AEI’s Christmas wish

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Dear friends,

Our thoughts and eyes during the Advent and Christmas season are directed at the birth of Jesus: a birth of love and hope for all hearts and minds.

As people of the Holy Land who live near the Nativity Grotto of Bethlehem we look at God’s incarnation with acceptance and surrender like Virgin Mary’s acceptance of God’s will. It was from Bethlehem that the message of love, salvation and joy for all human beings was declared.

This year, like previous years, the Israeli occupation imposes that we can only welcome the child Jesus in a town surrounded by a Wall and checkpoints. They take away the light from the Palestinian people and instead divide and imprison us in cantons, and prevent us from praying at the Islamic and Christian holy sites.

Yet during this happy occasion, we will still pray to God to help our people in all the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and especially our people in Jerusalem, who face Judaization in the Holy City. We will pray for the people in Gaza, because the ghost of the recent war haunts their hearts and souls.

In addition, the persecution, killing and displacement of our dear brothers and sisters from all religious persuasions by extreme groups such as ISIS in especially Iraq and Syria, is horrible. They need not only our prayers and condemnation but real, firm action.

The question that keeps being asked is how our country and region can still live in the complete absence of justice and peace. The answer is that we keep faith in God’s call: “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you”. We continue  our struggle,sumud

(steadfastness) and hope for a better joyful future. Let us join the simple shepherds and the wise men to the Nativity Grotto. Let us put in front of the child Jesus our fears and problems, and promise Him to live His love and hope. Then we deserve peace, joy, light and abundant life.

Rejoice and be glad with God’s angels’ song: “Glory to God in the Highest, Peace on earth and joy to mankind.”

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Rania Murra

Director AEI-Open Windows



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