uruknet.info
  اوروكنت.إنفو
     
    informazione dal medio oriente
    information from middle east
    المعلومات من الشرق الأوسط

[ home page] | [ tutte le notizie/all news ] | [ download banner] | [ ultimo aggiornamento/last update 28/08/2019 00:45 ] 103616


english italiano

  [ Subscribe our newsletter!   -   Iscriviti alla nostra newsletter! ]  




[103616]



Uruknet on Alexa


End Gaza Siege
End Gaza Siege

>

:: Segnala Uruknet agli amici. Clicka qui.
:: Invite your friends to Uruknet. Click here.




:: Segnalaci un articolo
:: Tell us of an article






Gaza Christians yearn for Bethlehem

Asmaa al-Ghoul

24fgrtx16r7g.jpg

Palestinian Christian lights candles as she attends a service in St. Porfirios Church in Gaza City, Dec. 22, 2013. (photo by REUTERS/Mohammed Salem)


December 24, 2013

Suzy al-Najjar, Samer al-Salfiti and their daughter, Judy, gazed longingly at the Christmas tree being lit by Bishop Alexius, the pastor of the Greek Orthodox church, in the presence of dozens of parishioners from the Gaza Strip there to celebrate the lighting of the Christmas tree on Dec. 22.

Suzy, 22, and Samer, 30, wished that they could travel to Bethlehem and spend Christmas there. Suzy told Al-Monitor, "We were hoping to spend Christmas at the Church of the Nativity. But this seems impossible. There is very little festive spirit here in Gaza because of the economic situation and the limited scope of celebrations."

Two weeks ago, the couple applied for permission to travel through the Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing, but their application was rejected by the Israeli occupation forces. Samer told Al-Monitor, "It is every Christian’s dream to spend the holiday in Bethlehem. Geographically, we are very close to the city, yet it is impossible to go there."

The Israeli authorities impose conditions that prevent Christians between 16 and 35 years of age from leaving the Gaza Strip for West Bank cities to pray, celebrate religious feasts or visit relatives.

Christmas in Gaza

Jabr el-Jaldeh, who is in charge of the Gaza Greek Orthodox Church’s religious relations, told Al-Monitor that over 6,000 Christians of all denominations submitted requests for travel permits to Bethlehem through the West Bank Patriarchy. Some received permission to do so, on condition that they return by Jan. 9. Jaldeh noted, "But 214 applications were rejected for people whose age ranges between 16 and 35."

Christians in Gaza number approximately 1,500, most of them Greek Orthodox. It should be noted though that their numbers in the mid-1990s exceeded 5,000.

Suhair Saba, 65, was granted permission, but she will most probably not go because, as she said to Al-Monitor, "The weather is cold. And after the storm, the road through Erez is difficult to cross and has many potholes. It will be difficult for me to traverse it." She also complained about new instructions being disseminated to travelers, forbidding them from carrying sweets, thyme or peppers as gifts.

Despite complaints from the majority of Christians that festivities were dull and devoid of joy in the midst of a Muslim majority led by a theocratic government, Gaza veered away from previous norms as some stores were decorated with bright Christmas trees and Santa Claus cutouts.

Also, despite the scarcity of places to celebrate, the lighting of the Christmas tree and the many gifts donated by the Palestinian Jawwal cellular communications company to the Orthodox Church added a lot of glee this year. That evening, children came with their families to receive gifts with their names on them. Judy, Samer and Suzy’s daughter, received a present appropriate for her young age that taught her the names of the days of the week.

The slightly older generation of children impatiently waited for Jan. 7 to come, when they will break their fast from dairy products. Friends Siraj, 20, Bashar, 20, and Majdi, 21, jokingly told Al-Monitor that chocolate was the most important ingredient of Christmas festivities. They also wished that the years would pass quickly, so that they might go to Bethlehem again. Their last visit there was seven years ago.

Travel is impossible

Rawan al-Khoury, 21, revealed to Al-Monitor that in an unprecedented move, a group of young people had decided to submit requests through the Patriarchy and human rights organizations for permission to travel to Bethlehem. Khoury said, "It is unfair to have to wait for more than 10 years to be able to go there and be with our families." She pointed out that it is impossible to travel through the Egyptian Rafah crossing to the West Bank as long as their identity cards contain the word "Gazan."

One of those young people was Abdallah Jahchan, 28, who said, "We submitted applications as a youth group to the Patriarchy, so that it may help us leave Gaza to visit Bethlehem. But our hopes were dashed by Israeli rejection of all our applications."

He further explained to Al-Monitor that he is counting the days until he reaches the age when it is permissible for him to leave Gaza, since most of the young people have no hope for the future, are unable to find jobs and live in a deteriorating economic situation.

Bishop Alexius sat in front of the Christmas tree on an ornate chair, receiving Christmas greetings from members of his parish as they ate sweets and drank black coffee. From the chair, which his black robes completely covered, he told Al-Monitor, "I have lived in Gaza for the past 12 years. I have witnessed all the wars and am now a witness to the harsh blockade imposed on the city and its inhabitants. I ask world powers to permit citizens of the Strip to exit and enter normally; for love is everywhere, but we must see it in our hearts."

He added that the church submits applications each and every year, but approval is not his to give, and came from the authorities. He believes that the main problem lies in the war between the two peoples, leading to this blockade.

Catholics

A few feet away stood the Latin Catholic Church, whose members do not exceed 200 in the Strip. There, too, we found Samer and Suzy, because she is Catholic. Upon seeing Al-Monitor’s correspondent, she laughed and said, "I celebrate the holidays in both churches. On the 25th here, and on the seventh [of January] there. But my daughter follows her father’s denomination and was baptized in the Orthodox church." He husband interrupted her and said, "But my next child will be baptized here at the Latin monastery."

Their daughter, Judy, went to play in the courtyard next to the church. She ran into the arms of Sister Nazareth, whom Al-Monitor asked about the festivities. She replied, "I chose to come to Gaza three years ago. I noticed the plight of Christians here, who are poor and cannot easily exhibit the importance of their holidays." Despite that, she admitted that she loves Gaza, and had never, in her 22 years as a nun, felt as happy as she does here.

At the same church, once prayers were over, Lisa al-Souri, 20, and her husband, Tarek, 27, came out and expressed to Al-Monitor their disappointment with the festivities in Gaza. Lisa remembered how, in the past, a large Christmas tree was erected and lit at the center of Gaza’s Unknown Soldier Square. She added, "This was eight years ago. Instead of wishing to go to Bethlehem and celebrate there, I wish to celebrate as a Christian here in Gaza with the rest of the people, just as we did in the past."



Source


:: Article nr. 103616 sent on 25-dec-2013 07:22 ECT

www.uruknet.info?p=103616



:: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.

The section for the comments of our readers has been closed, because of many out-of-topics.
Now you can post your own comments into our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/uruknet




Warning: include(./share/share2.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/content/25/8427425/html/vhosts/uruknet/colonna-centrale-pagina-ansi.php on line 385

Warning: include(): Failed opening './share/share2.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/local/php5_6/lib/php') in /home/content/25/8427425/html/vhosts/uruknet/colonna-centrale-pagina-ansi.php on line 385



       
[ Printable version ] | [ Send it to a friend ]


[ Contatto/Contact ] | [ Home Page ] | [Tutte le notizie/All news ]







Uruknet on Twitter




:: RSS updated to 2.0

:: English
:: Italiano



:: Uruknet for your mobile phone:
www.uruknet.mobi


Uruknet on Facebook






:: Motore di ricerca / Search Engine


uruknet
the web



:: Immagini / Pictures


Initial
Middle




The newsletter archive




L'Impero si è fermato a Bahgdad, by Valeria Poletti


Modulo per ordini




subscribe

:: Newsletter

:: Comments


Haq Agency
Haq Agency - English

Haq Agency - Arabic


AMSI
AMSI - Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq - English

AMSI - Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq - Arabic




Font size
Carattere
1 2 3





:: All events








     

[ home page] | [ tutte le notizie/all news ] | [ download banner] | [ ultimo aggiornamento/last update 28/08/2019 00:45 ]




Uruknet receives daily many hacking attempts. To prevent this, we have 10 websites on 6 servers in different places. So, if the website is slow or it does not answer, you can recall one of the other web sites: www.uruknet.info www.uruknet.de www.uruknet.biz www.uruknet.org.uk www.uruknet.com www.uruknet.org - www.uruknet.it www.uruknet.eu www.uruknet.net www.uruknet.web.at.it




:: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more info go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
::  We always mention the author and link the original site and page of every article.
uruknet, uruklink, iraq, uruqlink, iraq, irak, irakeno, iraqui, uruk, uruqlink, saddam hussein, baghdad, mesopotamia, babilonia, uday, qusay, udai, qusai,hussein, feddayn, fedayn saddam, mujaheddin, mojahidin, tarek aziz, chalabi, iraqui, baath, ba'ht, Aljazira, aljazeera, Iraq, Saddam Hussein, Palestina, Sharon, Israele, Nasser, ahram, hayat, sharq awsat, iraqwar,irakwar All pictures

 

I nostri partner - Our Partners:


TEV S.r.l.

TEV S.r.l.: hosting

www.tev.it

Progetto Niz

niz: news management

www.niz.it

Digitbrand

digitbrand: ".it" domains

www.digitbrand.com

Worlwide Mirror Web-Sites:
www.uruknet.info (Main)
www.uruknet.com
www.uruknet.net
www.uruknet.org
www.uruknet.us (USA)
www.uruknet.su (Soviet Union)
www.uruknet.ru (Russia)
www.uruknet.it (Association)
www.uruknet.web.at.it
www.uruknet.biz
www.uruknet.mobi (For Mobile Phones)
www.uruknet.org.uk (UK)
www.uruknet.de (Germany)
www.uruknet.ir (Iran)
www.uruknet.eu (Europe)
wap.uruknet.info (For Mobile Phones)
rss.uruknet.info (For Rss Feeds)
www.uruknet.tel

Vat Number: IT-97475012153