38 Boys and Girls from 12 different communities in Jordan Amman, Irbid, Smakieh, Kerak, Fuheis and Zarka visited Jerusalem and the Holy Land for 5 days for the first time.


38 Boys and Girls from 12 different communities in Jordan Amman, Irbid, Smakieh, Kerak, Fuheis and Zarka visited Jerusalem and the Holy Land for 5 days for the first time.

Together on April 13, 2007 with close to 700 other children from the Galilee in Israel and other cities and Towns in Palestine, they prayed together at the holy sepulcher in Jerusalem. They chanted together as they walked down the narrow streets form the Mount of Olives to Gethsemane and altogether cheered and celebrated Easter with flying balloons a “Journey” that joined all of them in a prayer for peace.


George Ghattas HCEF Country Representative sum it all in this comment” Bridging between churches in the West and mother Church of Jerusalem is as equally important as to bringing churches in the Middle East to connect with each other. Through the younger generation; our future ambassadors to a better world, we make the holy land a living reality and reconfirms their inherited beliefs as Christians. Such a trip helps children understand the context within which they are living. It helps them tolerate with the differences of others children who share with them the same culture, faith. They can help make a better future”



Nader Twal, HCEF coordinator in Jordan expressed that” It is so hard for me to assimilate and even say what I feel now, since it is hard to believe that we have been to Tiberias lake, we have prayed at the church of the Annunciation in Nazareth and that today we have prayed hand in hand in Jerusalem and tomorrow will pray again together in the Nativity in Bethlehem.  We all have a common root; we are all descendants of the original family of Christians since Pentecost.” Mr. Twal is HCEF coordinator who lead the group of teenagers all the way across the bridge from Jordan, reconfirmed how important such an exchange is to the sustaining of an Arab Christian community. “It is through the repeating and sustaining of such trips that we reconnect as individuals and as a community with our Christian heritage. More important and with the many new friendships that we have made on this day, our kids who come from 12 different communities have now at least one friend in Palestine in a new context other than Jordan.



The procession that started by gathering kids at the mount of olive was delayed for a while awaiting three buses coming all the way from Nablus, Jenin and Zababdeh in the North of Palestine. They were held at respective checkpoints. “These kids who started their journey as early as 4:30 in the morning were kept stranded for a couple of hours until their passage was eventually granted” Ms. Angel from the Anglican Church in Zababdeh who seemed tired and overjoyed with the fact that she and her group of young faithful could eventually come to the Holy Sepulcher and pray . They joined the other 550 kids from other areas at the Church of Gethsemane.


The Journey is about turning Jerusalem, the city and its holy places into a dialogue process amongst young believers and across nations. Fr. Sweiress; from the Coptic Church in Nazareth, put it as he the blessed the start of the procession and calling on all children coming from all denominations to pray together the Lord Prayer; “Our Father”. 



HCEF, an ecumenical Christian organizations that is endorsed and support by all churches in the holy land in all its programs attempt at maintaining the presence of Arab Christian in the holy land who are evidently decreasing in number and are currently and who are being uprooted form their indigenous and local context by the continued instabilities and socio economic shocks that hamper the middle east region and particularly the Palestinian territories.


For Further Information Contact

Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF)


6935 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 214

Bethesda, MD 20815


Tel. 301-951-9400


Mr. George Ghattas

HCEF Country Representative

Attan Str. Bethlehem Tel: (+) 972 2 2750093