Sunday, September 14, 2014

Narrative: A Break of Good News

by Samia Khoury

After thirty years of marriage, and thirty years of struggling with lawyers and the Israeli ministry of interior’s oppressive measures for family reunification,  my daughter  Dina was able to get a one year permit for her husband to live with her in Jerusalem.   Since the signing of the Oslo Accords, which were supposed to bring about peace to the region, Jerusalem was placed  out of bounds for  Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.   So my daughter’s husband, Yousef Nasser,  who is from Birzeit and  has a Palestinian Identity Card could not live with her and his three  children in Jerusalem, nor could they join him in Birzeit, because that would deprive them of their right of residency in Jerusalem, the city of their birth, and that of their forefathers.   How unfair.  So her only choice was to be a week-end wife and make the best out of it under the circumstances.  How many family occasions he missed that it became normal for him not to be part of those functions.  Yet it was very hard for the whole family when he was terribly missed on certain occasions like the time his daughter was hospitalized for a month and a half after a serious fall, as well as  on  many other happy occasions.   

When Dina told me on Monday morning  that they had an appointment at the ministry of interior I kept praying and hoping that their ordeal would be over soon.  So when she called to say they got the paper, I thought it was the paper approving the family reunification, but it turned out to be indeed an approval for family reunification which begins with  another ordeal of a yearly permit.  At the end of the year and to renew this permit they  need to provide all the necessary documents that they are  actually living in Jerusalem.  a document that would grant him a one year permit to be in Jerusalem.  What an anti-climax was my daughter’s first reaction.   After such long years of  deprivation of a normal family life, and  when all three children  are pursuing their studies abroad, and  no more around us, we can now  be together ”   But when  as Palestinians  we were never granted the justice that we deserved, and never had the best of choices,  a permit becomes an achievement and a sign of hope for further permit renewal.    This is the story of our life as well as that of  thousands of others.   

The great escape.

See Reflections from Palestine by Samia Khoury

Monday, September 1, 2014

Narrative: Dr. Maria Khoury writes from Taybeh

Dear Friends of Saint George Taybeh,

As I wish you a blessed peaceful holy new ecclesiastical year, I remain stunned at the silence my church has towards the horrific and unspeakable evil Israel continues to carry out.  May our Lord have mercy upon those who ignore this injustice.  I am just shocked that after Israel attacked schools, hospitals, ambulances, mosques, media offices, the power plant, UN buildings and staff that Israel continues to enjoy blind support from America.  I guess it is pretty much like the late Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon once said:  "...I want to tell you something very clear.  Don't worry about American pressure on Israel.  We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it."  So I assume everyone will break out their checkbooks since this last war on Gaza cost Israel over 2 billion dollars.  

How sad, today, Israel also announced the biggest land grab in twenty years; 1,000 acres of land will be confiscated in the Bethlehem area for more illegal Israeli settlements.  May we continue to pray for peace and justice.  May we forgive the barbaric and uncivilized killings of Christians in the region which all the latest news point the finger at the United Stated and Israel for funding.  I guess the more fanatic Muslims the Middle East has makes some people happy.  It just simply scares me...As we have gone way back before the times of Constantine the Great, I do pray for steadfast witness to the True Light of Christ.  May Love always conquer hate.  May inner peace exist in our heart as the new Church year reminds us to focus on saving our soul.  
With sincere good wishes on this holy day,

Everyone can have different perspectives but some of the facts stay the same
According to UNRWA during the 50 days starting July 7th:
2,200 Palestinians killed mostly children and women.
64 Israeli soldiers killed and 6 civilians.
11,000 Palestinians injured 
500,000 people displaced from Israeli attacks
20,000 homes completely destroyed by Israeli attacks