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“I love the old saying that the Gospel should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable, because we begin to feel [ourselves] moved with responsibility… it demands something of us. And that’s the kind of love that Dostoevsky spoke of when he said the kind of love we’re talking about is not the sentimental love of story books and fairy tales but its the love that keeps you up at night, its the harsh and dreadful love that won’t let you sleep while someone else is suffering.”
“In times like this we turn to the Bible. We come with pain, struggling and frustration. I look to find comfort. I look at the stories in the Bible and I read many things of great figures who went through difficult situations and overcame them. But what affects me most is the story of women. Women who like me were wives and mothers. Women who lived in less than ideal situations where they sometimes had to struggle to have their voices heard. I recognize these womens’ [hearts]. We share similar hopes and fears.”
“For us Palestinians it’s not an academic study, the theology of the land, it’s very personal… When I speak about my theology of the land I will speak with the first person pronoun, because it is my life… I am a Palestinian Christian, not invented. I was born in Bethlehem to an Arab Palestinian family… I am an Evangelical, a follower of Jesus, a sinner saved by grace.”
"The knock came through the Sermon on the Mount, through reading Matthew 5… I froze with this knock on my heart, had to turn back, and those three words popped up: “love your enemy,” Sami. I’m calling you, I’m commanding you, I’m ordering you as your King, as your Father, as your God to love your enemy. And that took me on an incredible process. What does Jesus mean, to me as a Palestinian, living in this situation, to love my enemy?”
Ahmad Al'Azzeh and Sami Awad, Executive Director of Holy Land Trust, are among those featured in this new documentary film about Palestinian nonviolence.
From the website: "Sami, Ahmad, Yonatan come from radically different backgrounds in a land of unending war. Yet, against all odds, including some within their Israeli and Palestinian communities, they are able to find common ground. They walk a path of non-violent struggle in lockstep with Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi. For them courage is found not in taking up arms, but setting them down once and for all and extending a hand in peace.
"From the award-winning team that brought you End of the Spear (2006) and Miss HIV (2007) comes director Jim Hanon's latest documentary, Little Town of Bethlehem. Unscripted and unrehearsed, discover the humanity lurking behind an ancient cycle of violence."
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Middle East Fellowship has served as a partner organization to Holy Land Trust since its founding. If you believe in the work of Sami Awad and Holy Land Trust there is an easy way to help. Please consider making a donation today in any amount. These projects are supported by people of goodwill throughout the world, and your contribution makes an enormous difference!
Middle East Fellowship would like to alert you to a significant upcoming conference in Seattle. All of the information below is provided by the organizers of the event:
"May 6-7th at St. Mark's Cathedral
1245 Tenth Avenue East
Seattle, WA 98102
Prepared by: Katherine Kraft
Middle East Fellowship | August 2008
An overview of international non-profit involvement in Syria and the changes in relief and development work in Syria as a result of the influx of Iraqi refugees, international funding for programmes with Iraqi refugees, and the long-awaited establishment of international Non- Governmental Organizations in Syria.