Wednesday’s travels started with a visit to Mar Elias High School. This school is an intercultural school in I’bilin, an Arab village in Northern Israel. The founder Arch Bishop Elias Chacour has more than 1200 Muslim and Christian students in the Christian based school. Our group intermingled with the students in their classes and were able to learn more about their Palestinian culture and struggles. They were much like our high schoolers with their cell phones and after school activities.
We had a wonderful conservation with Elias Chacour for about two hours. He discussed his life story as an Israeli Arab Palestinian Christian. From being driven out of his homeland in 1947 to becoming a Greek Orthodox Priest. He has quite a story to tell, which you can read in his book “Blood Brothers.”
Our next stop was at a Fair Trade establishment called Sindyanna of Galilee. It is a female-led non-profit that actively promotes the concepts of “business for peace” and Fair Trade in Israel. Some of their products are olive oil, hand-woven baskets, olive-oil based soaps and much more. Jewish, Christian, and Muslim women all work together and share their cultures and experiences with each other. You can find their Organic Olive Oil in Whole Foods markets in the US.
Back to the hotel for a wonderful buffet dinner of local cuisine. It is a vegetarian’s delight!! Tomorrow takes us to Bir’im, the destroyed village of Elias Chacour’s childhood, Upper Galilee, Mount Carmel, and Caesarea Maritima.