood!” the pope said May 5.

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Reflection: Key to open door of peace is in the hands of Israel

Posted on May 6, 2019

Image: Latin Patriarch Emeritus Michel Sabbah

Latin Patriarch Emeritus Michel Sabbah

Monday 6.5.2019

by Latin Patriarch Emeritus Michel Sabbah

There is a war on Gaza, as it has been once, twice, and more. Gaza and its people are in a state of permanent war. It has been under constant siege for 13 years, which is war imposed upon them every day. Today, the month of Ramadan has started for fasting, prayer, repentance and good deeds. Instead, we see death exploding in and around Gaza. Israel itself complains of the war. Yesterday, Sunday May 5th, the Israeli Defense Minister tweeted and  cried out to the world to notice and see Israelis waking up for the second day in a row of  rockets coming from Gaza and falling in Israel.

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Israel/Palestine: New election, new suffering

Posted on May 3, 2019

The re-election of Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel widens gaps in the path to peace for Israelis and Palestinians. This article was published in the May-June 2019 issue of NewsNotes.

For those who support a peaceful resolution between Palestine and Israel that restores human rights and agency to Palestinians, the reelection of Benjamin Netanyahu for a fifth term as prime minister of Israel on April 9 does not inspire hope. It was Netanyahu‘s narrowest victory to date, likely in part due to looming corruption charges, but also dwindling support from right-wing nationalists within his party who believe Netanyahu’s policies with regard to Palestinians do not go far enough to restrict their rights and confiscate land for the State of Israel.

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Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem condemn terrorist attacks on churches in Sri Lanka

Posted on May 3, 2019

JERUSALEM, 23 April 2019 – Please find below the statement from the Patriarchs and Heads of Church in Jerusalem concerning the terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka on Easter Day 2019.

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Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem in solidarity with French people

Posted on May 3, 2019

JERUSALEM, 23 April 2019 – Please find below the message of solidarity from the Patriarchs and Heads of the Churches in Jerusalem to the French people.

A Message of Solidarity from the Patriarchs and Heads of the Churches in Jerusalem to the French People

Our hearts burned as we watched on media screens the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris lit up by fire. This cathedral, which witnessed historic events in the French capital for nearly 850 years ago, is a holy place, is an art masterpiece and a distinguished symbol of human civilization.

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Can Christianity in northern Iraq survive after ISIS?

Posted on May 2, 2019

by Kevin Clarke, America’s chief correspondent and the author of Oscar Romero: Love Must Win Out (Liturgical Press)

April 29, 2019 – Around us the rubble of West Mosul throws a fine white dust into the air. It coats your clothing and grits your hair, covers your shoes and camera lens and gets into just about everything else. I find myself wondering what percentage of my newly acquired Mosul particles are vaporized human remains.

Of course, people were not the only targets in the Old City during ISIS’ last stand before being driven from Mosul in July 2017. Centuries of Christian and Muslim places of worship were reduced to piles of gravel and debris.

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Airbnb backpedals, will continue to list in illegal Israeli settlements

Posted on May 1, 2019

From our Staff and Members/Press Release

(New York City, NY) April 10, 2019: Today JTA reported an Airbnb reversal of their 2018 policy announcement and stated that Airbnb will not remove West Bank settlement listings from its website.

According to Airbnb:

“Airbnb will not move forward with implementing the removal of listings in the West Bank from the platform. We understand the complexity of the issue that was addressed in our previous policy announcement, and we will continue to allow listings throughout all of the West Bank, but Airbnb will take no profits from this activity in the region. Any profits generated for Airbnb by any Airbnb host activity in the entire West Bank will be donated to non-profit organizations dedicated to humanitarian aid that serve people in different parts of the world.”

This announcement was met with deep disappointment among the many human rights activists who’ve organized to push Airbnb to get out of illegal settlements.

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