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A Historical Pilgrimage for Justice and Peace to Palestine

Visit of General Secretary - World Council of Churches

The National Coalition of Christian Organizations in Palestine (NCCOP) and the Arab Educational Institute (AEI- Open Windows) welcomed on Sunday March 8, 2015 the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Mr. Olav Fykse Tveit and his entourage in Bethlehem. Together with his delegation he had set off for a historical pilgrimage for justice and peace in Palestine. 

During their time in the Holy City they visited the Nativity Church and were welcomed and hosted by the Greek Patriarch of Jerusalem. During a visit to the Cremisan Valley in Beit Jala, a representative of the municipality and the owner of the land briefed them on the latest developments in the legal case against the building of the apartheid wall in Cremisan. As a show of solidarity, the General Secretary planted two Trees of Hope near the wall.

On the way to Aida Refugee Camp, Mr. Osama Zoughbi, Youth Program Coordinator at the Wi'am Center, gave some basic information to the group along the way to the camp. Dr. Abdel Fattah Abu-Srour, founder and director of the Al-Rowwad Cultural and Theater Training Center, informed them about the status and situation of Palestinian refugees.

Later on they went to the Rachel’s Tomb area and visited the Arab Educational Institute – Sumud Story House. They were welcomed by Palestinian women wearing traditional costumes and had coffee together. Dr Toine van Teeffelen (Head of Education) and Ms Rania Murra (Director) invited them for a tour along the Wall Museum and some of the women, youth and children’s stories were read aloud.

Towards the evening Mr. Olav Fykse Tveit and his delegation visited Wi'am Palestinian Conflict Resolution Centre, where the director, Mr. Zoughbi Zoughbi, introduced them to the working priorities of the center. Afterwards they had a meeting with members of the NCCOP, a coalition of Christian organizations in Palestine. The meeting was attended by Dr Zoughbi Zoughbi, Mrs. Nora Carmi, Mr Yusef Daher, Mr. Fuad Giacaman, Mr. Elias Abu Akleh and Dr. Mazen Qumsieh. At the end of the day a reception was offered by the CROs at the Wi'am Center. Representatives of religions, institutes and government attended the meeting. Some speeches were given. The celebration was concluded with two prayers.

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