The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF) is organizing a celebration for all Ramallah-area seniors to mark International Day of the Elderly on October first.

Birzeit – The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF) is organizing a celebration for all Ramallah-area seniors to mark International Day of the Elderly on October first. The event will bring seniors from six centers together for an afternoon of cultural activities and entertainment.

HCEF hopes to mitigate the effects of Israeli occupation of the area on elderly residents. President Rateb Rabie said, “We want them to know that they are part of the world community of elders, with all the rights and dignity of any other person. We want to give them hope and health and a feeling that they belong.”

 The Father Anton Buzo Birzeit Senior Citizens Center (BSCC) has been serving seniors in Birzeit for the past two years. The seniors from BSCC will participate in the area-wide celebration by performing Dabkeh dancing and singing – traditional folkloric dance passed on from their parents. Other area groups will read poetry or selections from the Bible, perform other folkloric dances, or play traditional musical instruments. The elders will enjoy a show presented by Sabreen Association for Artistic Development – “Iqa’at” group, and a slideshow on the activities of the BSCC, followed by an early dinner to cap off the festivities.

The Senior Citizen Center is an HCEF project that is also supported by the National Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC, Caritas Jerusalem, and the Pontifical Mission for Palestine. Other senior community centers participating in the event will be the Womens’ Arab Unions of Ramallah and Al-Bireh, the Al-Ataa Foundation of Ramallah, Baituna of Caritas Ramallah, the Mar Mansour Association of Jifna, and Beit Afram from Taybeh.

The BSCC offers seniors from Birzeit medical services, a social forum, and cultural activities. Seniors remain productive members of larger Palestinian society, and help to preserve traditional Palestinian culture by making crafts and embroidery similar to the styles of their youth. They also have the opportunity to participate in aerobics classes, healthy living seminars, and community activities. In the West Bank, the BSCC replaces despair with hope, fear with security, and humiliation with human dignity for community elders.

HCEF will hold a Silent Auction to benefit the Birzeit Senior Citizen Center on the evening of Friday, Oct. 20 at the 8th International Awards Banquet. To donate an auction item, please visit:
http://hcef.org/index.cfm/ID/397.cfm

For more information or to register for the 8th International Conference and Awards Dinner, please visit www.hcef.org .