Bethlehem University is named recipient of the 2010 Living Stones Solidarity Award by the unanimous vote of the HCEF Board of Directors. This is the highest award reserved for an institution that has made a sustained and extraordinary effort to serve, sustain and stand in solidarity with the Christians in the Holy Land.
In announcing the award, the HCEF Board of Directors lauded Bethlehem University “that through its emphasis on excellence in its educational and mentoring programs, it prepares its students to be leaders in society. Through quality higher education it becomes a center for advancement and knowledge for the people of Palestine.” The Board noted that through its educational, advocacy, and solidarity initiatives the school achieves “its primary mission of the betterment of the lives of Palestinians and Christians at large.”
Bethlehem University is a passionate advocate for the rights of others. A recent example of this advocacy was Berlanty Azzam, a fourth year student from Gaza who attended the school and was kidnapped shortly before graduation from Bethlehem by the Israeli military occupation authorities. The University’s efforts to shed light on this injustice brought international attention and outcry resulting in greater awareness of the harsh realities faced on a daily basis by many Palestinians.
In collaboration with HCEF, Bethlehem University has supported numerous pilgrim groups who travel to the Holy Land on the Living Stones Fact Finding pilgrimages. It has aided HCEF’s mission work and gave visiting students first hand opportunities to work and live with Palestinians.
In summarizing its selection, Rateb Rabie, KCHS, HCEF President/CEO noted [RR1] that “through its many creative programs Bethlehem University has produced a positive and thriving environment for the betterment of all people…and demonstrated the commitment to preserve the ‘Living Stones’ in the land of Christianity’s birth.”
The 2010 Living Stones Solidarity Award will be presented to Bethlehem University on the evening of Friday, November 5, 2010 at the Annual HCEF Awards Banquet held at the Bethesda Marriott, and in conjunction with the 12th International Conference, which will be held Friday & Saturday, November 5-6, 2010 at the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, DC.
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The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation is a Charitable Non-Profit 501 (c ) 3 organization committed to improving the lives of the Christians of the Holy Land by developing bonds of solidarity between them and Christians in the United States.
HCEF’s president Sir Rateb Rabie