HOLY LAND – A delegation of 40 young people from the Palestinian diaspora, were found in their homeland, July 6-21, 2012.
A delegation of the Christian Ecumenical Foundation for the Holy Land made a two week visit to Palestine. Composed of 41 young Christians and Muslims from 13 U.S. states and four other countries – Australia, Canada, France, England – with one thing in common: their parents were natives of and came from Haifa, Jericho, Hebron, Jerusalem, Jaffa , Birzeit, Gaza, Ramallah, and 20 other towns and villages in historic Palestine.
“Know Your Heritage” is an annual program whose purpose is to strengthen the identity of young Palestinians living in other parts of the world through the presentation of their culture, their history and their traditions. “Explore and live in Palestine” provides the tools and skills necessary to enable them to be in permanent contact with their roots and their homeland. These young people had the opportunity to visit the holy places of Jerusalem and Bethlehem. They met with important people, as His Beatitude Fouad Twal, the Orthodox Bishop Atallah Hanna, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, and participated in conferences on economics, and on matters concerning interreligious dialogue, etc.
As the President of CEF, Rateb Rabie, explained, “This mosaic of young faces represents the diversity of the Palestinian people in the world. Their common dream is the strong witness of the cohesion of this people, overcoming frontiers and generations. With this program, we give them their dream a reality: to visit their home, walking in the footsteps of their ancestors, and to learn about their heritage and their past …”
Together, these young people have made a journey of gratitude to their countries of origin in order to become ambassadors of Palestine, peace ambassadors.