"Al-Bushra"

Seeking truth and justice

Uncle Mikel’s pictures are preserved in Bethlehem collective memory

Posted on Dec 29, 2019

Christian Media Center

MAURICE MIKEL
Veteran photographer from Bethlehem
“Bethlehem is… my home, my soul and my life.”

In black and white, Maurice Mikel provided a way of capturing scenes from life, by using his camera lens – to document people, places, and events with fidelity. He holds the pictures in his hands, which have been taken during the last decades, and remained printed in the collective memory. In black and white, he reveals glamorous behind the scenes shots of events that happened in the land he loved.

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Christmas speech of Archbishop Pizzaballa to His Majesty King Abdullah II

Posted on Dec 27, 2019

Photo: ©Royal Hashemite Court

Photo: ©Royal Hashemite Court

Your Majesty King Abdullah II

Your Highness Prince Ghazi

This year, as with every year, we meet to celebrate Christmas with you. Christmas is the main feast for the Christians in the Holy Land. On this occasion, it is wonderful to see how many gather around the Christian community to wish them well, to show solidarity and affection.

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Samia Khoury: Women are doers who give us hope

Posted on Dec 27, 2019

Samia Khoury

by Samia Khoury of East Jerusalem

As 2019 comes to a close, I send a message of hope for 2020. Let me start by bringing up the election of Ms. Mira Rizek, the National General Secretary of the YWCA of Palestine as the World YWCA president during the November meeting of the World Council in Johannesburg, South Africa. The event is one of the highlights of our year, because I feel that, maybe, it was a good omen for the recognition of Palestine through this great and oldest women’s world movement whose priorities have always included important issues as human rights, refugees, climate change, disarmament, among others, often long before they were considered issues on the United Nations platform.

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Bethlehem is Scarred by Brutal Israeli Occupation, While the World Acquieses

Posted on Dec 26, 2019

O little town of Bethlehem,
How miserable we see thee lie!
Above thy 28 ft. concrete separation wall of hatred,

Palestinians cower in fear and sleepless nights.
The silent stars are witness
to thy dark and somber streets

Where the light shineth not,
And the everlasting darkness of occupation
Hangs heavy on the oppressed and occupied.

Nazi-like Zionist hatred and violence of the past 71 years
Kill hope and instill fear in every Palestinian’s heart.
And nothing but arrests, theft, torture and killings
Are fears that meet thee every single minute
Of every single day, and every single night.

Some seven weeks back I attended a colloquium presentation delivered by a member of the religion faculty at the university where I [had] taught for 42 years. Known for his scholarship and excellent teaching skills, the presenter was reporting on the results of a trip he undertook last summer to study innovative techniques on the teaching of biblical Hebrew. Prior to his trip to Occupied Palestine, I shared a CP column I’d written summarizing Ilan Pappé’s tome under the title The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (“71 Years Later Zionist Terrorism Is Alive and Well”, April 19, 2019, CP) and another scholarly article about Israel’s brutal violation of human rights, its theft and desecration of Christian monuments and churches, and its outright hatred and demonization of Palestinians in general, and Christian Palestinians in particular.

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CPT: NEW INCIDENT REPORT: Highlights from the 3rd Quarter of 2019

Posted on Dec 26, 2019

“If all the settlers come to attack us, we still won’t leave the house. It’s been our home for generations, and my grandparents built its old walls.” – Hazem Abu Rajab
This latest CPT Palestine report contains articles, photos, and data about:
  • Abu Rajab House
  • Settler Activity
  • Home Invasions
  • Beit Kahil
  • South Hebron Hills
  • Netanyahu’s Visit
  • Use of Force
  • Detentions & Arrests
  • Restriction of Movement
  • Harassment of Human Rights Observers
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Is Jesus Christ a Palestinian Superstar?

Posted on Dec 25, 2019

By: Arab America Contributing Writer, Emily Devereaux

This Christmas season, let’s reflect on Jesus’ life and the historical areas of that far away land. While there is a debate about who is Jesus, still, there is some evidence o His Palestinian heritage. He especially represents Palestinian heritage in many of his teachings and actions.

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Israel to grant holiday travel permits to Gaza Christians

Posted on Dec 22, 2019

Associated PressDecember 22, 2019, 1:19 PM PST,JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel announced on Sunday that it will allow Christians in the Gaza Strip to travel to Jerusalem and the West Bank for Christmas.

Until its notice just two days before the holiday, it was unclear whether Israel would grant permits to members of Gaza’s tiny Christian community to leave the Hamas-ruled coastal territory.

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Kairos Middle East Towards Churches Global Compact: A new process launched in a first Consultation Seminar

Posted on Dec 22, 2019

 

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The Middle East Council of ChurchesThe Theological and Ecumenical Department of the Middle East Council of Churches has launched its process entitled ” Kairos Middle East Towards Churches Global Compact ” in a first consultation seminar that brought together about 25 experts in theology and geopolitics from Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Cyprus and Jordan. The seminar took place over a three-day period from 6 till 8 December 2019 in Bethania, Lebanon.

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“Salute to Gaza”

Posted on Dec 21, 2019

Samia Khoury sends Christmas greetings from East Jerusalem

My children, their spouses, and grandchildren join me in sending you our warmest greetings for a blessed Christmas and a peaceful New Year. And we would like to share with you the following song, “Salute to Gaza”, composed by my son Suhail Khoury with lyrics by Fouad Srouji.

 

 

 

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Uncovering the language of the first Christmas

Posted on Dec 20, 2019

The Conversation
Academic rigor, journalistic flair

by Tony Thorne, Director of Slang and New Language Archive, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, King’s College London

As Christmas draws near, the now typical jokes pile up on social media. Jesus is commended for having a “stable upbringing”. The three wise men fret: “We’re running low on Frankincense. Don’t worry, though, there’s myrrh where that came from.”

But all this facetious word play prompts me to think a little more seriously about the language used in traditional accounts of the nativity, and the language – or languages – that might have been used by the participants themselves.

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Closed Gaza, open hearts

Posted on Dec 20, 2019

Christian Media Center

December 17, 2019 – The attempt to remain open in a closed world. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, during the traditional Christmas visit to the Christians of the Strip. Three days spent together with a very small community: just over a hundred Catholics, fewer than 800 Christians, in a territory that has almost two million Palestinian inhabitants.

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A Christmas of Hope

Posted on Dec 20, 2019

Christian Media Center

It is difficult to imagine Christmas in a country that has suffered and still suffers a great deal. Iraq suffered and it is still suffering, first because of the persecution of the Islamic state, and now because of the anti-government protests.

But from the dust of the Nineveh Plain, come images of hope.

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Franciscan Youth Day in Bethlehem

Posted on Dec 20, 2019

Christian Media Center

In a young event, music cannot be missing. Franciscan Youth Day began with songs and dances.

Br EMAD KAMEL, ofm
Youth Pastoral Animator Holy Land
“The reason for this day is to accompany the young participants in the Franciscan March. We accompany them all year round, but especially in two very important moments: before Christmas and Easter. And this is the day that prepares them for Christmas.”

“Our nourishment is in the Manger” was the theme of the day, addressed in a conference.

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Israel is hoarding the Jordan River– it’s time to share the water

Posted on Dec 19, 2019

The Conversation
Academic rigor, journalistic flair

Image: These days, the river barely makes it to its mouth in the Dead Sea. Christopher Sprake / shutterstock

These days, the river barely makes it to its mouth in the Dead Sea. Christopher Sprake/shutterstock

Two areas farmed by Israelis for more than 50 years have recently been returned to neighbouring Jordan. The first, al Ghamr (known in Israel as Zofar), is located south of the Dead Sea in the Naqab/Negev desert. The second, al Baqura (Naharayim) is found at the fertile point where a major tributary joins the Jordan River.

The association with water bodies is no coincidence: neither land would have been occupied in the first place were it not for the water that the Israeli army and kibbutzim required to sustain the farms.

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The Christian December dish nothing to do with Christmas

Posted on Dec 17, 2019

AFPAboud (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) – Stirring a giant vat in a village in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Palestinian Christian Maryam Salem prepares a special festive dish — not for Christmas, but the St Barbara’s Day festival.

It is celebrated every December 17 in Aboud, which residents believe is the last resting place of Saint Barbara, a third century woman killed for refusing to renounce her Christian faith.

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‘Adopt a family’ of Christian refugees in Lebanon this Christmas

Posted on Dec 15, 2019

The Apostolate of Our Lady of Hope/St. Rafka Mission of Hope and Mercy is holding its annual Christmas Food and Gift Drive from December 15, 2019 to January 6, 2020.

By Courtney Grogan

.- As Lebanon’s economic crisis worsens, a Lebanese priest is asking for people to spiritually and charitably adopt a persecuted Christian refugee family this Christmas season.

“Imagine that for the last 4-6 years there were more than 2 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, a nation that is only about 4 million people,” Fr. Andre Sebastian Mahanna told CNA.

On Dec. 14, Fr. Mahanna’s apostolate, St. Rafka Mission of Hope and Mercy, will provide a Christmas dinner and concert for 4,500 families of refugees from Syria and Iraq at which 2,500 children will receive Christmas gifts.

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Shuhada Street, Hebron

Posted on Dec 13, 2019

Granate Kim, Communications Director of Jewish Voice for Peace, writes:

BREAKING: Israel recently announced its plans to raze the historic Shuhada Street market in Hebron to build a new Jewish settler neighborhood on top of its rubble.1

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Israel bars Gaza’s Christians from visiting Bethlehem and Jerusalem at Christmas

Posted on Dec 12, 2019

 

JERUSALEM/GAZA, Dec 12 (Reuters) – Christians in the Gaza Strip will not be allowed to visit holy cities such as Bethlehem and Jerusalem to celebrate Christmas this year, Israeli authorities said on Thursday.

Gazan Christians will be granted permits to travel abroad but none will be allowed to go to Israel and the occupied West Bank, home to many sites holy to Christians, a spokeswoman for Israel’s military liaison to the Palestinians said.

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Christmas reflections of Mr. Sami El-Yousef, Chief Executive Officer of Latin Patriarchate

Posted on Dec 12, 2019

As we approach the Christmas season, we the indigenous Christians who call the Holy Land home, are reminded again of the heavy burden of responsibility to have been born here.

by Sami El-Yousef, Chief Executive Officer of Latin Patriarchate

December 9, 2019 – The past year at the Latin Patriarchate has been an exciting year as we inch forward towards administrative and financial stability. Many problems have been solved while many others remain. The important challenge is to keep moving forward to ensure that the three main sectors of our work, being humanitarian support, pastoral activities and the educational sector stay focused on target and as new programs are designed, the needs of our various communities are taken care of. Thus, the focus continues to place a lesser emphasis on infrastructure projects and a greater one on programs that support the living stones.

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Bethlehem family feels draw of living in the town of Jesus’ birth

Posted on Dec 11, 2019

Judith Sudilovsky – Catholic News Service

BETHLEHEM, West Bank (CNS) — Brothers Peter and Eli Hosh grew up knowing that their hometown was not only the place where they went to school and ran down to the corner market for their mother, but the town where Jesus was born.

It is a lesson they and their two sisters continue to teach their own children, especially during the Christmas season.

“I feel that here there is something great here. We are living in a holy place,” said Eli Hosh, who, at 48 is the elder of the two. “Bethlehem is important for our family, and I tell that to my children. Jesus was born here. I always feel the holiness here, this is my city, but the best time in Bethlehem is Christmas.”

Unlike many other Christian families in the Bethlehem area, none of the Hosh siblings have moved abroad.

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Lessons of Hong Kong

Posted on Dec 10, 2019

“How was I supposed to think about a world where the life of a Palestinian is utterly disposable?” — Pamela J. Olson, Fast Times in Palestine

When millions of people are in an open struggle for freedom, the world takes notice. The Green Movement in Iran, the Arab Spring, the Maidan in Ukraine, are just some of the recent challenges to authoritarianism that have drawn global admiration—and headlines. Now it is Hong Kong’s turn.

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Church renovation lifts Christmas spirit in Bethlehem

Posted on Dec 9, 2019

This is our homeland. We are called to be witnesses for Jesus in his homeland. This is a great privilege, which most Christians in the world don’t have. Wadie Abunassar, a senior adviser to church leaders in the Holy Land

BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) — A historic renovation of the Church of the Nativity is lifting spirits in the biblical town of Bethlehem ahead of Christmas, offering visitors a look at ancient mosaics and columns that have been restored to their original glory for the first time in 600 years.

City officials hope the renovation at the traditional birthplace of Jesus will boost tourism and a weak economy in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, and perhaps slow a decades-long drain of the Christian population from the lands where the faith was born.

“Christians are leaving the Holy Land due to the lack of peace and economic hardships and we are struggling to keep them in their homeland,” said Bethlehem Mayor Anton Salman. “This is one of the ways.”

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Palestinians in Bethlehem look beyond religious tourism

Posted on Dec 9, 2019

BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) — For decades, the people of Bethlehem have watched tour buses drive up to the Church of the Nativity, disgorge their passengers for a few hours at the traditional birthplace of Jesus, and then return to Israel.

But in recent years a new form of tourism has taken root, focused on the West Bank town’s Palestinian residents, their culture and history and their struggles under Israeli occupation.

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Stunned and shocked, Marie Khoury writes from Taybeh

Posted on Dec 8, 2019

As much as I am in disbelief of so many things, I was stunned and shocked that while I was at church praying until 2 AM in an all night vigil for St Philoumenos last Thursday, Israeli settlers burned a truck belonging to a Taybeh resident in front of the Greek Orthodox School where he lives.

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Chanukah: It’s about the light

Posted on Dec 8, 2019

[Hanukkah begins Sunday, December 22, 2019, and ends Monday, December 30, 2019.]

When Jews recall the Chanukah story of the day’s worth of oil that lasted for eight, we often forget that the miracle was not the extra mileage the Maccabees got from a few ounces of fuel.

The miracle was that the leaders of the newly independent Israel were willing to light the oil to rededicate the Temple—even though there was no guarantee they would realize that goal.

The story of Chanukah is not about the oil; it’s about the light. Had the Maccabees not taken those first uncertain steps, the light of their faith would not still be visible, more than 2000 years later.

Today, in the first era of Jewish independence since the time of the Maccabees, Shalom Achshav, Israel’s indefatigable peace movement, has not stopped, for one moment, advocating for the steps that will lead to an end to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians—a goal of two states at peace, and a secure, Jewish and democratic Israel.

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Egyptian President Sisi lauds Vatican’s role in promoting values of tolerance, mercy

Posted on Dec 7, 2019

Dec. 7, 2019 – President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on Saturday affirmed Egypt’s appreciation for the role of the Vatican in promoting the values of tolerance, mercy and justice as well as enhancing ties with Cairo.

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Palestinian president awards certificate of merit to Monsignor Akasheh

Posted on Dec 7, 2019

By Munir Bayouk-en.abouna.org

On Friday, December 6, 2019, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas awarded a certificate of merit to Monsignor Khaled Akasheh, bureau chief for Islam at the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, in recognition of his leading role in building bridges of communication among followers of Abrahamic religions.

President Abbas lauded the efforts exerted by Monsignor Khaled Akasheh which are designed to deepen the constructive dialogue among believers, especially through his work for more than 25 years at the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue in the Holy See, as well as in the defence of justice and peace in the Holy Land namely, Palestine.

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Vatican: Celebration marking completion of the restoration of Nativity Church

Posted on Dec 6, 2019

Fr. Ibrahim Faltas, advisor at the Custody of the Holy Land, spoke about the events that took place in Bethlehem since 2002 and quoted His Holiness Pope Francis on the need to build bridges rather than walls. He also underlined the importance of the Christian presence in the Holy Land and the need to maintain Christian presence in the Holy Land.

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Lior and Manar, a tale of friendship

Posted on Dec 6, 2019

Christian Media Center

December 04, 2019

MANAR BADER
“Our story is not just our story… we are not just two friends…it is the story about the city of Jerusalem.”

MANAR BADER
“Only if we meet, only if we get to know each other, everything is possible. We decided to make this happen… we decided to make it possible.”

Manar is an Arab Muslim girl from East Jerusalem. Lior is a young Jewish girl from Tel Aviv. First and foremost, they are friends… to tell the truth, they are best friends.

The complicated socio-political situation of this Earth remains, but to shorten the distances there has always been the desire to help each other to learn the language of the other, ever since they went to university.

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Social TV magazine with Luce Orya Meitleman

Posted on Dec 5, 2019

Social TV magazine with Luce Orya Meitleman brings you a peek of our work:

  • A Day with the Shepherds in the Jordan Valley Reveals a Slap in the Distress and Humiliation they Experience from the Settlers Backed by IDF Soldiers
  • The Story of Hamada Roma, Palestinian athlete from Jericho, whose career was interrupted by false arrest
  • Vered Eyal- Saldinger, a graduate of the Peace Journal program, presents the article she did in the program – “Partnership for Hope – N.A.I.M.A.” – about a group of Arab and Jewish women from the Galilee.
  • In our split “Behind activism” dedicated to activists – meeting with Yael Sherer, an activist, director and filmmaker, who has been active for years for the rights of victims of sexual assault.
  • We seal the magazine with Unboxing the concept “administrative detention”.
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