14 November 2012
Cristian Atkinson Abutridy, whose background is Palestinian, celebrates his nephew’s birthday in a Palestinian restaurant in Santiago, Chile in October 2011. (photo: Tomas Munita)
Did you know that Chile is home to the world’s largest Palestinian community outside the Middle East? From the July issue of ONE, Aaron Nelson writes:
The estimated number ranges from 450,000 to a half million. Most are Christians who either hail from or trace their lineage back to the towns of Beit Jala, Beit Sahour and Bethlehem.
The first wave of Palestinians arrived after the Ottoman Turkish government, which then controlled much of the Middle East, allowed emigration in 1896. These early immigrants held Turkish passports; still today, turcos (Spanish for “Turks”) remains a common derogatory term for Arabs in Chile.
Large numbers also migrated to Chile during World War I and, later, when the 1948 war in Palestine erupted. Mass immigration from Palestine then slowed to a trickle in the second half of the 20th century.
During the same period, however, the Chilean government granted asylum to numerous Palestinian refugees. Most recently, in April 2008, it resettled 117 Palestinians — all Sunni Muslim — from the Al-Waleed refugee camp in Iraq, near the Syrian border.
For the first Palestinians, life in Chile was bittersweet. Acceptance in society did not come easily. At the time, native-born Chileans often discriminated against immigrants, particularly those from areas of the world other than northern and Central Europe.
Nevertheless, they flourished in their adopted country. The new arrivals quickly found their way in the workforce as craftspeople, farmers and merchants. By the early 20th century, dozens of Arabic-language newspapers circulated and numerous Arab social clubs were established.
“Family and faith were central to the identity of the immigrants,” says Professor Eugenio Chahuan, codirector of the University of Chile’s Center for Arabic Studies.
To learn more about the Palestinian community in Chile, read the full article, Yo Soy Palestino, in the July 2012 issue of ONE magazine.
13 November 2012
Tags: Palestine Chile
Boys play with old tires in "the field," a squatters camp on land where a sports stadium is set to be built. (photo: Peter Lemieux)
In our September 2003 issue, contributor Peter Lemieux reported on struggle and joy in Ethiopia. Of the above picture, captured in the course of his reporting, he had this to say:
An area of wasteland in the Bole section of Addis Ababa, “the field” had long been designated by the government as the site for a future sports stadium. Squatters have lived on the grounds for more than 10 years, having migrated from the countryside to the city in search of a better life. Their dreams have not been realized. Most of the villagers are unemployed and have nothing more than huts scrapped together from trash and mud to show for their efforts. Some mothers even resort to renting their baby to beggars for a pittance [to help them win sympathy]. Yet ironically, even though many living in the field are beggars, they are still willing to give to a beggar. …
“The field” is adjacent to the Bethlehem Day Care, a program run by the Good Shepherd Sisters. The Day Care Center this year alone is enrolling more than 160 children in the CNEWA needy child program — many of whom live in “the field.”
To read more — and view more photos — check out A Flicker of Candlelight Amid the Darkness.
9 November 2012
Tags: Ethiopia Children Sisters Health Care Poor/Poverty
Two members of a folk group, Kecera, sing traditional songs at a seniors’ club in
Jakubany, Slovakia. (photo: Andrej Bán.)
In late 2008, ONE contributor Jacqueline Ruyak visited the Slovakian village of Jakubany and wrote about life in this Rusyn Greek Catholic village for the January 2009 issue of ONE.
Jakubany has a rich cultural heritage, including distinctive folklore, music, dance and dress. Villagers developed traditions in relation to their deep, historical relationship with the forests, pastures and mountains that surround the community.
To read more, and see more images from this lovely village, check out the full article!
8 November 2012
Tags: Slovakia Ruysn
In this 2007 image, students learn stitching skills at the Thalayolaparambu School and Home for the Deaf and Blind in Kerala, operated by the Assisi Sisters of Mary Immaculate.
(Photo: Christian Molidor)
In 2007, Sister Christian Molidor traveled to southern India, where she visited the Thalayolaparambu School and Home for the Deaf and Blind in Kottayam, Kerala. Two of the other institutions she visited were profiled in ONE magazine: Anugraha Sadan (House of Blessings) in Trichur (also in Kerala) and Jyothi Hospital in the nearby state of Karnataka.
7 November 2012
Tags: India Kerala
A worker and young visitor begin olive processing. (photo: John E. Kozar)
Last December, Monsignor John Kozar visited olive processing mill in Kobayat, Lebanon during his pastoral visit to the Middle East. You can read about his visit to this mill and other sites in Lebanon in his blog post:
Our first stop…was the olive processing mill that was running at full tilt, even though the olive season has just about ended. We were warmly greeted by the president of the cooperative association that oversees the pooled efforts of hundreds of farmers as well as by friends and coworkers.
As the machinery hummed along, our hosts took us on a simple tour. They demonstrated how bags of olives brought in from outlying farms were sent through a series of machines and ended up a high quality olive oil. Needless to say, we had to each try a sample of the work.
Check out more on his Journey to the Holy Land.
6 November 2012
Tags: Lebanon CNEWA Msgr. John E. Kozar Maronite Catholic
Children drink water from a well at their school in Kunkuri, Madhya Pradesh, India. (photo: Sean Sprague)
We’ve reported extensively on efforts to bring clean drinking water to people in CNEWA’s world. You can learn more in Rain Rich, Water Poor, and discover more about Madhya Pradesh in the September 1996 article Sons and Daughters of the Land.
5 November 2012
Tags: India CNEWA Farming/Agriculture Water
In this 2004 image, Bishop Tawadros speaks to children in his museum of Christianity in El-Karma Center, King Mariout, Alexandria. (photo: Sean Sprague)
Since the passing of Pope Shenouda III in March, the question of succession has commanded much of the attention of the Coptic Orthodox Church. As reported in today’s Page One post, the long period of uncertainty has finally reached an end. The election process is complete, and as of 18 November, Pope Tawadros II will be installed as the new patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa.
Upon hearing the news, Pope Benedict XVI sent a message of expressing his congratulations and high hopes:
I was filled with joy on learning of your election as pope of Alexandria and patriarch of the See of Saint Mark, and I gladly extend to you and to the clergy and faithful of the Coptic Orthodox Church my good wishes and prayerful solidarity, asking the Lord to pour out his abundant blessings upon the lofty ministry you are about to assume. I am confident that, like your renowned predecessor Pope Shenouda III, you will be a genuine spiritual father for your people and an effective partner with all your fellow-citizens in building the new Egypt in peace and harmony, serving the common good and the good of the entire Middle East. In these challenging times it is important for all Christians to bear witness to the love and fellowship that binds them together, mindful of the prayer offered by our Lord at the Last Supper: that all may be one, so that the world may believe (cf. Jn 17:21).
To read the full statement, visit the Vatican Radio site. To read about some of the fine work Pope Tawadros II pursued as bishop, check out Sean Sprague’s Oasis of Hope, from the April 2004 issue of ONE.
26 October 2012
Tags: Pope Benedict XVI Patriarchs Coptic Orthodox Church Egypt's Christians Egypt's Bishops
A man tosses seeds in the market of Qaraqosh. (photo: Safin Hamed/Metrography)
In the November 2011 issue of ONE, Namo Abdulla filled us in on the new lives that Iraqi’s persecuted Christians are making in northern Kurdish regions. As reported in the pages of ONE:
Since 2003, Iraqi Christians have found unlikely allies among their Kurdish compatriots. As tens of thousands of Christians flooded Kurdistan in search of refuge, local residents and Kurdish authorities have for the most part warmly welcomed them. A number of Christians also hold important offices in Kurdistan’s government. And among Iraqi leaders from other ethnic and religious communities, only Kurds have ever indicated support for a semiautonomous Christian region.
“Kurds and Christians are on the same side,” says Mr. Hakari. “Relations between Christians and Kurds have improved as much as the distance between the sky and earth.”
To read more about how Christians are adapting to life in Kurdistan, click here.
25 October 2012
Tags: Iraqi Christians Christian
Two generations in western Ukraine work together to harvest one of fall's most beloved crops. (photo: Petro Didula)
As reported by Mariya Tytarenko in the March 2011 issue of ONE, the villages of Ukraine dwindle in population as younger generations move away to find opportunities elsewhere:
In Yakymiv, 25 houses languish, abandoned to the elements by their owners who have either moved away or died. Of the 100 or so occupied houses, about 10 are home to young families. The elderly, mostly widows or widowers, live in the rest.
While the region boasts a nursing home, only two women from the village council reside there.
“If those seniors had relatives, they would not have been sent there,” explains Ms. Batyiovska.
As council president, she oversees the process by which elderly residents enter the nursing home. The individual must consent and the council must provide a written intervention. In general, the elderly in rural Ukraine prefer to stay in their homes, even when they receive little or no family support.
Eighty-one-year-old Natalya Palykh-Tomkiv is one such widow. In 1996, her husband, Yosyp, died. And, in 2006, she lost her daughter. She now lives alone in the family home, ambling about her vegetable garden and shuffling to church as often as she can. Most days, the radio keeps her company, which she listens to full blast all day long. She also stays in touch with her granddaughter, named Natalya after her, who teaches English in Lviv. The two speak to each other regularly, and Mrs. Palykh-Tomkiv always keeps her mobile phone close at hand.
To read more about Ukraine’s villages, check out the article here.
24 October 2012
Tags: Ukraine Village life Caring for the Elderly
Syrian children who fled the violence in Homs, Syria, sit outside a tent in the hillside town of Arsal, Lebanon. (photo: CNS/Mohamed Azakir, Reuters)
The refugee crisis in Syria continues to grow. This week, CNEWA’s regional director for Lebanon, Syria and Egypt, Issam Bishara, filed a report that helps explain the impact of this crisis:
As of 30 September 2012, the United Nations has estimated that 300,000 Syrians have fled to neighboring countries, while a further 1.5 million Syrians have fled their homes to find refuge in other towns and districts within Syria.
Accordingly, Christians have taken the same course to save their lives, but none of the Christian displaced families have fled to a refugee camp either in Turkey or in Jordan. Some of them have found temporary havens among families and communities, both within Syria and Lebanon, with whom they have cross-border connections and shared histories. However, as the host families’ ability to host becomes strained and refugees can no longer afford even the most basic rents, they will become more visible as a refugee population in need of immediate aid.
Read the full report here.
Tags: Syria Lebanon Refugees Syrian Civil War Refugee Camps