Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dar al-Kalima College was dedicated Tuesday

Dar al-Kalima College campus was dedicated Nov. 30, 2010 in Bethlehem

The Mount Murair campus of the Dar al-Kalima College in Bethlehem, Palestine, was dedicated Tuesday, Nov. 30. Video is at: http://www.diyar.ps/media/dak.wmv

“Dar al-Kalima College is a direct answer to the current shortage of higher education institutions in Palestine and a beacon of hope for future generations,” said Rev. Mitri Raheb, pastor of Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem and president of the Diyar Consortium. More than half of the Palestinian population is under the age of 19, with current projections predicting further growth. "With no expansion of the current educational system to absorb these growing numbers, a significant number of gifted young people in Palestine will have nowhere to further their education beyond the 12th grade and will have extremely limited opportunities in finding employment.”

The college, which opened its doors Sept. 15, offers 2-year degrees in the arts, multimedia, communication and tourism studies and in other major academic disciplines. Dar al-Kalima College offers majors and courses not offered elsewhere in Palestine, which can mean new jobs and opportunities for graduates. More than 200 full-time students will attend classes there and more than 1,000 people will participate in continuing education classes this academic year.

“Our mission is to, through education, build a culture of democracy, critical thinking and free expression,” said Dr. Nura Khoury, Dean of Dar al-Kalima College. “As the first Lutheran college in the Middle East, we hope to contribute to the strengthening of civil society in Palestine.”

Bright Stars of Bethlehem, based in the United States, has played a large part in fundraising for the college. The group organized a five-day trip to Bethlehem for the dedication.

Bright Stars of Bethlehem asked congregations and chapels across North America to pray together in Advent for peace in Bethlehem.

For more about Dar al-Kalima College, check the Bright Stars newsletter: http://www.brightstarsbethlehem.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=0&Itemid=82

(Bright Stars of Bethlehem, NFP, a 501 (c) (3) charity in the United States, was founded in 2003 to support educational, health and wellness, cultural and arts programs in the Holy Land. Our mission is to ensure that Christianity survives and thrives in the Middle East and to bring hope and healing to people in need. For more information on its mission and ministries, visit http://www.brightstarsbethlehem.org/)

Contact: Beth Nelson Chase
Vice President Bright Stars of Bethlehem

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