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Bethlehem University student speaks about papal visit to her town



From: Vatican Radio




Poster of Pope by separation barrier near Bethlehem


(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis’s second leg of his 3-day pilgrimage to the Holy Land takes him to the West Bank town of Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus.  Israel’s security barrier has created severe restrictions on movement for the population of Bethlehem and has effectively cut off easy access for them to the nearby city of Jerusalem.  These restrictions on movement also hamper the chances for Palestinians to find employment.  

Tamara Alqassis is a Christian student studying at Bethlehem University, a Catholic institute of higher education.  She spoke to Susy Hodges about her reaction to the upcoming papal visit to Bethlehem and the difficulties faced by the local population of Bethlehem, both Moslems and Christians, as a result of these restrictions on movement.   

Listen to the interview with university student Tamara Alqassis:

Alqassis talks of her joy over the papal visit to her hometown, saying she believes it will help make many people around the world more aware of the difficulties faced by the Palestinians.  She describes how Israel's security barrier has made it extremely difficult for the inhabitants of Bethlehem to visit Jerusalem compared to in the past and also speaks of her concern over the continuing emigration of Christians from the Holy Land.

Bethlehem University Foundation
Phone: +1-240-241-4381
Fax: +1-240-553-7691
Beltsville, MD USA
Bethlehem University in the Holy Land
Phone: +972-2-274-1241
Fax: +972-2-274-4440
Bethlehem, Palestine