A Palestinian family reacts after Israeli bulldozers demolished their home in the Arab East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina, Feb. 5, 2013. (AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
Newly elected Israeli Knesset member Yair Lapid (l), leader of the Yesh Atid party, speaks to Naftali Bennett, head of the hard-line national religious party the Jewish Home, during a Feb. 5 reception in Jerusalem marking the opening of the 19th Knesset. (URIEL SINAI/GETTY IMAGES)
Richard Curtiss at work in his Washington Report office. (STAFF PHOTO D. HANLEY)
Then-Vice President Dick Cheney (l) and Likud chairman Benyamin Netanyahu, out of office at the time and serving as the official Israeli opposition leader, at a March 23, 2008 breakfast meeting at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. (PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
Philippine President Benigno Aquino III (r) shares candies with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chief Murad Ebrahim during a Feb. 11 visit to the rebels’ stronghold in Sultan Kudarat on the island of Mindanao. (KARLOS MANLUPIG/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
Emad Burnat views his five broken cameras in his documentary of the same name. (PHOTO COURTESY KINO LORBER)
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, December 2008, pages 63-64
Music & Arts
Palestinian Evangelical Pastor Discusses Family History
Reverend Alex Awad said his mother, Huda, inspired everyone who knew her (Photo B. Awad).
REV. ALEX Awad spoke about his book, Palestinian Memories: The Story of a Palestinian Mother and Her People (available through the AET Book Club), at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC on Sept. 12. Awad’s book is both a fascinating history of his family from the early 1900s to the present day and an informative, accessible guide to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a Palestinian evangelical Christian perspective. Awad, currently pastor at an inter-denominational church in East Jerusalem, also is dean of students at Bethlehem Bible College, Palestine’s only evangelical Christian institute of higher learning.
As Awad made clear in his talk, the central character of his family history is his mother, Huda Awad, who died in 2006. She was an example of strength, perseverance and love that inspired her children and many others as well.
During the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, Jerusalem was under attack. One of its innocent victims was Huda’s husband and father of their seven children, Elias Awad. The family was forced to leave their West Jerusalem home in the Musrara neighborhood and flee to the Old City in East Jerusalem. They never returned to their original home, which is now part of a completely Jewish-Israeli neighborhood. Palestinian Memories describes how Huda and her family survived during those desperate times and how her children continue to find strength from her inspiration today.
“Like all other Palestinians,” Awad noted, “we Christian Palestinians suffered during the war and we suffered under Israeli occupation. But mother always told us to forgive and to love our enemies.”
It is clear, however, that far from being complacent and forgiving, Awad and his siblings are passionate and resolute advocates of a just peace in Palestine-Israel.
Awad summarized the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in his customarily brief yet powerful fashion. He was accompanied by his brother, Dr. Mubarak Awad, one of the original leaders of Palestinian active nonviolent resistance against Israeli occupation. Together, they provided attendees an informative and thought-provoking discussion of peace in the Holy Land.