Mitri Raheb

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Mitri Raheb
MitriRaheb.jpg
Born Bethlehem, Palestinian Territory
Occupation President, Diyar Consortium
Pastor, Christmas Lutheran Church

Mitri Raheb (Arabic: متري الراهب‎) is a Palestinian Christian, the pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem (a member church of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, or ELCJHL), and the founder and president of the Diyar Consortium, a group of Lutheran-based, ecumenically-oriented institutions serving the Bethlehem area.

Background[edit]

Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem

Mitri Raheb was born in Bethlehem, in 1962. He pursued his higher education in Germany, first at Hermannsburg Mission Seminary (1980–1984) and then at Philipps University in Marburg, Germany (1984–1988), where he completed his graduate studies including a doctorate in theology. He returned to Bethlehem in 1988 to serve as the pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church (Christmas Lutheran Church), and serving as the managing editor of the Al-Liqa’ Journal for religious and heritage studies in the Holy Land (1992–1996).[1]

Since 1992, Raheb has founded and led a number of projects and institutions serving the social needs of Palestinians living in the Bethlehem area, focusing specifically on women, children, youth, and the elderly.[2]

He is one of the co-authors of Kairos Palestine document together with Patriarch Michel Sabah, Rev. Naim Ateeq, Rifat Kassis and others.

He currently lives in Bethlehem with his wife and two daughters.

Official Positions[edit]

  • 2011 - President of the Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan & The Holy Land
  • 2006 - Founder & President of Diyar Consortium
  • 2006 - Founder & President of Dar al-Kalima College
  • 2004 - Co-Founder & President of Bright Starts of Bethlehem
  • 1988 - Pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church, Bethlehem

Organizations[edit]

Beginning with the Abu Gubran Guest House and the Authentic Tourism Program in 1992, Raheb has founded a number of institutions serving the Bethlehem area.[3]

  • 1992: The Abu Gubran Guest House (Arabic: بيت الضيافة أبو جبران‎) and Authentic Tourism Program (now part of the ICB)
  • 1995: The International Center of Bethlehem (ICB, or Dar Annadwa Addawliyya (Arabic: دار الندوة الدولية‎))
  • 1998: The Dar Al-Kalima Model School (Arabic: مدرسة دار الكلمة النموذجية‎)
  • 1999: The Al-Kahf Gallery and Arts and Crafts Center (Arabic: مركز الكهف للفنون والحرف‎) (part of the ICB)
  • 2003: The Bethlehem Media Center (Diyar Media Productions)(Arabic: مركز بيت لحم للاعلام‎) (part of the ICB)
  • 2003: The Dar Al-Kalima Health & Wellness Center (Arabic: دار الكلمة للصحة المجتمعية‎)
  • 2003: The ad-Dar Cultural & Conference Center
  • 2004: The Il’illiyeh Restaurant & al-Kuz Coffee shop
  • 2006: The Dar Al-Kalima College (Arabic: كلية دار الكلمة‎)
  • 2006: The Diyar Consortium (Arabic: مجموعة ديار‎) (now comprising the ICB, the Health & Wellness Center, and the College)
  • 2010: The Dar al-Kalima College Building

The Diyar Consortium[edit]

The Diyar Consortium is an umbrella organization that is responsible for the administration of its component institutions: the ICB, the Dar Al-Kalima Health & Wellness Center, and the Dar Al-Kalima College. “Diyar” (Arabic: ديار‎) is the plural of “dar” (Arabic: دار‎), meaning “house” or “homeland” in Arabic. It is headed by its president, Raheb, who is responsible for the overall vision of the consortium and securing funds for continuous growth. The consortium is governed by a Board of Directors, whose members come from diverse religious and vocational backgrounds, and administered by an executive committee and three program committees (for health, culture, and education).[4]

The International Center of Bethlehem (Dar Annadwa Addawliyya)[edit]

The International Center of Bethlehem, or Dar Annadwa Addawliyya (Arabic: دار الندوة الدولية‎), meaning “The House of Worldwide Encounter”) is located in Madbasseh Square, in central Bethlehem, about half a mile (.8 km) from Manger Square.

A number of initiatives operate under the aegis of the ICB.[5] These include:

  • The Ad-Dar Cultural and Conference Center
  • The Al-Kahf Gallery and Arts & Crafts Center (independently, and in cooperation with the Dar Al-Kalima College)
  • The Bethlehem Media Center (independently, and in conjunction with the Dar Al-Kalima College)
  • The Bright Stars Program (in cooperation with the Dar Al-Kalima Model School)
  • The Abu Gubran Guest House and the Authentic Tourism Program
  • The Il’Iliyeh Restaurant and Al-Kuz Bar & Café
  • The Ajyal (“Generations”, Arabic: أجيال) community care program for the elderly
  • The Azwaj (“Couples”, Arabic: أزواج) group for young couples and families
  • The “Palestinian Christians: Strengthening Identity, Activating Potential” Project (headed by Rifat Odeh Kassis)

The ICB complex comprises the old Lutheran School building, the former church offices, and three other buildings. The Ad-Dar Cultural and Conference Center and other modern parts of the building were designed by Finnish architect Juha Leiviskä.[6] The ICB complex sustained significant damage when it was occupied for 3 days by the Israeli army during the siege of Bethlehem in April 2002. Reconstruction and restoration costs totaled more than US$500,000.[7]

The Dar Al-Kalima Model School[edit]

The Dar Al-Kalima Model School (Arabic: مدرسة دار الكلمة النموذجية‎), meaning “The House of the Word”) is located on the hilltop Mt. Murair campus and serves students in grades K-12. The school is coeducational and Lutheran-based, serving both Christian and Muslim students from the towns, villages, and refugee camps of the Bethlehem area.[8] The Extra-Curricular Program after school offers students the opportunity to receive instruction in their specific, chosen areas of interest from professionals in those fields.[9] The Bright Stars program (run through the ICB) is similar to the ECP program, but it meets once a week and is open to children who attend schools other than Dar Al-Kalima.[10]

The Dar al-Kalima Complex

The Dar Al-Kalima Health & Wellness Center[edit]

The Health & Wellness Center is also located on the hilltop Mt. Murair campus, on the ground level of the building that houses the Dar Al-Kalima Model School. It houses health clinics (audiology, nutrition, endocrinology, cardiology, and psychotherapy) as well as fitness facilities and programming, including a swimming pool and sauna, yoga and aerobics classes, and exercise machines.[11] The aims of the Health & Wellness Center are prevention through promotion of healthy lifestyles, and providing specialist care not available elsewhere in the southern West Bank.[12]

The Dar Al-Kalima College[edit]

The College began operating in 2006 from the ICB complex in Madbasseh Square, offering diploma courses in documentary film-making and glass and ceramic art. The College received accreditation in 2007 from the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education for Bachelor’s degree programs in contemporary fine art, multimedia and tourism studies.[13]

Publications[edit]

Raheb has written 13 books and numerous articles on issues relating to interfaith dialogue, social transformation, contextual theology, and culture, many of them available in over 10 languages, including Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Swedish, Finnish, Danish, Norwegian, English, German, and Arabic.[14]

  • Mitri Raheb, The Invention of History: A Century of Interplay between Theology and Politics in Palestine, (Bethlehem: Diyar Publisher 2011).
  • Id., Qass Collings, Rifat Odeh, Palestinian Christians: Facts, Figures and Trends, (Bethlehem: Diyar Publisher 2008).
  • Id., God’s Reign and People’s Rule, (Berlin: Aphorisma 2007).
  • Id., Bethlehem hinter Mauern, (Guetersloh: Guetersloher Verlaghouse 2005).
  • Id., Bethlehem Besieged, (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress 2004).
  • Id.; Fred Strickert, Bethlehem 2000 - Past and Present, (Heidelberg: Palmyra Verlag 1998).
  • id.; Fred Strickert, Bethlehem 2000 – Mehr als Stern und Stall, (Heidelberg: Palmyra Verlag 1998).
  • Id., I am a Palestinian Christian, (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress 1995).
  • Id., Ulrike Bechman (ed.), Verwurzelt im Heiligen Land, (Hamburg: Knecht Verlag 1995).
  • Id., Ich bin Christ und Palaestinenser. Israel, seine Nachbarn und die Bibel, (Guetersloh: Guetersloher Verlaghouse 1994).
  • Id., Das reformatorische Erbe unter den Palaestinensern: zur Enstehung der Evangelisch-Lutherischen Kirche in Jordanien, (Guetersloh: Guetersloher Verlaghouse 1990).
  • متري الراهب وآخرون، كريمة عبود : رائدة التصوير النسوي في فلسطين 1893-1940، (بيت لحم: ديار للنشر 2011
  • متري الراهب، الدين والدولة، (بيت لحم: ديار للنشر 2011

Awards[edit]

Raheb's work has been recognized by the Luther Institute in Washington, DC (Wittenberg Award, 2003), Concordia University in River Forest, IL, USA (Honorary Doctor of Letters, 2003), Spirituality and Health Magazine (50 Best Spiritual Books of 2004 for Bethlehem Besieged: Stories of Home in Times of Trouble), and the Central Islamic Archive Institute (Mohammed Nafi Tschleibi International Peace Award, 2006).[15] In 2008, he was awarded the Aachen Peace Award.[16]

Press[edit]

Raheb’s work has attracted attention from major media networks, including the BBC,[17][18] ABC,[19] and HBO,[20][21] and has been featured in publications such as the Washington Post,[22] the Economist, Newsweek, the New York Times and the Boston Globe.[23] He has also been interviewed by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation,[24][25] CNN and CBS.[26]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mitri's Short Bio". Retrieved 2007-12-27. [dead link]
  2. ^ "ICB 2006 Annual Report" (PDF). The International Center of Bethlehem. Retrieved 2007-12-27. 
  3. ^ "ICB History". Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  4. ^ "ICB 2006 Annual Report" (PDF). The International Center of Bethlehem. Retrieved 2007-12-27. 
  5. ^ "International Center of Bethlehem - Home". Retrieved 2007-12-27. 
  6. ^ "Addar Cultural & Conference Center". Retrieved 2007-12-27. 
  7. ^ Raheb, Mitri (2004). Bethlehem Besieged: Stories of Hope in Times of Trouble. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress. ISBN 0-8006-3653-8. 
  8. ^ "Dar Al-Kalima School". Retrieved 2007-12-27. 
  9. ^ "Dar Al-Kalima School". Retrieved 2007-12-27. 
  10. ^ "Bright Stars children & youth programs". Retrieved 2007-12-27. 
  11. ^ "ICB 2006 Annual Report" (PDF). The International Center of Bethlehem. Retrieved 2007-12-27. 
  12. ^ "Dar Al-Kalima Health & Wellness Center". Retrieved 2007-12-27. 
  13. ^ "Dar Al-Kalima College - Academic Programs". Archived from the original on 2007-07-03. Retrieved 2007-12-27. 
  14. ^ "Mitri Raheb". Retrieved 2007-12-27. [dead link]
  15. ^ "Mitri's Short Bio". Retrieved 2007-12-27. [dead link]
  16. ^ "Aachener Friedenspreis 2008 goes to Dr. Mitri Raheb (German)". Retrieved 2008-06-04. [dead link]
  17. ^ Adams, Paul (2000-03-21). "Holy Land's Christians Under Pressure". Middle East. BBC News. Retrieved 2007-12-27. 
  18. ^ Leyne, Jon (2006-03-20). "Wall Squeezes Bethlehem Christians". Middle East. BBC News. Retrieved 2007-12-27. 
  19. ^ "Bethlehem Pastor Tells ABC News That War Won't Work". 2002-04-12. Retrieved 2007-12-27. 
  20. ^ "Press Release: To Die In Jerusalem Premieres November 1 on HBO". Retrieved 2007-12-27. 
  21. ^ Jensen, Elizabeth (2007-10-24). "Grieving Mothers on 2 Sides of a Suicide Bombing". Arts. The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-12-27. 
  22. ^ Lyon, Alistair (2007-03-12). "Misery Tempts Palestinian Christians to Flee". The Washington Post (original link broken as of 2007-12-27). Retrieved 2007-12-27. 
  23. ^ "Mitri's Short Bio". Retrieved 2007-12-27. [dead link]
  24. ^ Brown, Matt (2006-12-21). "Conflict overshadows Bethlehem pilgrims". The 7:30 Report. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2007-12-27. 
  25. ^ Willacy, Mark (2004-04-12). "Palestinian Christians barred from Easter pilgrimage". AM. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2007-12-27. 
  26. ^ "Mitri's Short Bio". Retrieved 2007-12-27. [dead link]

External links[edit]