Nazareth : The Chamber of Commerce launches the “Lanterns of Jerusalem”
NAZARETH- On 1 August 2015 the Chamber of Commerce of Nazareth and the Jerusalem Fund launched jointly an initiative “Lanterns of Jerusalem” meant to save the Holy City.
Amer Saleh, Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, had invited a number of religious figures, businessmen from Galilaea, to a meeting at the offices of “Radio al Shams” in Kfar Horesh (Nazareth) to welcome the visit of the Mufti of Jerusalem and leading figures of Jerusalem Fund, in order to examine together the possibility of promoting the initiative “Lanterns of Jerusalem” in the Arab sector of Israel.
This initiative came out from Jerusalem during the last Ramadan , born of the need to react to the increasingly rampant “judaisation” of Jerusalem, and the progressive loss of the Palestinian presence and influence. It is perhaps the first religious unity encounter of this kind held among Palestinians from either side of the “green line”.
Among the attendants were several figures, including the Mayor of Nazareth Ali Sallam and his aides ; of Shefaamer Amin Einabtawi ; head of the committee of coordination of Arab Affairs Mohammad Zidan. There were religious figures including Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Ekrama Sabri, Mufti emeritus ; Mohamad Natour, Judge at the Islamic Court of Appeal ; Sheikh Samir al Assi, of Akka Al Jazzar Mosque ; Mgr Michel Sabbah, Latin Patriarch Emeritus of Jerusalem ; Mgr Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Israel. There were also intellectuals including Imad Abu Kishek, head of Al Quds University, vice chairman of Jerusalem Fund ; Khaled Al Zo’bi, secretary of the Syndicate of Lawyers of the Arab sector ; Knesset members Zuheir Bahlul and Jamal Zahalqa. Munib al Masri, promoter of Lanterns of Jerusalem, could not attend because of health reasons.
As guests of Suheil Karram, head of Park and Radio al Shams, and jointly with Prof. Muaffaq Tarif, several figures addressed the attendance: Iskandar Haddad, Jamal Hassun, Taher Qdeis and Ahmad Rweidhi. Exchange of opinions was lively and enriching. Different aspects of the reality of Jerusalem were brought up, as well as the bottomline of the initiative of Lanterns of Jerusalem. Interestingly, almost all participants avoided laying emphasis on the financial aspect, but rather on the social and human dimension of unity and belonging to the community, to Jerusalem, and on the fact that “the battle is not lost”.
A local 5-man committee of follow-up was set up : Amer Saleh, Ahmad Natur, Iskandar Haddad, Samir al Assi and Khaled Zo’bi. He will collaborate with the Jerusalem Fund and the Chamber of Commerce of Nazareth to promote in Galilaea the initiative “Lanterns of Jerusalem”.
Text of our correspondent of Galilaea. Photos : K.P.