HCEF/REACH Call Center, the 1st Call Center in Bethlehem, held its opening Ceremony Sunday, April 29, 2012! The Bethlehem Call Center is a joint venture between Reach, part of Paltel Group, and the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF).  The Bethlehem Call Center is located in HCEF’s Ecumenical Center for Research and Development, which also houses the HCEF Bethlehem Office and provides meeting space for training sessions and seminars.

From left to right: Mr. Amar Aker, CEO, Paltel Group, Sir Rateb Rabie, HCEF President/CEO, Dr. Victor Batarseh, Mayor of Bethlehem, Mr. Abdul Fattah Hamyel, Governor of Bethlehem

HCEF’s Ecumenical Center for Research & Development (ECRD)

Mr. Abdul Fattah Hamyel, Governor of Bethlehem, the first of several dignitaries to speak to those in attendance which included heads of educational institutions, and representatives from various other organizations in the religious, government, non-profit and business sectors, made the following statement:  “We are proud to open this Call Center in Bethlehem.  Already we have Centers in Ramallah and Nablus.  Visits to the Holy Sites and Tourism are significant in bringing revenue to Bethlehem, but the Center is instrumental in creating jobs for our residents.”

Sir Rateb Rabie, President/CEO of HCEF, stated that “In addition to opening the Call Center at the HCEF headquarters in Bethlehem as a first of its kind, it will contribute to the enhancement of Palestinian society on many levels.  The Bethlehem Call Center will seek to provide a multitude of call center services to organizations, particularly in the global market, and thus contribute to attracting investors and business to Bethlehem, helping the economy as it develops and grows!”

Other esteemed leaders in attendance included: Mr. Ammar Aker, Chief Executive Officer of Paltel Group, Dr. Victor Batarseh, Mayor of Bethlehem, Dr. Samir Hazboun, Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Ghassan Anabtawi General Manager of Reach, Dr. Hugh Dempsey, HCEF Vice President, Mr. Anthony Habash, Regional Director of HCEF, Ms. Christine Hobbi, Vice-President of Service Elements International and Mr. Nicola Khamis, Chairman of Jala Food Company and HCEF Advisory Board Member, and a number of Dignitaries and Directors of other institutions.

Mr. Amar Aker, CEO of Paltel Group, the national telecommunications provider in Palestine, said that “the opening of Reach Company comes as an extension of the intricate and sensitive process of development initiated by the group since its inception. This process has been a concentrated effort by Paltel Group to boost the national economy and to achieve further progress, both internally and externally.”
Mr. Aker pointed out that Paltel Group targeted the opening of the Bethlehem Call Center as an incubator/innovator for creating jobs for new graduates. This is part of the company’s effort to enhance the role of Palestinian youth by rehabilitating them; training them; and giving them the opportunity to enter the labor market without having to suffer through unemployment—especially in Bethlehem, where the unemployment rate has reached 23%–the 2nd highest in Palestine only to Gaza.

Mr. Aker also commented that “Our ambition is to expand areas of work for Reach Call Centers to include service to foreign markets. We hope that the opening of the Bethlehem Call Center is the first step toward this goal, particularly since most college graduates from Bethlehem are fluent in several foreign languages. This will give them an opportunity to gain experience in an international environment”.

Mr. Ghassan Anabtawi, General Manager of Reach Company, shared his vision for the future of the Company by saying, “Our ambition is to be the main service in overseas markets, especially during our 3rd shift here which is daytime in the United States.” Mr. Anabtawi also noted that Reach Company is fully built by Palestinians, and has won international awards including the Gold Medal for Best Outsourcing Partnership by the 2011 EMA Organization. Reach was selected out of 1200 contesting firms representing more than 50 nations worldwide in “the Olympics of the contact center world”. Reach was also recently certified with ISO 27001:2005 as a result of its high-quality information security management system.

The opening of the Reach Call Center in Bethlehem is the fruit of cooperation between the for-profit (Reach) and the non-profit (HCEF) sectors. This collaboration aims to ultimately develop and serve the community.

“HCEF is honored to continue efforts to develop Bethlehem, serve the community, create jobs and boost the Palestinian economy,” said Sir Rateb, as he thanked REACH for its cooperation with HCEF in bringing about this successful project! He further stressed the importance of the mission and role of HCEF as it invests in the lives of people to ameliorate the living conditions of those living in Palestine. Within the framework of this partnership HCEF will continue to contribute to the sector to promote this vitally important project.

To learn more about the HCEF/REACH Call Center in Bethlehem and how it can benefit your business send an email to