It was a lovely morning when the bus left from the Sabeel office with 53 people (mostly women) for an educational trip to Eilaboun, a village located on a hill in the eastern part of the lower Galilee.
This village was occupied on the 30th of October 1948, by the Israeli Military forces, which was a painful day as the Villagers suffered a massacre. During the massacre, 14 young men were killed in cold blood, and the people were forced to abandon their village. After 50 days away from their homeland, the people of Eilaboun were able to return to build a new life in what became the state of Israel. After a United Nations peace keeper observed and reported the event, Israel had to allow the people back.
We went to commemorate the massacre with the families in the village and joined them at a church service, where Bishop Attallah Hanna held a service in their memory.
Together the groups of Sabeel Jerusalem and Sabeel Nazareth made up 106 people coming together in fellowship and prayer. After the service the women and the community of the church offered refreshments, and speeches were given by the priests. We also watched a 20-minute movie that was produced by Palestinian artist and film maker Hisham Zreiq; then we shared our thoughts through tears and remembrance.
Afterwards, we went to the Catholic Church and Father Maron Tannous spoke a few words; then we went to Fr. Atanasyo’s house where we all gathered for lunch with his lovely family and community.
Next, we were ready for a little tour around Eilaboun. We saw the Ein (the village fountain), and then we walked to the Orthodox Church, which is the oldest church in the village, and then we proceeded to the cemetery to pay our respects.
Our program finished right after the tour, and we left Eilaboun in the late afternoon
The women gave great feedback and were looking forward to future educational trips.