BDF Stakeholders Lunch

Octo­ber 3, 2019

On Octo­ber 1, 2019 Beth­le­hem Con­ven­tion Palace

The Chair­man of the Board of Trustees Mr. Samer Khoury invit­ed BDF patrons, trustees, direc­tors and oth­er stake­hold­ers to a pri­vate lun­cheon which was attend­ed by the foundation’s patrons his Beat­i­tude Patri­arch Theophi­los III and his Beat­i­tude Patri­arch Noorhan Manougian. Also in pres­ence was Father Ibrahim Fal­tas, Dis­creet of the Cus­tody of the Holy Land, Broth­er Peter Bray Vice Chan­cel­lor of Beth­le­hem Uni­ver­si­ty, Gov­er­nor of Beth­le­hem Mr.  Kamel Hemeid and May­or of Doha, Mr. Raafat Jawabreh.

The Board of Trustees was rep­re­sent­ed by Vice Chair Dr. Hanan Dr. Ashrawi, Sec­re­tary Dr. Varsen Aghabekian and trustees Mr. Suheil Sab­bagh, Mr. Walid Salman, Mr. Akram Bad­er, and Mr. Sami Mroua.  The Board of Direc­tors was rep­re­sent­ed by Dr. Vic­tor Batarseh, Dr. Saleh Jal­lad, Mr. Nafez Hus­sei­ni and Mrs. Hind Khoury. In pres­ence were dis­tin­guished mem­bers of the Pres­i­den­tial Com­mit­tee for the restora­tion of the Nativ­i­ty Church of Nativ­i­ty and sev­er­al esteemed com­mu­ni­ty leaders.

Mr. Samer Khoury, Chair­man of BDF, wel­comed all present and briefed them of Pres­i­dent Abbas full endorse­ment of all efforts to sup­port Beth­le­hem as the focus of the tourism clus­ter ini­ti­at­ed by Prime Min­is­ter Dr. Moham­mad Shtayyeh.

Mr. Mazen Karam, Man­ag­ing Direc­tor / CEO updat­ed all about the sta­tus of the BDF. 

In brief, BDF com­mis­sioned an exter­nal study to eval­u­ate the rel­e­van­cy, effi­cien­cy, effec­tive­ness and sus­tain­abil­i­ty of BDF’s Devel­op­ment Action Plan (DAP) from launch­ing in 2013 to date. 

The Eval­u­a­tion con­clud­ed that BDF has estab­lished itself as a pro­fes­sion­al non-gov­ern­men­tal insti­tu­tion able to Facilitate/coordinate the devel­op­ment of high qual­i­ty plan­ning tools and was a pio­neer in intro­duc­ing spa­tial strate­gic plan­ning for the Beth­le­hem area. BDF was able to mobi­lize resources for the design and imple­men­ta­tion of its projects, hence­forth, estab­lish­ing itself as a cred­i­ble and trans­par­ent vehi­cle for donors to imple­ment projects. More­over, BDF suc­ceed­ed in extend­ing its out­reach to pro­mote Beth­le­hem devel­op­ment local­ly, region­al­ly, and internationally.

The study rec­om­mend­ed that BDF insti­tute a medi­um-term strate­gic plan­ning & man­age­ment sys­tem, uti­lize its strengths and accu­mu­lat­ed expe­ri­ence in future fundrais­ing, lay down a clear stake­hold­er long term and bal­anced part­ner­ships with local stake­hold­ers and empha­size its role as a devel­op­ment and change agent.

BDF focus for the next 12 months will there­fore focus on Nativ­i­ty Church Restora­tion Works, Social Char­i­ty Projects and area-wide Eco­nom­ic Devel­op­ment Projects, like Sol­id Waste Man­age­ment, Solar Street light­ing and Brand­ing Beth­le­hem in sup­port of the Min­istry of Tourism Clus­ter Strate­gic Plan.