AEI’s Word: Need for inspiration

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Even more than usual, these are difficult times for Palestinians, also in the occupied territories. Not just because of the Israeli occupation and the huge challenge of rebuilding and un-sieging Gaza. Like AEI, many Palestinians now feel more than ever the need to formulate an inclusive and hopeful vision.

We are confronted by a severe fragmentation in the Middle East and extremist practices that trample upon basic human values and the right to be different, in religion or ethnicity.

We look in this newsletter for sources of inspiration against despair. For example, after the destruction of a large room in the Tabhga church besides the Lake of Galilee as well as other attacks on sacred places, we can learn from American black churches which show remarkable dignity and inclusiveness after the recent killings in Charleston.

Here in our summer work we try to create conditions for Palestinian youth and women to reflect, find inner peace, and start conversations. Several international volunteers participated and wrote about inspiring and unique contributions.

“Pathways to Peace” was the name of the Pax Christi Assembly in Bethlehem in May. We look back in gratitude. In the same period, AEI’s Elias Abu Akleh was touched by the canonization of two Palestinian saints in Rome.

And let us take the opportunity to say that we continue to be inspired by you – by your interest and support. This helps us to continue our sumud or resilience in the national struggle for freedom from occupation and for living together in this troubled area. We also extend our best wishes to the Moslem community now fasting in the Ramadan period, with the upcoming Al-Fitr feast. Let this be another source of inspiration and –despite everything - joy. 

 

Arab Educational Institute            

July 5, 2015

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