Address to the Participants of the Diaspora Convention
11-14 July 2019 in Bethlehem
We thank the Municipalities of Bethlehem, Beit Jala and Beit Sahour for organizing the Second Bi-Annual Diaspora Convention and wish them astounding success.
The Convention comes at a time of greatest need for all Palestinians in the homeland and abroad to come together to resist imperial attempts for dissolving our dreams of statehood. Not only it is a divine right but it is also legitimized and recognized internationally through United Nations resolutions and the solidarity of all countries of the world, except for very few misguided countries.
To the participants of the convention I say Welcome home. We all have relatives and friends in the Diaspora. By welcoming you we are welcoming our extended family. We are continually and persistently reaching out to you, our extended family, to reconnect with your roots. You need us because we safeguard your ancestral roots and heritage and we need you to safeguard our national pride, the land.
I want to remind you that the Bethlehem Development Initiative to regenerate Bethlehem was launched by the late Said Tawfiq Khoury, the cofounder of CCC, himself living in the diaspora since his eviction from his home town of Safad in 1948. His unfaltering love to Palestine and his devotion to the birthplace of Jesus Christ kept him close to Bethlehem where he dedicated the last few years of his life to support and regenerate the Bethlehem region through the Bethlehem Development Foundation which he established in 2012.
With the support of CCC, the Arab Monetary Fund, the Arab fund for Economic and Social Development, the Levant Foundation, the Friends of the Bethlehem Development Foundation in America and Chile we executed 10 projects so far, including substantial funding for completing the restoration of the Holy Church of the Nativity.
We vow to continue the mission of the founders and shall diligently work with you to help bring this mission to full maturity.
I wish to thank all participants for bringing their children to the conference. By doing that you are keeping the link alive and strong.
To those children attending the convention I have one request:
PLEASE BRING YOUR CHILDREN WITH YOU IN THE YEARS TO COME
GOD BLESS YOU AND GOD BLESS BETHLEHEM