On Wednesday, 11 July 2018, the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation “HCEF” brought a delegation of Palestinian youths living in the diaspora for a visit to Bethlehem University.
The program, known as “Know Thy Heritage”, celebrated the return of 14 Palestinian youths living in the diaspora from 7 different countries – Australia, Canada, Chile, Denmark, France, Honduras, and USA. They joined 10 of our ambassador program students to discuss their roots, their feelings on return, and their hopes for the future State of Palestine.
The delegation was welcomed by Brother Peter Bray, Vice Chancellor, Brother Denis Loft, Vice President for Advancement, and Ms. Amjaad Musleh, Guest Relations Officer.
The delegation was accompanied by Sir Rateb Rabie, Executive Director of HCEF, and Mr. Nicola Kawas, program coordinator at HCEF.
Brother Peter told the delegation that Bethlehem University provides quality education to its students in a safe, caring and predictable environment despite of the ongoing challenges and difficulties in order to build a greater Palestine.
He added that one of the greatest challenges here is to keep hope alive. He also dared the group to share back their experience here in Palestine to their people back in the diaspora emphasizing that this will help connecting both the local community with the diaspora.
The delegation discussed with the student ambassadors how Palestinians living in the diaspora remain attached to their national roots. They also talked about how to bridge the divide and strengthen ties between local Palestinians and those of the diaspora. They shared ideas on how to help mobilize the media and globally disseminate better information about Palestine.
Rasha Eliesa, KTH Delegate from Denmark said: “Although we have not been raised in Palestine, we did not feel like strangers. We felt like true Palestinians, we were welcomed with open arms and open hearts.”
A campus tour followed the discussion.