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Greetings from the Chair

December 20, 2022

Dear Canadian Friends of Sabeel,

Though we have had dim times during the pandemic, your support and your donations have enabled Canadian Friends of Sabeel (CFOS) to keep shining through. In fact, I am proud to confirm that we have strengthened our existing programs and have implemented new ones.

Here are some highlights of the past year:

  • In January, we organized the James Graff Memorial Lecture. It enabled us to shine a light on the similarities of Settler-Colonialism, Resistance, and Solidarity between Turtle-Island and Palestine.
  • In April we brightened up our screens with an innovative virtual comprehensive tour of the Mount of Olives.
  • Also in April, we enabled our Christian values of justice, peace, and solidarity to glow by supporting the Just Peace Task Group Report that brought forth important principles for the United Church of Canada to consider for their social justice work related to Palestinian freedom, rights and equality.
  • In November we were delighted to offer the Naim Ateek Anglican Delegation Program, as partnership between Canadian Friends of Sabeel and Sabeel Jerusalem. This program offers active clergy and specified staff in the Diocese of Toronto a ten-day tour of the Holy Land. This educational program involves learning and preparation before and during the tour and opportunities to share learnings within the Diocese of Toronto after the tour.
  • We continued to offer Canadian clergy a collection of valuable virtual liturgical resources that centered Palestinian voices.
  • We held and/or facilitated several webinars with Palestinian and international experts on timely topics
  • We continued to collaborate with several Canadian partners, churches and church-related organizations to advance knowledge and skills needed to advance our shared vision and Christian values and principles of non-violence, justice, peace, solidarity and reconciliation.

Towards the end of the year, we bade farewell to our Executive Director, Yara Shoufani who has done an exceptional job in supporting CFOS efforts through the challenges of the past years. But Yara does not leave us in the dark; she has passed the torch to Rana Atie who represents exciting new beginnings to look forward to.

We wish to see our light shine consistently and brighter as we empower the Canadian Christian community. We would like to elevate and center authentic Palestinian voices as we advocate for them. We hope to offer transformative educational experiences that will energise the Canadian Christian community and our partners as we pursue a durable peace – rooted in justice, freedom, equal rights, and the principles of nonviolence – for all Palestinians and Israelis.

The only way we can keep our light bright and strong is with your support. Your tax-deductible financial contributions will keep us moving forward as Christians who believe that the truth will always shine through for justice and peace to prevail.

May you be blessed this Christmas Season, in health and in joy; and may the New Year bring you hope and happiness,

Palestinian Refugees

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