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From: Catholic Charities -Diocese of Camden





Hey everyone, I want to share something that happened for me few days ago. We had a tour in Philly and one of the things we planned for is visiting the Jewish History museum. I had no idea why they have a museum for the Jewish history, and I wondered “what I am going to learn from this visit????”  How can it be important for me as Palestinian? I was really excited about this visit.

The museum was divided into different sections and each section holds a different side of the Jewish history.

The first section was about Jewish baseball players, the thing that really got my attention is when I learned that the players had to change their names to less Jewish names, “ Why they had to do such a thing??!!!”  But of course I understood; it was just to avoid anything that marked them as different from the other players.

Then we went to the other sections where they talked more about the historical life side. The Holocaust!!! Jews were expelled from all over the world, and went to America. This is the only side of the story I knew, but I never imagined that they had to apply for tests in-order to enter America!!! And guess what kind of questions they had?! One of the tests was a puzzle game, just to see if they are capable of doing it then they’ll have the chance to live In America. Can you imagine your life and future is based on that!!!!

Ultimately, my point is that every nation has suffered throughout history or is still suffering in our days, and the people are the victim here. Are we going to witness a day without wars, poverty or disasters?!!  Maybe when the power of love replaces the love of power in the world –peace will be achieved one day!!!


–Update —7/3—

Hey everyone, well, this is my two last week here in the United States and with Catholic Charities.  I’m really grateful for this opportunity, but really sad about leaving all the people that I have built such a wonderful relationship with.

Maybe people in the United State would tell me “ you can come back next year.” Well, it’s so easy for you to say that because all that you need is your tickets and money, then you can travel all over the world, any time you want, but for someone like me from Palestine, travelling is not that easy. If we want to travel anywhere we have to start preparing for it months in advance.

In order to come to the United State it took us (The Interns of Bethlehem University) three months, maybe more than that, only to apply for the Visa, do some interviews with the American consulate in Jerusalem, which means we also had to apply for a permission to go to Jerusalem and wait for weeks for this permission.   It’s really expensive and takes lots of time. This really affects our lives because if anyone wants to study, work or even travel abroad he has to think twice before doing it. And because it’s a hard process, and sometimes the consulate doesn’t give you the visa, so simply all your dreams will fall apart.

The Americans are really lucky just to have this opportunity of travelling anywhere anytime and follow your dreams anywhere in the world. It’s a big grace, be thankful for it.



Good Morning everyone, today I want to share something that I’ve been noticing a lot since I came to the United States, which is the number of people who suffer from obesity. I was so surprised at first, but then I realized, off-course, it’s the huge number of fast food restaurant in USA!!!! Also, Americans seem to focus more on their work than taking the time to prepare some delicious healthy food.

In Palestine, we see much fewer overweight people. Our food is really healthy, and even though everyone is busy with their work, people still take the time to prepare their own meals. Almost all the mothers who work wake up early and prepare a healthy meal before they head to their work. Besides that everyone is into sports, all kind of sports, so the active lifestyle seems to contribute to the lower rates of obesity.

“Take care of your body, because it’s the only place where you have to live.”


–Update—6/24 –

Yesterday on my way back home with my host sister Kaitlyn who I work at Catholic Charities; we were talking about motorcycles, which is something we both are interested in. She was telling me that she’s waiting for her motorcycle license, I was really surprised about what she said. Because in Palestine we don’t see girls on motorcycles, it’s not a common thing. As Palestinians we are more conservative. I always wanted to have my own motorcycle but at the same time I know it’s just a dream. But I respect how my society thinks about it. It’s not about that the guys have more rights or freedom than girls; it’s more about morals and how the community looks at you. I think that the girls in the United State are really lucky to have this freedom; they really have to appreciate and be thankful for that.


Almost everyone in the United State seems to have at least one pet, no matter if they are rich or poor. And we know that raising a pet costs lot of money, you have to take care of them as if they are one of the family members. You have to feed them, take them to the veterinarian and make sure to teach them discipline. Yesterday I went to the farmer’s market and one of the tents sold cookies, I went to check it out and the funny, surprising thing was that those cookies were only for dogs. WOW!!!

In my country, Palestine, most of the families can barely afford to raise their children; they invest their money in their children. They make sure to give them the best education and life. I know that it’s really fun for parents and children to have a pet because I used to have a dog. He was really so special, but he got stolen from us, and I couldn’t afford to get another one. In Palestine it’s really hard to have a pet and look after them unless you are single or if you don’t have children then it’s easier to have a pet.



I’ve been here only three days with Catholic Charities. I know it’s not enough time yet to gain any experience, but these three days have been really rich with lots of events and new things for me.

On Monday, June 2 we went to the Cathedral Kitchen to give some help, and I met the staff.  They are really awesome people and very generous. They help and give as much as they can to the people in need. Believe me the work is not that easy. Giving help to 286 people, serving food and something to drink for them, then cleaning everything after that, while through it all everyone kept smiling and laughing. It’s such an amazing thing what these lovely people do for six days a week. It was a great experience to me, and I’m really thankful for that opportunity.

Today we went to the Cathedral Hall with the Catholic Charities’ members. It was a little bit of a different experience than the one we had in the Cathedral Kitchen, because I got the chance to communicate and interact with the people in need. Serving them food at the window, talking to them and watching how they reacted with me was another great thing. No matter what they have been through during the day and no matter what their background is, they were all smiling. And just hearing them telling you “Thank you,” “God bless you,” “Have a nice day,” and “you are an angel.” It really made my day. I’m really grateful for what I’ve experienced.

“Respect for everyone the Widow, Orphan, and Stranger. Because they need more love than anyone else and they truly deserve the dignity & respect.”

The Catholic Charities are doing a great job they give all the love and the respect that these people need.



My Name is Mariana Nazi, I’m 21 years old, third year student at Bethlehem University, Bethlehem, Palestine. Bethlehem University is a Catholic University which was created by Pope Paul VI. The University is led by the Christian brothers.

My Major is Computer Science with a minor in Business Administration. I’m a Palestinian Christian girl who lives in Jerusalem, but I hold the Israeli ID, or the Blue ID, while many of my friends have the Green ID. It’s really a complicated situation. As Palestinians we have three kinds of IDs:

1) The Green ID (Palestinian ID /Palestinian who lives in the West Bank).
2) The Blue ID (Israeli ID / Palestinian who lives in Jerusalem or any part of Israel).
3) The Orange ID (Gaza Strip / only for those residing in the Gaza Strip prior to1993 or born to parents who are already citizens).

I was born in Jerusalem and I live in Jerusalem. I have two brothers who are younger than me, Yousef and Michael. I live with my parents. My father is an architect and my mother is a teacher.
I attended to St. Joseph school, a private Catholic school. The student body is comprised of Muslim and Christian girls. At an early age many Palestinian kids start learning Arabic, English and one more language. So from kindergarten on, I studied and learned Arabic, English and French. I am pleased to say that I am trilingual.

I love sports; I used to play basketball, volleyball. I was in the school choir, I did some drama, I used to play the contrabass also, but after high school I concentrated only on running and I ran three marathons and I still run every week. I’m in the Right to Movement team.

I’m a leader also in De La Salle scout and I have two leadership certificates from them.

At Bethlehem University I was selected to be in its ambassador program so I went to Spain to meet the Pope Benedict XVI to represent all the Palestinians Christians youth. And I’m also an Ambassador in “Alliance Francaise” in Palestine, Bethlehem, so I went to France for a month to represent Palestine between 60 countries from all over the world.

As an Ambassador for Bethlehem University I’m here in the U.S.A, NJ/ Camden to represent Palestine and the Palestinians. I have an important mission to do while I’m here which is to offer the American people I meet a different perspective about the Palestinian people.

I am very happy to be in the United States for my internship this summer.

On Monday, June 2 we went to the Cathedral Kitchen to give some help with giving food to 286 people people in need. Thinking about the US being a very rich country it’s shocking for me to see that many people in need. Also I thought it was beautiful how there are people who are helping them. Overall this experience made me believe that there is poor everywhere and we should all help no matter where we are and what we do.

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