Wednesday, February 22, 2012, the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation, Inc. (HCEF), entered into another strategic partnership for the betterment of humanity!

The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation, Inc. (HCEF), and Ma’an News Agency and Network partner together to link Palestine and Palestinians in the Diaspora.


HCEF, in cooperation with The Jerusalem Fund, organized a lecture presentation by Mr. Raed Othman, Founder and General Director of Ma’an News Agency and Network.

The event, held at The Palestine Center in Washington, DC was for the purpose of introducing Ma’an News and the reality of the Palestinian media to journalists, writers, Palestinians, academia, and Arabs living in the United States. 

Later that evening, following the lecture, HCEF signed an agreement with Ma’an News.  The signing ceremony took place at The Jerusalem Restaurant, located in Falls Church, VA

The agreement aims to create a strong environment for the media to communicate with the Palestinians of the Diaspora. This agreement comes within the framework and cooperation on other on going and effective collaborations between Ma’an News and HCEF, projects like the HCEF Know Thy Heritage (KTH) National Program which aims to link young Palestinians in Diaspora with their homeland, Palestine.

Within this context, Sir Rateb Rabie, KCHS, HCEF President/CEO is pleased to enter into this agreement with Ma’an News!  With more than three million visitors per month to the Ma’an News website, this agreement supports HCEF’s vision to promote the status and role of the Palestinian media, it supports the importance of developing strategic plans and partnerships with other institutions, media and press agencies in Palestine and it links Palestine with other institutions, journalists, writers and media institutions in the Diaspora, particularly those in the United States.

Sir Rabie made this statement, “This agreement is another step toward collaborations with Palestinians from abroad. HCEF is committed to building a better future and programs like the recently launched 2011 KTH ‘Visit and Live Palestine’ are evidence of this.  KTH was initiated by HCEF and launched with the cooperation and partnerships of Bank of Palestine, Al Eitihad Contractors (CCC), Palestinian Telecommunication Group, Palestinian Investment Fund, The Bank of Jerusalem and other companies and organizations. 

HCEF and Ma’an News will work together to connect and build relationships between individuals and Palestinian institutions inside and outside of Palestine. This agreement will focus on the development of media projects aimed at a common axis to emphasize the diversity and richness of the heritage of Palestinian, its land and rights, including other aspects like religious, tourism, economic, media, humanitarian, and its cultural heritage.

Mr. Raed Othman stated that “The signing of this agreement intersects with the vision of Ma’an News Agency. We aim to promote independent media in Palestine, and the establishment of relations between the local, regional and international media, as well as promoting freedom of speech and pluralism in the media coverage as elements central to promoting democracy and human rights.”

This agreement complements and reinforces the strategic vision and goals of HCEF and Ma’an News in their separate but shared endeavors to access the Palestinian from abroad in hopes of expanding their bases, further noting that HCEF’s KTH program will prove to be instrumental as a resource for connecting and building communication among the Palestinian Youth in the Diaspora.

Sir Rabie and Mr. Othman also agree that this strategic partnership between HCEF and Ma’an News will lay the groundwork for many other projects. Ample website space will be designated to promote and bring awareness to the programs listed below, and they will be posted in Arabic and English for the purpose of strengthened communication, awareness of new developments and initiatives, reports, exchange of articles, announcements, news and various other writings for and from Palestinians at home and in the Diaspora.


1.HCEF’s “Know Thy Heritage” (KTH) National Program

2.Religious Tourism in Palestine

3.HCEF’s Annual International Conference, in particular its    Investment and Business Conference, held in conjunction with the International Conference:  The Agency will serve as a strategic media partner for the Conference as it will provide resourceful information for building a strengthened economy and promoting peace and humanitarian issues and rights.

4.Bethlehem Heart of Christmas Program: This annual program aims to promote the city of Bethlehem. The program includes Christmas celebrations between Washington, DC, the cities of Bethlehem and Ramallah.

5.Development Newsletter Program for the Palestinians of the Diaspora, in collaboration with HCEF, Ma’an News will, through its website, send daily emails (in English and Arabic) to its subscribers which will include summaries of the most important daily news in Palestine.  This will facilitate in keeping the Palestinians in the Diaspora abreast and informed of the most important news in the Palestine and the Holy Land.

6.Encourage Palestinian journalists and writers from the Diaspora and local Nationals from around the world to submit reports, articles and interviews for posting on Ma’an News website.

Mr. Anthony Habash, HCEF Deputy Country Representative in Palestine and Jordan noted that the agreement is an update of its plan and comprehensive strategy for building and linking strong and effective projects, collaborations and partnerships between Palestine and the United States.  Mr. Habash further stressed the importance of creating an environment to connect with the Western world, invest in all of the resources available and work to build partnerships and mechanisms that enhance the role and communication of the real Palestinian, not only with Western societies, but also with the people of Palestine in the Diaspora.