Monday, June 9, 2008

News from the Diyar Consortium, Bethlehem

Pastor Mitri Raheb of Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem shared a couple of news items. The various ministries of the International Center of Bethlehem have been restructured to form the Diyar Consortium.

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Salaam from Bethlehem. We would like to share with you our most recent exciting news that motivate us to continue the work that we do, empowering and encouraging the local community to believe that we have a life and can live it abundantly. But first, we would like to invite you to visit our newest website, that of Diyar Consortium, which reflects the current development and progress of our work. Please go to: [Ann's note: Take some time to explore this web site. Click on "About" and then "History" for an explanation of the ministries and the restructuring.]

Our news are summarized in the following 2 items:

Last week, it was announced that Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb has received the prestigious Aachen Award for Peace. The award ceremony will take place on September 1, 2008 in Germany. This prize is given to individuals and organizations that have worked tirelessly for peace on the grassroots level. Receiving this award, as you will see when visiting the website, has stirred an extraordinary media attention and coverage, especially in Germany. To read more about this item, please visit the website:

Bethlehem has hosted during this week one of the largest conferences ever held in the city, the Palestine Investment Conference where 2000 people from different parts of the world attended. It was a highlight in a number of ways to the city of Bethlehem and Palestine at large. However, the proud moment for us as Diyar Consortium was the fact that when the organizers of the conference thought of how to present the best of Palestine to the guests, immediately they thought of us. Diyar's work was manifested and presented on 3 occasions during this 3-day conference:

· Each guest was presented with a memento of Palestine, which was our own silver olive leaf. The leaf was designed by the ICB and produced by our students to be distributed to every participant.

· On the first opening day, a short film screening entitled "Eye on Palestine" was held. At the end of the film, the ICB appeared twice, together with its logo and some of its activities.

· At the last evening of the conference when the big banquet was held at Manger Square, the Dar al-Kalima School choir and band were asked to present melodies that presented the culture of Palestine and the spirit of Bethlehem. Our music teacher, Miriam, did a great job with the live music, and the children were wonderful. A great response was received from the audience.

We are glad that the work that we have been doing is bearing fruits locally and receiving recognition both nationally and internationally. Thank you for being part of this success story.


Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb
Diyar Consortium

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