RAMALLAH – On Friday, September 6, 2019, at the Latin parish of Ramallah, the General Secretariat of the Youth of the Land of Jesus (YJHP, Youth of Jesus’ Homeland – Palestine), launched the event “Story of Ibn-El-Balad Festival.” About two thousand people took part in the opening night of the Festival, which ended on Monday, September 9.
The “Ibn-El-Balad Festival” opened Friday evening, organized by the pastoral youth group “Youth of Jesus Homeland – Palestine” directed by the priest Fr. Bashar Fawadleh. The event, born under the auspices of Prime Minister Dr. Mohammad Shtayyeh and the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land (ACOHL), aimed to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the youth of the Land of Jesus and at the same time launch the new logo of the YJHP. On this occasion the story of the “son of the country” (literally Ibn-El-Balad) was presented, with clear reference to Christ. The story of Jesus is in fact well set out in the biblical exhibition assembled inside the parish premises and object of visits by the illustrious guests, including His Beatitude, Michel Sabah. This exhibition traces the history of the Bible to the New Testament through multimedia panels with audiovisual equipment, illustrations, maps and captions.
The event was opened by the various scout groups from all over the West Bank, whose marching bands marched to the stage performing more or less traditional motifs. This was followed by the inauguration of the exhibition area inside the parish premises regarding the biblical exhibition and the adjacent area reserved for the library of sacred texts.
The Patriarch Emeritus, H.B. Michel Sabah, accompanied by Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, Patriarchal Vicar for Jerusalem and Palestine. The event was also attended by the Greek Orthodox Archbishop Atallah Hanna, titular of Sebastia, the mayor of Ramallah, Dr. Moussa Hadid and Dr. Stephan Salameh, advisor to the Prime Minister and a former student of the Patriarchal Seminary of Beit Jala.
After handing over awards to the women and men who made the event possible and who contributed to the birth and development of the Youth of the Land of Jesus, the celebration started with the performance of the singer Dalal Abu-Amne and a group of young dancers.
The following day, Saturday, September 7, the festival hosted a “biblical dinner”, whose menu consisted of dishes mentioned in the Bible and whereby each table was named after a place or a character from the Holy Scriptures. The dinner, shared by around 180 guests, had musical accompaniment by the Beit Sahour Shepherds’Choir, led by director George Salsaa.