“It’s an earthquake!” As the ground rolled under our feet at Haigazian University, we stirred with uncertainty as to how long it would last.Seconds later, when an explosion blew out windows all around, we realized that the first was not an earthquake at all, and that we had entered a new, sad chapter in the current history of Lebanon. Sorrow has been heaped upon sorrow.Read more
On Tuesday, August 4, 2020, massive explosions rocked Beirut, set off by a fire near a facility that has for several years held highly combustible chemicals at the Port of Beirut. The explosions were felt as far away as the island nation of Cyprus, just across the Mediterranean waters. The numbers of fatalities and injured continue to rise, even as thousands became homeless.Read more
Haigazian University celebrated its 65th Anniversary in a most unique way. On Thursday, July 29, a musical event was live streamed on Facebook and YouTube. Haigazian continues to bring hope and encouragement to many.
This 65th anniversary program was not a mere celebration of a rich past. It is a call for hope and healing for tomorrow.
Distances have separated people from the views and tunes of the normally vibrant Haigazian University campus, its students, alumni, neighbors and friends. Amidst the pain of Lebanon, the brokenness of the world, and the suppression of the pandemic, let our simple yet inspiring program bring a smile to our hearts.
May we all be filled with hope, enjoy the views of the Haigazian University campus, and hear the tunes of a brighter and more favorable future.Read more
The Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) has published a new issue of its periodic magazine, “Al-Muntada”, in July 2020, in Arabic and English. The issue focuses on two main topics: Jerusalem and the Palestinian refugees’ right of return, and the Middle East region’s approach in facing the Coronavirus pandemic.Read more
The first youth consultation seminar of the Middle East Council of Churches-convened “Kairos Middle East Towards Churches Global Compact” affirmed that Youth are a key pillar in shaping the future
As part of the “Kairos Middle East: Towards Churches Global Compact” process, the Theological and Ecumenical Department (TED) of the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) organized the first youth consultation seminar on the 11th of July 2020, at the St Augustine center in Kafra – Ain Saade, Lebanon.
The youth consultation seminar revolved around the presence of Christian youth and their role in the Middle East region. It gathered 20 young people from the council’s member churches as well as 4 young employees working in the Communication and PR department and the Finance department of the council.Read more
Written by Dr. Bernard Sabella, Executive Secretary
Department of Service for Palestinian Refugees (DSPR)
Middle East Council of Churches
Dear Partners, Friends and Colleagues,
A remarkable increase in numbers of infected both in Palestine and Israel had dashed hopes that the first phase of Covid-19 infections was indeed behind us. DSPR Jerusalem and the West Bank has resumed field visits to the localities designated for the implementation of projects and activities. Shortly, DSPR-West Bank will share a strategic approach for advocacy regarding the foreseen annexation plan. The effects of annexation are expected to remain with us for years to come.Read more
From the Near East School of Theology President, Dr. George Sabra:
Hard Times...and the Worst is Yet to Come?
This has been a most unusual and difficult academic year. It began against the background of wide popular protests in Lebanon against political corruption of the ruling class, witnessed the collapse of Lebanon’s economy and its currency, and suffered the COVID-19 pandemic and its further disastrous consequences on the economy, as well as its negative impact on social and educational life. And all of this continues with no end in sight.Read more
After the resurrection, when Jesus told his followers to sit and wait for what was next, I wonder if they were filled with a sense of dread about the unknown future. It is easy for us, twenty-one centuries later, to paint that upper room scene in colors of joyful anticipation of the coming of God’s promise, but it is doubtful that those colors were on the disciples’ palette at the time. Meeting together behind closed doors to pray and elect someone to take Judas’ spot was probably all they could manage in that time of great stress.Read more
Written by Dr. Bernard Sabella, Executive Secretary
Department of Service for Palestinian Refugees
Jerusalem, May 28, 2020
On Covid-19 it looks like some down trending in infections and speeding up of recoveries have occurred across the region. The relatively low mortality experienced in the countries where DSPR works is due according to analysts to ‘demographic good fortune’ with more younger generations in the population and the fact that this virus is age-gradient, meaning that the elderly are more prone to infections than the younger groups. The death rate per million population according to worldometers is 0.6 for Palestine; 0.9 for Lebanon and Jordan and 31 for Israel.Read more