Sabeel Director Omar Haramy participated in a webinar called: “Where is Palestine? Listening to voices from Israel and Palestine”

On Monday 11 July, Sabeel Director Omar Haramy participated in a webinar organized by Sabeel and several partner organizations. The webinar, ‘Where is Palestine? Listening to voices from Israel and Palestine and responding to ‘Cry for Hope’’, was held in partnership with B’Tselem, Christian Aid, Tent of Nations, and Sabeel-Kairos UK. Omar spoke about the current situation for Palestinian Christians living in Palestine. Launched in July 2020, Cry for Hope is a global coalition of Christians issuing a call to churches, ecumenical institutions, and Christians around the world to stand with Palestinians in our struggle for liberation.

Sabeel Nazareth participated in a one-day symposium, called ‘Crises Affecting Christian Families: Are There Solutions?’ at the Stella Maris Monastery in Haifa

On Saturday 9 July, Sabeel Nazareth participated in a one-day symposium at the Stella Maris Monastery in Haifa. The symposium, called ‘Crises Affecting Christian Families: Are There Solutions?’, focused on the challenges that Palestinian Christian families experience inside Israel. The speakers included: Father Aktham Hijazin, a priest with the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem; Dr. Maha Sabbah Karkabi, a professor of anthropology at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev; and Rana Mansour Odeh, a psychotherapist. They discussed the serious social and economic challenges Palestinian Christian families are facing. During the symposium, the participants agreed that schools are the biggest engine of educating children and young people, and more efforts should be made in strengthening schools. 

Sabeel France held a virtual meeting with the French Development Agency

On Sunday 26 June, Friends of Sabeel France held a virtual meeting with the French Development Agency, Agence Française de Développement (AFD). Hani Kort gave a presentation about AFD’s work in Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem. The agency focuses on water and other development projects.   AFD funds, supports, and accelerates the transtitions to a fairer and more sustainable world. Focusing on climate, biodiversity, peace, education, urban development, health, and governance, AFD carries out projects around the world.

Since last year, Sabeel has held meetings once every two months in French for our French speakers in Palestine. Many Palestinians speak languages in addition to Arabic and English. This gives us the opportunity to connect in many ways with our local community and our partners. The next meeting will be held on Sunday 18 September about the Palestine Museum of Natural History.

St. Olaf College Alumni visited Sabeel

On Tuesday 21st of June, a group from the St. Olaf College Alumni visited Sabeel. They came to hear a Palestinian Christian voice and to learn about how Sabeel is contributing to a just peace. Rev. Naim Ateek and Sabeel’s Director Omar Haramy spoke to the group, emphasizing Sabeel’s core message of justice, equality, and inclusivity. They stressed the point that any just peace should be based on international law and UN resolutions.

abeel held its weekly Kumi Now meeting about Palestinian refugees and the right of return

On Tuesday 21 June, Sabeel held its weekly Kumi Now meeting about Palestinian refugees and the right of return. Sandra Khoury, President of the Sabeel Board, shared the story of her family and how they became refugees from Jerusalem in 1948. This Kumi Now was organized in commemoration of Refugee Week, which is held during the week of World Refugee Day, June 20.

Refugee Week is a festival celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary. Founded in 1998 and held every year around World Refugee Day on 20 June, Refugee Week is also a growing global movement.

According to the UN, there were about 750,000 Palestine refugees in 1950. Now, there are approximately 5 million Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees live in other parts of the world. The Palestinian people are still fighting for recognition, for citizenship and social services in the places where they currently live, and for the right of return to the homes and land their families were forced to leave in 1948 and 1967 by the Israeli military and, before the state of Israel was founded, by Zionist militias. 

Sabeel Nazareth held an event to honour the work and service of Violette Khoury

On Friday 17 June, Sabeel Nazareth held an event to honour Violette Khoury as she retires from leading the group after twenty years. Violette has been a supporter of the work of Sabeel from its beginnings. She has lived her whole life in very difficult circumstances as a Palestinian citizen of Israel. Yet she has still managed to run her own pharmacy, support her family, and engage in advocacy work for Sabeel.

Indiana Center for Middle East Peace group visited Sabeel

On Friday 17th of June, a group led by a close friend of Sabeel, Michael Spath, visited Sabeel on a tour of the city of Ramallah. Michel Spath served as a co-chair of the Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA) for three years and on the board of FOSNA for six years. The group’s visit came through the Indiana Center for Middle East Peace to learn more about the Palestinian struggle for justice and peace. The group discussed Palestinian Liberation Theology and what hope is there for Palestinians living under such harsh circumstances. Before the talk, Sabeel’s Director Omar Haramy led the group on a short tour of Ramallah where they visited the Nelson Mandela Statue andthe grave of the late President Yasser Arafat, who is seen by many as a symbol of the Palestinian struggle.

Father David Neuhaus led the weekly Sabeel online service

On Thursday 16 June, Father David Neuhaus led the weekly Sabeel online service. Father David is an Israeli Jesuit born to German Jewish parents in Johannesburg, South Africa. He moved to Israel at the age of 15 years. He became a Roman Catholic at the age of 26 and an ordained priest in Jerusalem at 38. He has held a number of teaching and pastoral roles. Father David is currently the Secretary-General Coordinator in Jerusalem responsible for communication to the Synod.