[saymaListserv] from 2 Middle East Meetings

Quakerkristi at aol.com Quakerkristi at aol.com
Tue Aug 29 17:51:51 JEST 2006


To Friends Everywhere
August 2006
 
Dear Friends 
 
In these extremely turbulent times in the Middle East, the sad news that 
Middle East Yearly Meeting has been cancelled is hardly surprising. It was to have 
been an important gathering for Friends from the two monthly meetings, 
Ramallah and Brummana, and other international visitors, on the theme: Leading the 
Middle East to a Lasting Peace. The meeting was to have taken place in 
Brummana, Lebanon, from 7 to 10 September 2006. 
 
We share with you (on page 2) a letter from Tony Manasseh of Brummana Monthly 
Meeting. We also wish to suggest to Friends world-wide that on 10 September 
we all join in holding the Middle East Friends in the light, thanking God for 
their continuing fortitude and witness and praying that ways will open for the 
Middle East to be led to a lasting Peace.
 
Below are some contact details for those who wish to find out more or donate 
money. 
 
Peace, Shalom, Salaam
 
Marit Kromberg, Clerk
Bronwyn Harwood, Executive Secretary
 
NOTE
You can send messages for Friends in the Middle East to meym at fwcc.quaker.org 
for forwarding
 
 
Funds are not being collected for specific Quaker relief work by Middle East 
Friends. Brummana Friends suggest that donations should be made to any of the 
reputable major charities working in the field. 
 
Donations to Friends Schools in both Brummana and Ramallah are always welcome 
and help them to continue their important contribution to education in the 
region. 
 
Brummana High School                      Principal: Dr Walid Khouri          
           http//:www.bhs.edu.lb 
Donations can be made to: The Quaker International Educational Trust (QuIET) 
which is a charitable company registered in England and Wales. Contact for 
further information: brianmorphy at hvmail.co.uk
 
Friends Schools, Ramallah                 Director: Joyce Ajlouni             
             http://www.palfriends.org
Donations can be made to Global Ministries, Friends United Meeting:           
        http://www.fum.org 
 
The Friends International Centre Ramallah in partnership with Ramallah 
Monthly Meeting is seeking to serve the cause of peace and justice in the region. 
It is in need of financial support now.                                       
               http//:www.Ramallah.quaker.org
 
American Friends Service Committee is responding to the developing 
humanitarian and political crisis in Gaza, Lebanon, Israel, and the West Bank with a 
crisis fund. 
For articles, campaigns and details of how to contribute                      
                 http://www.afsc.org/
 
August 2006
 
>From the midst of great suffering and unfairness, from the land of 
destruction and death, voices of hope and love still emerge. These are the voices of 
reason and humanity that the world will always need and cherish. Be sure love and 
peace will always win and finally reign. We need to work harder to make this 
happen. 
 
We are sorry that our long awaited Middle East Gathering or Yearly Meeting 
has been postponed. The untimely war that took Lebanon, the Lebanese and many 
others by surprise has been enough reason not only to postpone our YM but also 
to change the face of the Middle East. The coming uncertainty will surely have 
a big impact on future events. 
 
Ramallah and Brummana have been two sister meetings since the late 1800s. 
They have both contributed enormously to the fine education of Middle Eastern 
youth and contributed to the bringing together of global east and west through 
their schools and f(F)riends meetings. All that has happened with little means 
and sometimes under antagonistic forces. Yet we made it with pride and success. 
Thanks to our wide and diverse body of old scholars from both schools, our 
words of loving Peace, Friendship and that of God in everyone, continue to 
spread in our area. But that is not enough. We need to continue with more 
collaboration and inclusiveness. 
 
In the fifty years that I remember, Ramallah and Brummana Friends met 4 
times. Rarely to discuss common business, but rather as a world gathering to foster 
our international belongingness to the wider family of Friends. Why? Because 
our area had always been a conflict zone and our Quaker beliefs were daily 
tested by, and jeopardized by, the current events of the area. Since the 1950s 
our Meetings had begun to dwindle in numbers for that reason. Yet we go on. For 
how long? It all depends. 
 
It depends on whether we can still spread the words of love and peace. 
Whether our schools can survive the destruction of war, the  new / old emerging 
culture of martyrdom and death; the double standards that we are subjected to. It 
also depends on the support we get from our wider Quaker family. It depends on 
whether our wider family can be more active in the international arena and 
the United Nations. 
 
The East West cultural gap needs to be bridged. Scholars and academicians 
have to work harder than politicians to find the way forward. There is an 
emerging Arab populace that is dissatisfied with the double standards of the west and 
with their leaders who have embraced the "unfair" west. Only logical and 
peaceful solutions can be accepted. There should be no more suppression and no 
more bullying. Lebanon and Gaza continue to pay the price for that. The 
destruction and death that has befallen these two peoples is colossal. Their reaction, 
if coupled with extremist Islamic groups, is world threatening. We need to 
remedy that through help, real help, practical and comprehensive. Israel has to 
understand that brutality cannot and will not curb Arab enthusiasm. She needs 
to be more compassionate and attractive to her Arab neighbors. Israel’s actions 
since the 50s have not gained her Arabs friends but only enemies and some 
ferocious suicidal ones at that. 
 
Immediate relief to Lebanon can be in any form. All international aid 
agencies are doing good work given the embargo and blockade. Contributions should be 
made to agencies that have a high ratio of real aid and low overhead expenses  
-  usually indicated in their websites. 
 
 
Tony Manasseh
Brummana, August 2006
 
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