Palestine Summer Encounter: Updates from Bethlehem

June 21st, 2007

The first session of the 2007 Palestine Summer Encounter (PSE) has come to a close. Seven participants have packed their bags, said goodbye to their new friends and departed for home. Seven other participants will be staying to attend the second session. With ten more internationals soon to arrive, the second session will host a total of 17 participants from around the world: the United States, Russia, Bulgaria, Canada and Switzerland.

The diverse community of volunteers within the Palestine Summer Encounter program creates a unique learning environment for participants as they wrestle with the reality of the situation in Palestine and the injustices they witness firsthand. One participant, who grew up in South America, had this to say about the program:

“PSE is an intense experience. From the first to the last day not a moment is wasted… constantly one is visiting historical sites, listening to speakers, learning Arabic, interacting with Palestinians, and absorbing the daily life of the Occupation.”

Participants in PSE study Arabic, volunteer, stay with families, and attend field trips during the weekends. During the first session participants visited Jerusalem and met with the Israeli human rights organization Bt’selem and received a tour of the illegal settlements around Jerusalem from the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions. Additionally, participants during the first session traveled to Hebron, Ramallah and spent a weekend in Northern Israel visiting Nazareth and Haifa.

This past weekend was the first field trip to for the new participants. The day started with a visit to the holy sights of the Abrahamic faiths, not only for religious reasons, but also to learn about how the sights affect the politics of Jerusalem. They then met with Rabbi’s For Human Rights where they learned about Jews who stand upon the prophetic tradition of the Torah to fight for the human rights of all people living within Israel and the Occupied Territories. Participants then finished off their day with the overwhelming experience of journeying through the Holocaust Museum.

There is still one more session of PSE fast approaching which begins on July 19th. It’s NOT too late to join us for the last session!!! Registration for the last session has been extended to July 9th. More information about the program and the online registration can be found at: http://www.middleeastfellowship.org/pse2007/

Palestine Summer Encounter is a joint program of Holy Land Trust and Middle East Fellowship.

For more information about upcoming pilgrimages and travel programs visit:

http://travel.holylandtrust.org/
or
http://www.middleeastfellowship.org/travel

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4 thoughts on “Palestine Summer Encounter: Updates from Bethlehem

  1. Hi Sami,

    I was quite happy to find your blog tonight. I read about you and your family in Bro. Andrew’s book recently.

    I hope you all are doing well despite the many tensions of late. I am a Christian in the Houston, Texas area. My wife and I have a large family that we home school.

    I also just added you on Facebook.

    God bless you,
    Gordon

  2. Rev. Branwen

    Greetings Sami and all,
    I just returned from A Holy Land Trust tour with a group of Presbyterians from New Jersey. It was amazing and wonderful.
    Everywhere we went we heard the same plea: take our story back to the US with you, tell our story, try to change public opinion.
    I believe we can all contribute to this. There is hope. It’s important for us in the US to realize
    we are not alone.
    We stand together
    and shoulder to shoulder
    with all who seek peace.
    Blessed are the peacemakers.

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