“Let us work together to replace despair with HOPE, fear with human SECURITY and humiliation with DIGNITY”
HCEF International Symposium Program 2017-11-18T14:32:15+00:00

HCEF International Symposium’s Program
Saturday, October 28, 2017
9:30am – 4:00pm

Jerusalem is the Holy City, sacred to the three monotheistic faiths of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. For Christians, Jerusalem animates their consciousness as she marks the location of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. Retaining a strong presence and influence there are essential for safeguarding the Christian holy places and interests. For Jews, Jerusalem is tied to their religion and culture, symbolizing both connectedness and independence. Muslims associate Jerusalem with the Prophet Muhammad’s Night Journey on al-Buraq, his celebrated steed, from Al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca to Al-Masjid al-Aqsa in Jerusalem and his ascension to Heaven.  Over the years, Jerusalem’s religious and spiritual importance has become enmeshed in national and political concerns as we witness today in Palestinian-Israeli relations.

This symposium will mainly focus on East Jerusalem and will provide details on the current and evolving conditions in the Holy City. It will explore practical ways by which resilient development could be stimulated through a robust economy, religious tourism, and infrastructural projects, as well as seek to identify opportunities to intensify regional and international support for East Jerusalem to safeguard its status and enhance its future.


9:30 – 9:45 am

Sir Rateb Y. Rabie, KCHS: President/CEO of HCEF

Dr. Saliba Sarsar: Chair, HCEF Research and Publication Committee, and
Professor of Political Science, Monmouth University

9:45 – 10:45am

Jerusalem: A Status Report

Moderator: Sir Rateb Y. Rabie, KCHS, President/CEO of HCEF

Dr. Bernard Sabella, Executive Secretary of the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees of the Middle East Council of Churches

Fr. Michael McDonagh, Senior advisor to the Apostolic Administrator of the
Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and Archbishop of Jerusalem

10:45 – 11:45am

What Jerusalem Means to Us—Christian Perspectives and Reflections
Jerusalem is a holy city and a key center of faith.  Three Christian leaders share their perspectives and reflections on Jerusalem, clarifying and celebrating what they and more than two billion others around the world hold dear.

Moderador: Elias G. Saboura, Esq. HCEF Board Member
Saboura Law Group, P.C.

Bishop Richard Graham: Bishop, Metropolitan Washington, D.C., Synod of
the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Ambassador David Mack, Rtd., Scholar, Middle East Institute, Elder, National Presbyterian Church, Washington DC,

Rev. Drew Christiansen, S.J., HCEF Co-founder, Distinguished Professor of Ethics
Global Development at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

11:45 – 12:30pm

New Strategies for East Jerusalem: Palestinian Economy, Religious Tourism, and Developmental Projects
Many challenges face East Jerusalem, with her inhabitants struggling daily to make both ends meet.  This roundtable will identify opportunities that will enhance the city and safeguard its status.

Moderator: Marwan Ahmad, President, The Arab American Business Council
Sir Rateb Y. Rabie, KCHS, President/CEO of HCEF

12:30 – 1:30pm Lunch
1:30 – 1:45pm

Message from the Catholic Archadices of Washington
Bishop Roy Edward Campbell, Jr: Auxiliary Bishop, Archdiocese of Washington

1:45pm – 2:00 pm

“Judhuri” (My Roots): A Documentary by Loubna Turjuman
Loubna Turjuman, an alum of Know THY Heritage, an HCEF Leadership Program, was part of the KTH Journey 2014.  With the powerful impact the program had on her, she produced this short film, telling the story of her father and his love and strong attachment to Jerusalem, from which he was forced out along with parents and siblings to make a new life in Guatemala

2:00pm – 4:00pm

Israel-Palestine, Jerusalem, and the Prospects of Peace: Regional and International Influences

The prospects of peace between Israel and Palestine are not on the near horizon.  Israel continues to transform Jerusalem in its image.  However, new regional and international realities are all around us, providing both challenges and opportunities.  This roundtable will explore ways by which peace can inch forward.


Moderator: Dr. Saliba Sarsar: Chair, HCEF Research and Publication Committee & Professor of Political Science, Monmouth University

HE Ambassador Husam Zomlot: Head, PLO General Delegation to the United States

Mr. Khalil E. Jahshan: Executive Director, Arab Center Washington D.C. Inc.

Dr. James Zogby: President, Arab American Institute

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