Elders of the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation’s (HCEF) Birzeit Senior Citizens Center (BSCC) are an essential link in preserving their local heritage.
The BSCC elders excitedly prepared for weeks to perform in the Birzeit Heritage Week, held June 27- July 1, 2012 and hosted by The Rozana Association. The BSCC elders were part of the launching ceremony with their performance of a unique, authentic Palestinian traditional wedding celebration, which included several other traditions that represent the native celebrations and special social occasions of the Holy Land.
Marching in celebration tradition down the streets of the old city neighborhoods of Birzeit, the elders sang the Zafeh, Al Henah, Tlo’o El Arous and Al Sahra songs. Each song represents a phase of the celebration usually carried out in traditional Middle Eastern countries, but mainly in the Holy Land.
“Once again I feel that my life experience is being shared with my community and reminds me that I am an important and productive part of my society,” noted A’afefeh Abu Zelouf one of BSCC elders.
BSCC works closely with various religious leaders, local government officials and non-profit organizations to continuously insure that the elder’s presence and representations raise awareness within the local community about the importance of preserving the cultural heritage.
The Rozana Association, which aims to preserve the history and heritage of the town of Birzeit, and to support the development of the Holy Land presented the HCEF Birzeit Senior Citizens Center with an honorary award for its continuous efforts in maintaining and supporting the elders sector in Birzeit and in preserving their indigenous culture.
“Without our elders we lose the essence of our history and heritage, said Sir Rateb Rabie, KCHS, HCEF Founder, President and CEO. We must care for them, heed their instruction, remember and include them as they give us better understanding of who we are and why we exist. Their voice and presence is critical in preserving and passing our traditions, cultures, and values from one generation to the next.”
The HCEF BSCC aims to service this wide, marginalized sector of the indigenous population in the Holy Land, and to raise awareness about the importance of preserving their living testimonies of life in the Holy Land.
Click here to learn more about the Birzeit Senior Citizens Center (BSCC) and how you can help to support the elders.
To learn more about HCEF and its programs visit us at www.hcef.org