Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sabeel Conference underway - The Nakba: Memory, Reality and Beyond

The Nakba: Memory, Reality and Beyond - Nov. 12-19, 2008

The Seventh International Sabeel Conference is underway in Nazareth and Jerusalem. Just take a look at the tremendous lineup of speakers!

The conference is focusing on the commemoration of 60 years since the Nakba, under the theme, "The Nakba: Memory, Reality and Beyond - A Time to Remember, A Time for Truth." Participants are examining the 60 years since the Nakba and the complex issues of memory, narrative, and identity raised by the events of 1948. To view the entire conference program, see this link:

Among those who struggle for justice and peace in Palestine, our focus has been the fight to end the illegal Occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. However, in order to truly understand the complexities of memory, narrative, and identity faced by the Palestinian community, it is vital to examine the events of 1948-what the Palestinians refer to as the Nakba, or Catastrophe. For 60 years, the Nakba has cast its shadow over the struggles of identity and narrative undertaken both by Palestinian citizens of the state of Israel and those in the Occupied Territories. As the nonviolent resistance to Occupation continues, the question of what it means to be a Palestinian remains.

*What truly happened in 1948, and what did the Nakba mean for Palestinians?
*How have the events of 1948 shaped the complex identities of modern Palestinians and Israelis, and especially Christians living in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel?
*Why has the refugee crisis remained unresolved for 60 years, and what can churches and the international community do to promote a just resolution of this situation?
*How will the events of 1948 continue to effect the quest for a just peace in Palestine and Israel? *What do the events of 1948 reveal about injustice within Israel in addition to the injustice of the Occupation?
*How can those who seek justice for Palestinians as well as Israelis face the truth of 1948 while moving beyond memory to justice and reconciliation?

A roster of respected theologians, academics and activists from around the world has gathered in Nazareth and Jerusalem to lead panel discussions, lectures, workshops, bible study and worship. Participants from many countries and a variety of faith denominations are learning, sharing insights, and working together. They include:

Mgr Boulos Marcuzzo, Latin Catholic Auxillary Bishop and Vicar of Nazareth

The Rev. Munib Younan, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land

Samia Khoury, regular contributor to The Witness online with a monthly column “Justice & Liberation”

Dr. Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Chair of Middle Eastern Studies, Columbia University

Dr. Ahmad Sa'di, Senior Lecturer, Department of Politics and Government, Ben-Gurion University (Beersheba, Israel)

Dr. Jeff Halper, founder of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions

Dr. Efrat Ben-Ze’ev, an anthropologist who teaches at the Ruppin Academic Centre, a Fellow of the Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

Mairead Maguire, 1976 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate from Northern Ireland

Abir Kopty, spokeswoman for the Mossawa Center (the Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens of Israel)

Dr. Nadim Rouhana, Henry Hart Rice Professor of Conflict Analysis at George Mason University, head of Haifa-based Mada al-Carmel, the Arab Center for Applied Social Research

Dr. Basil Ghattas, general director of The Galilee Society

Tamar Gozansky, economist and former member of the Israeli Knesset

Dr. Uri Davis, member of the Middle East Regional Committee of the international Journal Citizenship Studies; Institute of Arab & Islamic Studies (IAIS), University of Exeter, Institute for Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies (IMEIS), University of Durham

Dr. Raef Zreik, Palestinian-Israeli civil rights lawyer and political activist

Rabbi Arik Ascherman, executive director Rabbis For Human Rights

Eitan Bronstein, founder of Zochrot, an organization that raises awareness among Israelis about the Nakba

Mohammad Zeidan, Arab Association for Human Rights

Faisal Sawalha, Regional Council for the Arab Unrecognized Villages in the Negev

Dr. Mustafa Kabha, Mada al-Carmel—Arab Center for Applied Social Research

Noga Kadman, researcher and member of Zochrot

Hibat Mahroum and Jimmy Johnson, Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions

Ronny Perlman, Machsom Watch

Adam Keller, Gush Shalom

Salwa Duaibis, MATTIN Group, human rights and development organization addressing the deficient implementation of human rights protection in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

Sam Bahour, My Right to Enter Campaign

Dr. Hatim Kanaaneh, author and public health advocate

Mohammad Kaial, Association for the Defense of the Rights of Displaced Persons

Mohammad Zeidan, Arab Association for Human Rights

Nasrat Dakwar, Association for Civil Rights in Israel

Jafar Farah, Director of the Mossawa Centre in Haifa

Nadim Rouhana, Mada al-Carmel—Arab Center for Applied Social Research

Dr. Diana Dolev, New Profile

Josef Ben-Eliezer, author of The Search

Muhammad Ali Taha, contemporary Palestinian poet

Wisam Jubran, musician

Rev. Simon Kortjass, World Council of Churches Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel

Dr. Adel Manna former director of the Center for the Study of Arab Society in Israel, the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute

Allegra Pacheco, OCHA

Sami Mshasha, UNRWA

Rifat Kassis Special Advisor to the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches on the Middle East, consultant at Dar Annadwa, the International Centre of Bethlehem (ICB); Badayl/Alternatives” consulting agency

Muhammad Jaradat, Coordinator of the Campaign Unit of Badil, Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights

Constantine S. Dabbagh, director of the Middle East Council of Churches' committee for refugee work in the Gaza Strip

Tarek Abuata, Christian Peacemakers Team

Dr. Mahdi Abdul Hadi is head of the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs, PASSIA.

Elias Daoud Khoury, Arab-Israeli and Jerusalem-based lawyer

Sarah Kreimer, former head of the Association of Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), pioneer in Jewish-Arab economic development

Sam Bahour, Palestinian-American businessman and commentator living in Al-Bireh in the West Bank

Manuel Hassassian, Palestinian ambassador to the United Kingdom, senior research associate at the University of Maryland's Center for International Development and Conflict Management.

Andreas van Agt, Former Prime Minister of the Netherlands

Dr. Bernard Lafayette, Director of the Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies at the University of Rhode Island

Lily Habash, Founder and Head of the Board of Directors, PARTNERS - Women and Men for the empowerment of Palestinian women.

About Sabeel -
Sabeel is an ecumenical grassroots liberation theology movement among Palestinian Christians. Inspired by the life and teaching of Jesus Christ, this liberation theology seeks to deepen the faith of Palestinian Christians, promote unity among them, and lead them to act for justice and love. Sabeel strives to develop a spirituality based on justice, peace, non-violence, liberation, and reconciliation for the different national and faith communities. The word "Sabeel" is Arabic for "the way" and also a "channel" or "spring" of life-giving water.

Sabeel also works to promote a more accurate international awareness regarding the identity, presence, and witness of Palestinian Christians as well as their contemporary concerns. It encourages individuals and groups from around the world to work for a just, comprehensive, and enduring peace informed by truth and empowered by prayer and action.

Friends of Sabeel--North America [] is a member of Sabeel International, working in the U.S. and Canada to support the vision of Sabeel by cultivating the support of American Christians and their church leaders through regional educational conferenes, alternative pilgrimage, witness trips, and international gatherings in the Holy Land.

The Friends of Sabeel photo exhibit "Commemorating 60 years of Dispossession" is available for exhibit in your community. See this link for ordering information:

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