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9 July, 2011

Nobel Laureate president of East Timor (Timor - leste) Dr. Jose Ramos - Hortas visits Bethlehem University

East TimorOn Thursday afternoon, Bethlehem University was honored to host H.E. President Jose Ramos – Hortas and his staff, including his Foreign Minister – Mr. Zacarias Albano Da Costa. Accompanying them were Palestinian officials including the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities – H.E. Khulud Daibes and Mayor of Bethlehem – Mr. Victor Batarseh, Mr. Ziad Al-Bandak, President Abbas’ Advisor for Christian Relations and Governor of Bethlehem - Abed Al Fattah Hamayel. Guests were welcomed to the university by Br. Peter Bray – Vice Chancellor of Bethlehem University, Br. Robert Smith – Vice President for Academic Affairs, Br. Jack Curran – Vice President of Development, Mr. Philip Daoud – Communications and Alumni Relations Manager and Mr. Demitri Awwad – Guest Relations Manager.

East TimorAfter a brief tour, the guests were welcomed to Furno Hall and given an introduction by Br. Peter Bray. Br. Peter expressed his happiness to welcome their guests especially as they, like Br. Peter, hail from the South Pacific and know what it is like to struggle for their countries rights. Br. Peter expressed his admiration for the Timorese leadership, noting that it was clear that they strove not only to let the world know the truth of the situation under occupation but also that they respected their people, served them and continue to stand by them. He then invited the President to present to university faculty, staff and students that packed the hall.

East TimorPresident Ramos – Hortas gave a brief background of his country’s founding and struggles. He then explained how he felt compassion for the Palestinian people and their plight, expressing admiration of their dedication and high levels of education. He expressed empathy for the long occupation they suffer and said that they have been waiting too long. Both he and Br. Peter expressed that in spite of the long struggle, they hoped and felt like East Timor (Timor – Leste) and Northern Ireland, Palestine could one day soon live in peace.


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