Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, an internationally recognized peace leader and member of the Palestinian Legislature, will deliver the keynote address at the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation 8th International Awards Banquet.

Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, an internationally recognized peace leader and member of the Palestinian Legislature, will deliver the keynote address at the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation 8th International Awards Banquet. Dr. Ashrawi is a re-elected Member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and the Founder and Executive Committee Head of the Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy – MIFTAH. She serves as a credible voice for the promotion of peace and democracy in the region, and has received several prestigious international peace awards.

Mr. Rateb Rabie, HCEF President, explained that “Dr. Ashrawi’s words and experience from her representation in the Palestinian Legislative Council can clarify a lot of the concerns and questions raised by Western Christians. She will be able to present us with an insightful analysis of the situation.”

The Awards Banquet will honor several individuals and organizations who have worked tirelessly for the cause of peace among Holy Land Christians. They include:

HCEF Award:
Ms. Claudette Habesch, Secretary-General of Caritas Jerusalem
Archbishop Elias Chacour, Archbishop of Galilee of the Melkite Catholic Church

Living Stones Solidarity Award:
Market Square Presbyterian Church, Harrisburg, PA
Catholic Near East Welfare Association/Pontifical Mission for Palestine

HCSN President’s Award:
Ms. Gail Freeman, Living Stones Pilgrimage Coordinator
Ms. Nancy Hemminger, HCSN Co-Chair, Cincinatti; Children’s Peace Project Coordinator.

In addition to the Awards Banquet, HCEF will be holding a Silent Auction to benefit the Fr. Anton Buzo Senior Citizen Center in Birzeit. All proceeds will go to the Senior Center, which provides medical, social, and cultural services to the elders of Birzeit. “The Buzo Senior Citizen Center helps us to fulfill our mandate to care for the sick, the elderly, and the oppressed in the Holy Land,” said Mr. Rabie.

HCEF is committed to the cause of peace and justice for all the residents of the Holy land, and supports Arab Christians to “Open Doors of Hope in Faith”: the theme of this year’s conference. For more information and to register for these events, visit www.hcef.org or call (301) 951-9400.

Other highlighted events this year include a Children’s Conference between Palestinian and American children, the first ever Arab Christian Conference, and the Grand Opening of the ‘Holy Land Arab Christians: Faith and Culture’ exhibit at the John Paul II Cultural Center.  Finally, several workshops will be held on topics of special importance to Christians interested in the Holy Land. To learn more about the Grand Opening of the ‘Holy Land Arab Christians: Faith and Culture’ exhibit, visit: http://hcef.org/index.cfm/ID/417.cfm . For all other events, please visit www.hcef.org or call HCEF toll free at 866 871-HCEF (4233).

At this increasingly frustrating time where peace can seem distant in the Holy Land, HCEF President Rateb Rabie urges all to join in the movement to ‘Open Doors of Hope’ by focusing on the variety of ways people of faith can move beyond the many barriers that exist between the religions, nationalities, and cultures. In the Holy Land, Christians must advance the cause of peace and hope for all people.

For more information about the HCEF 8th International Conference and Awards Banquet, please www.hcef.org, or call HCEF toll free at 866-871-HCEF (4233).