Wednesday, December 19, 2007

O Little Town Of Bethlehem

I often recieve emails from Mazin Qumsiyeh, a Christian Palestinian Peace activist I first met at a Students for a Culture of Peace event at Naugatuck Valley Community College.
He used to live 4 or 5 miles from the little town of Bethlehem - near Jerusalem.
I live 4 or 5 miles from the little town of Bethlehem - Connecticut.

He sent me this last year, around this time:

"Christmas Reflections/Greeting 2006"

by Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

"Born in Shepherd's Field near Bethlehem to a Lutheran mother and a Greek Orthodox father, I grew up feeling lucky because we celebrated two Christmases. The Christmas season was a time of family gatherings around kerosene heaters where our fingers were cold but our hearts were warm and stomachs full...

...Since 2002, Bethlehemites have faced the enormous human costs of a massive, concrete segregation wall. During my visit last July, I noticed that the route of the wall zigzagged around Bethlehem, placing fertile Palestinian agricultural lands on the "Israeli side" of the wall. The wall went straight through centuries-old villages - separating Palestinian families from each other and from their jobs, hospitals, schools, churches and mosques..."

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