Peace through Personal Transformation in Bethlehem

In this Christmas Eve broadcast, Sami Awad, founder of the Holy Land Trust, talks from Bethlehem about conditions in Bethlehem, what this year’s Christmas looks like there, community life and the ongoing work of the Holy Land Trust in fostering peace. Established in 1998 during a time when many were hopeful that the Oslo Accords would result in peace and an independent Palestinian state, the Holy Land Trust was begun by Awad with the aim of supplementing and strengthening  what was going on in negotiations by building peace at the community level. Awad is candid about the shortcomings of the peace process and the misunderstanding many people held then and now that negotiations is peace. Negotiations is negotiations, he says, and both sides during the Oslo peace process were negotiating position rather than peace.The Palestinian NGO he founded tries to building understanding and respect between Israelis and Palestinians by bringing them together to share the pain they have personally suffered and to grow in empathy. The NGO is committed to non-violence, healing the collective trauma suffered by both Israelis and Palestinians, and transformation, particularly through the development of visionary leaders for the future who can respect the past but move beyond it.



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