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Al-Liqa’ Center for Religious and Heritage Studies in the Holy Land

Kairos “A Moment of Truth” and Sabeel Center in Nazareth

a panel titled
“A Moment of Truth and the Church in Galilee”

Participants:    

H.B. Patriarch Michael Sabbah
Dr. Geries S. Khoury

Commentator:     Judge R. Jarjura
Moderator:     Mrs. Violet Khoury

Wednesday, 16 May 2012
Mahmud Darwich Cultural Center Hall, Nazareth

 

The panel was organized by the Sabeel Center in Nazareth to discuss  The Kairos Document which was written and developed by a number of Palestinian Christians in the occupied territories led by H.B. Patriarch Michael Sabbah. The panel was moderated by Violet Khoury of the Sabeel Center in Nazareth and included H.B. Patriarch Michael Sabbah, Dr. Geries S. Khoury and Judge Rayeq Jarjura.

The panel was attended by leading personalities of the region including Sheikh Hilmi Hamad from ‘Aylout, Ahmad Sa’id Qaddura and ‘Abd Al-Salem Manasrah as well as Fr. Francoi Shamiyyah from Kufur Kanna, Fr. Elias Odeh from Al-Rayneh and Misbah Ziyad, Deputy Mayor of Nazareth.

H.B. Patriarch Michael Sabbah focused on the importance of the document “Kairos, A Moment Of Truth” which was a cry of hope, which our children uttered in very difficult times, similar to these days in the Holy Land. We stand firmly behind them in their faith, hope, love and vision. We ask Israeli and Palestinian leaders to expedite the process of justice, peace and reconciliation. We hope that our blessed children will play an active role in building their society.

    

Dr. Geries S. Khoury focused on the role of education in the making of a contextual Christian life and the witnessing of true Christian belief that does not exclude the “other” working at the same time toward justice and peace. Dr. Khoury added that the biggest problem is the ignorance of local Christians of their real identity and their important role in the making of history and Arab civilization. Christians do not know the importance of their presence before and after Islam. Muslims do not know this role as well. And I say “Man is the enemy of what he ignores and a friend of what he knows.” Therefore, all of us need to revise and correct our school curricula, which totally exclude the role of Christian Arabs before and after Islam and the need to focus more and more on religious education curricula, which exclude the “other”. On the other hand he said: let us stop talking about the future of Christian Arabs. The future is for us all, Christians and Muslims, and there is no future without the other. We need to keep away from the choir that intends to uproot us. The West will never protect us, and it did not protect us in the past. On the contrary, it divided our local church. The West will always have strategic planning and interests that will not take into consideration our existence and presence. Our future will only be together as Christians and Muslims. We and only we, Christians and Muslims, can protect each other and protect our freedom and dignity as well.

Judge Rayeq Jarjura emphasized the importance of national unity and our continued presence in the state of Israel. We demand our rights and the preservation of our heritage and what is left from our land. He focused as well on the expropriation of land and the construction of Upper Nazareth. He also talked about the unjust and unjustified history of the uprooting of Iqrit, Kufur Bir’am and other Palestinian cities and villages. A question and an answer followed.

At the end Mrs Violet Khoury from Sabeel and Mrs Nura Carmi from “Kairos” thanked the lecturers and the audience and hoped to continue such activities.