Posts made in November, 2018

Maria Khoury: Remembering Arafat, Welcoming Advent

Posted on Nov 15, 2018

Dear Friends of Taybeh,

Wishing all of you a most blessed Holy Advent during this sacred time of year while preparing for the Birth of our Lord and Savior. I hope and pray you might think about future pilgrimage to the Birthplace of our Lord and include our most ancient Taybeh village.

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MECC general secretary said “reinforce wavering stability, and build steadfast and fair peace”

Posted on Nov 15, 2018

Image: World Council of Churches

World Council of Churches, 15 November 2018

The Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) participated in a Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies on “Inclusive Citizenship in the Middle East and North Africa.” The forum was held 14-15 November.

The forum, held in partnership with the Wilton Park Association, affiliated to the British Foreign Ministry and Adyan Foundation, brought together over 50 prominent Muslim, Christian and other religious scholars from the Middle East, along with a number of policy makers from 11 countries around the world.

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Birzeit University wins prestigious Yasser Arafat Achievement Award

Posted on Nov 12, 2018

Over a century, what began as a small girls’ school in Birzeit town has become the most prestigious Palestinian university, transforming Palestinian higher education through its impact on community awareness, culture and resistance. Birzeit University has been a thorn in the side of the occupation, insisting on playing its role of enlightenment and creating a multicultural Palestinian society on the campus grounds. (Birzeit University website)

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Birzeit University has won the prestigious Yasser Arafat Achievement Award for 2018 in a special ceremony, on Saturday, at the Ramallah Cultural Palace, in central occupied West Bank, commemorating the 14th anniversary of the death of the late Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat.

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The road from T. E. Lawrence’s Damascus to Syria’s civil war

Posted on Nov 11, 2018

In a reign of terror that includes land theft, kidnappings, rape and torture, the ethnic cleansing of Syria’s Christians remains curiously ignored by the West’s political and media classes.

by Christopher Sandford November 10, 2018 | AMERICA, the Jesuit Review

Image T.E. Lawrence (

T.E. Lawrence (

“Arab horsemen from distant Hejaz today galloped in triumph through the streets of Damascus,” The London Guardian reported on Oct. 1, 1918. “As the sun was setting over the mosques and spires, Major T. E. Lawrence, the young British officer whose tactical guidance has ensured the success of the Arab revolt, drove through the lines in an armoured car. One Arab rider waved his head-dress and shouted, ‘Damascus salutes you.’”

It is a stirring account, although The Guardian also issued a salutary warning about the future administrative control of the region liberated as part of the Arab uprising against the Turks during the closing days of World War I.

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Global Catholic tech: Online Arabic catechetical program unites Middle East Catholics

Posted on Nov 9, 2018

By Courtney Grogan

Vatican City, Oct 21, 2018 / 01:00 pm (CNA).- A bishop from Lebanon shared at the 2018 Synod of Bishops how his online catechesis program in Arabic has helped him to unite young Catholics across the Middle East.

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Scrolls and biblical manuscripts on display at the Custody of the Holy Land

Posted on Nov 9, 2018

Nov. 7, 2018 – An exhibition on the Bible hosted by the Custody of the Holy Land, brings together almost 40 parchments, manuscripts and ancient books.

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Kafr Bar’am and the Christian tradition that is kept alive

Posted on Nov 9, 2018

We are in Upper Galilee, three kilometers from the border with Lebanon. The small village of Kafr Bar’am was the refuge of the Maronite Christians who arrived mainly from northern Lebanon seeking refuge. They left their country because of the wars, the difficult conditions of life and the persecutions suffered during the Ottoman rule. Initially, they were simple workers. Progressively, they bought land and managed to settle in the region.

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Curious facts about the Old City of Nazareth

Posted on Nov 9, 2018

Nov. 6, 2018 – Old City of Nazareth. Within walking distance of the Basilica of the Annunciation, we enter the Arab market and here we find a place rich in cultural heritage, opportunities to learn about the daily life of its inhabitants and so to dive into the history of Christianity.

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“The Jewish War”: an international symposium in Jerusalem

Posted on Nov 9, 2018

Nov. 5, 2018 – Gathering together the major experts from Canada, United States, Europe and Israel and the French biblical school of archaeology of Jerusalem, the École Biblique, creates an international congress on the topic of “Rethinking the Jewish War” (66-74 CE)

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Three ways Catholics can respond to anti-Jewish violence

Posted on Nov 5, 2018

Note: The following was published in AMERICA, the Jesuit Review. So far there are three comments by readers of AMERICA.

Image: A young man on Oct. 29 at a makeshift memorial outside the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. (CNS photo/Cathal McNaughton, Reuters)

A young man on Oct. 29 at a makeshift memorial outside the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. (CNS photo/Cathal McNaughton, Reuters)

by John J. Conley, S.J.

For us it is a family matter.

When I first heard of the massacre at the synagogue in Squirrel Hill, I contacted my sister-in-law. Patti is a Jewish woman originally from the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh. For decades, her family lived several blocks from the Tree of Life Synagogue. They occasionally attended services there; other relatives and friends were congregants. We waited to hear the names of the victims announced by the police on Saturday night.

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