Al-Liqa’ Center’s Annual Celebration of Christmas
A panel titled
"Christmas ... Identity ...  and Theology of the right of return?"

20th December 2009
Bethlehem Hotel, Bethlehem

Photo album

This unique gathering of Christians and Muslims to celebrate Christmas in the Bethlehem Governorate was attended by tens of local people and personalities who stressed national unity and steadfastness in the face of occupation and daily challenges.

Moderator of this annual gathering was Dr. Abd el-Rahman 'Abbad of Al-Liqa Center's Board of Trustees who congratulated his fellow Christians on this solemn occasion. He was followed by Vice President of Al-Liqa Center's Board of Trustees, Prof. Thiab Ayyoush who congratulated fellow Christians stressing national unity at the time when Palestinians are being pressured regionally and internationally and threatened by Israeli occupation. The Greek Orthodox choir of Beit Sahur presented several carols and chants, while Mr. Lawrence Sammour of Al-Liqa Board of Trustees performed a Christmas carol and chanted a verse from the Bible. Sheikh Maher 'Assaf, on his part, recited Qur'anic verses from the Sura of Mariam which revolves around the Birth of 'Isa (Christ).

A concluding address was presented by Dr. Geries S. Khoury who focused on "Reflections: Christmas…Identity…and Theology of Return". He stressed our need to know our identity and never to abdicate it or any of its components. Dr. Khoury pointed out that Christ emphasized the importance of identity as seen in verses from the New Testament. On the other hand he spoke about "The Theology of Return" and the need for Palestinian theologians to discuss it in light of its importance as seen in the story of the Holy Family and flight to Egypt.

Following Dr. Khoury's talk, a reception was held