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.

I cannot help but remember, 15 November is the Day, Yasser Arafat proclaimed the establishment of the State of Palestine. On this day, twenty-five years ago, I saw the Palestinian flag raised for the very first time in Ramallah at the Friends Boys School while serving as principal. It was a very emotional moment because any other time prior to the Oslo Peace Accords (1993) students were thrown in jail for raising the Palestinian flag and almost forbidden to even say the word “Palestine.”

Not much has changed since the historic hand shake between Israelis and Palestinians in front of the White House lawn. We continue to experience a frozen peace deal but we truly keep our hope. It is sad to see people killed every day; terrible violence, worse than ever this week in Gaza, homes constantly demolished; land constantly confiscated, children have lost their childhood and many spend years in jail without charges; home invasions and people denied access to the Holy City of Jerusalem. The bad news never stops! However, it is that special time of year where all eyes turn to Bethlehem so that we may remind the world of the Good News. Turn your eyes to Bethlehem and help us pray for peace and justice.

May our Lord have mercy upon our violent world from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles.

Forgive me for sharing this latest Jerusalem Post article as I sent you my sincere good wishes from Taybeh: Oktoberfest 2018 in Taybeh

Maria Khoury