The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF) held an event at the Birzeit Social Development and Cultural Center (BSCC) on October 10, 2019, to celebrate the International Day of the Elderly.
Elderly people are active, productive members of the community whose presence, contributions, and achievements are valuable assets. Moreover, elderly people are the ones who have preserved the community’s heritage and passed it on to the next generation through their story-telling, who have taught their children and grandchildren to respect and appreciate their heritage, and who have maintained a steadfast presence in this country while refusing to relocate elsewhere. Sadly, however, this group tends to be marginalized in Palestinian society. These are the reasons why the Birzeit Social Development and Cultural Center has given a high priority to the elderly by establishing a program for them that has been in existence for more than 14 years.
HCEF supports the elderly through the BSCC, which is a meeting place where all senior residents can participate in various activities such as bingo games, Playing cards, birthday parties, trips, and educational workshops.
We at th BSCC staff and committee we sould like to thank Sr. Rateb Rabie, the HCEF President and the CEO, who oversee the utilization of the center in order to ensure that the activities are managed efficiently. Also we would like to thank Mrs. Jamila Aranki, who has played an prominent role in establishing the Center and working as a volunteer for many years.
The Birzeit Social Development and Cultural Center celebrated the International Day of the Elderly under the patronage of Dr. Faisal Aranki, a member of the PLO Executive Committee and Chairman of the Department of Human Development. The ceremony was also attended by the dignitaries of Birzeit, men and women, representing the institutions and associations from all the neighboring regions, including the directors of social affairs, police directors, and school principals in Birzeit.
In his speech, Dr. Faisal expressed the importance of the role of the elderly in society. Wishing them health, wellness, and longevity, he praised their long involvement in education and their support for achievement in their families and society in general. He stressed the activities and events carried out by the BSCC, especially the program for the elderly.
In his speech, Dr. Faisal described the important role of the elderly in preserving the community and urged all of us to appreciate and respect them. Without them, we would be unaware of our history and heritage. They are the ones who educated and nurtured their families to contribute to the welfare of the community. We should always wish them health and many years.
Mr. Ibrahim Saad, the Mayor of Birzeit, added his own thoughts by focusing on the customs and traditions that were bequeathed to us by our elders: our grandfathers, grandmothers, and parents. It is essential to take care of them by being attentive to their needs and providing them with a decent life. This is a moral and religious duty for everyone.
The BSCC manager, Mrs. Najwa Khoury, who has played a valuable role in making this celabration a success, spoke about the achievements of the Center on behalf of the elderly in particular, as well as through other programs, such as the programs for youth and women. She confirmed that the BSCC is a social, educational, health, and entertainment center for the elderly and for community members of all ages.
Over 100 people attended the celebration from Birzeit and neighboring towns. We hope that all will cherish and support the fragile, elderly members of our communities; to them we owe the preservation of our heritage and history.
The management of BSCC thanks all the media, including the Palestinian TV, and the members of the advisory and the administrative committees of the Center for their support of the preparations for the International Day of the Elderly. To those who provided financial and in-kind donations, we express our appreciation.
Many thanks to the singer Michel Najm for his musical contribution.
For the generous donors who provided the lunch, the desserts, and the gifts—thank you.
We would also like to thank all the organizations and institutions that contacted us by phone and by social media about holding specific activities or ceremonies in the Center.
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