A workshop by the Arab Educational Institute in cooperation with Association pro Terra Sancta
From 23 to 25 March 2016 some 25 Palestinian youth came together at the Betharam Monastery in Bethlehem to discuss the role and mission of Palestinians, and Palestinian Christians in particular, in the Holy Land today.
The participants were members of the AEI teenager and university groups, and of the Greek-Catholic School in Beit Sahour, with which AEI has an ongoing partnership.
In advance the students conducted oral history interviews with their (grand)parents or older community members.
Three experienced lecturers led the workshop: Dr Usama Khaliliyeh of Bethlehem University, Mr Fuad Giacaman of AEI, and Mr Usama Jarayseh of the Beit Sahour school.
First the participants learned about Palestinian Christianity and its peace- and bridge-building capacities, about nonviolence and how to communicate such a life style to foreign visitors.
Then they learned about life stories of Palestinians and how one’s life can be guided by a sense of mission or vocation. They heard about the sense of mission of some Christians in Bethlehem.
During the last day the youth put down a mission statement about their personal future. They formulated their core personal values and presented them to the whole group.
The three-day workshop, supported by Association pro Terra Sancta, was for many an occasion in which they could for the first time deeply discuss with other youth the meaning of their lives in Palestine.
For a 2-minute film about the workshop: