16 July 2014
A worker at the Olive Branch Foundation puts the finishing touches on dove peace lamps.
(photo: Miriam Sushman)
Three years ago, we profiled a village in Palestine, where there was an unsual effort underway to promote peace:
Father Ra’ed’s greatest contribution has been the Olive Branch Foundation, a nonprofit he founded and runs. The business includes a small ceramics factory and most recently an olive press and machinery to make and package olive oil and olive–based soap and cosmetic products from locally grown olives.
The priest’s business endeavors began five years ago, when one day at church he displayed some of his handmade white ceramic lamps in the shape of doves. He filled them with locally produced olive oil, placed them near the altar and encouraged parishioners to light them and pray for peace. Delighted by the “peace” lamps, parishioners quickly spread the word to neighbors from other congregations, and in no time, residents inundated Father Ra’ed with requests for lamps of their own.
Seeing an opportunity to promote peace and generate income for the local community, Father Ra’ed intensified production, hiring a small team of local craftsmen, and began selling the lamps to faithful throughout the region and beyond.
“I use the lamp to put pressure on the heavens to make peace in the Holy Land,” says the priest.
So far, the foundation has produced and sold more than 80,000 lamps, “flying them,” as he says, “around the world like little birds until peace comes.”
Read more about Taybeh, “A Town Named ‘Good’,” in the July 2011 issue of ONE.
15 July 2014
Tags: Palestine Christianity Emigration
Elderly parents in India are increasingly left behind and alone when their
children emigrate overseas. (photo: Peter Lemieux)
Yesterday, our daily news summary noted the phenomenon of nurses leaving Kerala for better salaries abroad. It’s an issue we explored in ONE in 2008:
According to the Centre for Development Studies, women now make up 15 percent of all Keralite emigrants and about 28 percent of those emigrants are Christian — a significant increase from 25 years ago.
Nurses in Kerala generally earn less than $1,000 per month. In Delhi, salaries are double and in the Gulf states as much as 10 times that amount. Attracted by these salaries, tens of thousands of Keralite nurses have accepted employment elsewhere in India or overseas. Currently, about 40,000 Keralite nurses work in the Gulf and another 25,000 in Europe and North America.
And emigration, we found, is taking a toll:
Many economists have hailed the Kerala Phenomenon — the common term referring to Kerala’s unique development model that sacrifices industrial production and job growth for a generous social welfare system — for achieving near universal literacy, providing quality health care and promoting greater gender equality. However, if the troubling social trends that have manifested in recent years accurately reflect life in Kerala, it may not be long before experts coin another term: “Kerala Paradox.”
Current statistics indicate that among Keralites rates of alcoholism, depression, suicide, domestic violence and divorce have been spiraling upward. Today, Kerala boasts the highest per capita liquor consumption in India, a suicide rate three times the national average and, in the most recent study, a level of domestic violence that far eclipses the national average. And Kerala’s divorce rate has increased some 350 percent over the last decade. While tough to prove a cause-and-effect relationship between migration and these social ills, surmising one is not difficult.
Read more about Kerala’s Bittersweet Phenomenon in the September 2008 edition of ONE.
14 July 2014
Tags: India Kerala Emigration
An Israeli takes pictures with his mobile phone as a missile launched from the Gaza Strip is intercepted by an Israeli defense system on 10 July. (photo: CNS/Atef Safadi, EPA)
11 July 2014
A student attends a computer class at the Near East Council of Churches vocational center in Gaza City. To learn more about how Christian institutions help to sustain a beleaguered population, read Behind the Blockade, from the March 2012 issue of ONE. (photo: Eman Mohammed)
10 July 2014
Tags: Refugees Gaza Strip/West Bank Education Health Care Women (rights/issues)
A child holds a bowl of soup inside the Khazer camp on the outskirts of Irbil, Iraq, on 29 June. Thousands of Iraqi Christian and Muslim families remain trapped in the deadly crossfire. A simple donation, whatever you can give, will allow CNEWA to help scores of nuns, priests and lay workers care for these displaced innocents — Christian and non-Christian alike. Click the following links to make a generous donation to Iraq’s Christians and their neighbors, or to support CNEWA’s work worldwide. (photo: CNS/Stringer, Reuters)
9 July 2014
Tags: Iraq Iraqi Christians War Iraqi Refugees Relief
A Iraqi man looks into the nursery in Al Hayat, a 27-bed mother and child facility in Baghdad operated by the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena. To learn more about ways CNEWA has assisted Iraqi institutions like this hospital, read After the Storm, from the May-June 2003 issue of our magazine. To support this institution, click the image! (photo: Sherrlyn Borkgren)
8 July 2014
Tags: Iraq Children Sisters Health Care Nursing
A shepherd walks his flock out to graze in Deir Mimas village, in Lebanon. To read more about life in this region, read Rebuilding Southern Lebanon, from the November 2005 issue of ONE. (photo: Armineh Johannes)
7 July 2014
Tags: Lebanon Village life Farming/Agriculture
Bat-El Shmueli, an Ethiopian woman who has lived in Israel for more than two decades, works closely with the new Ethiopian community as a supervisor of the organization Ethiopian National Project in Haifa. Ms. Shmueli strives to build bridges between the Israeli and Ethiopian culture. She lives with her husband, a famous Israeli Sepahardic artist, in Ein Hod with their two children and her niece, who was orphaned in Ethiopia. To learn more about Ethiopian Jews in Israel, read Challenges for a Land of Immigrants, in the November 2008 issue of ONE. (photo: Ilene Perlman)
3 July 2014
Tags: Israel Immigration Multiculturalism Ethiopian Jews
Before moving to Jifna, a village in the West Bank 14 miles north of Jerusalem, the Rev. Firas Aridah was a pastor in the village of Aboud for six years. Over 1,600 acres of Aboud’s land were confiscated by the Israeli occupation for construction of two illegal settlements and a stretch of Israel’s separation wall. You can read more about forming priests in a land of conflict in the March 2011 issue of ONE. To learn more about Father Aridah, watch this video from our 2009 special feature on the priests of the regions CNEWA serves. (photo: Rich Wiles)
2 July 2014
Tags: Middle East Holy Land Israeli-Palestinian conflict Holy Land Christians Priests
Sister Najma chats with a patient visiting the clinic for a routine checkup at the Mother of Mercy Clinic in Zerqa, Jordan. The clinic is administered by the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena, an order of Iraqi nuns. Recently, ISIS extremists kidnapped two Iraqi Sisters of the Congregation of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate — Sister Atur and Sister Miskinta — along with three of the young charges of their foster home in Mosul. Please keep them in your prayers. To find out how you can help Iraq’s religious sisters, click here. (photo: Nader Daoud)
Tags: Iraq Children Violence against Christians Sisters Health Care