dabdoub.ps (The Bethlehem Chronicle)

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March 1986

March 13:  A fire broke out in the shop of Ahmad Husein al Azzeh at al Azzeh refugee camp in Bethlehem causing little damage to the plastic household items shop and its contents with no reported injuries.  The Bethlehem fire brigade investigated the site reported that the arson was due to children playing with fire inside the shop.

March 14:  The third annual three-day National Products Fair, organized by the Faculty of Business Administration, was inaugurated at Bethlehem University

March 22:  The municipality of Beit Jala started paving main streets in the city, mainly the street in front of Talitha Kumi School as well as the Dheisheh street connecting the main street with Wad Harios.


March 2005

March 11:  The amount of rain that fell on Bethlehem during the winter season of 2004 and up to march 11, 2005 was 513 millimeters.

December 2005

December 20-27:  The Christmas Market on Start Street was organized by the Center of Cultural Heritage Preservation (CCHP) in cooperation with Bethlehem Municipality


March 2006

March 9:  Cardinal Theodore McCark, The Washington Cardinal, visited Bethlehem yesterday, accompanied by the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Middle East and Africa Regional Manager Mr. Mark Schnelbeicher, and the Catholic Relief Services Palestinian Representative Mr. Thomas Garafalo.  The visit included the Kindergarten section of the Frere's de La Salle School (funded by the CRS) and the Arab Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ) directed by Dr. Jad Is-haq.  The visit was later followed by a lunch hosted by the Frere's school Principal Dr. Michel Sansour and, in addition to the visiting group, attended by the CEO of Open Bethlehem Ms. Leila Sansour and the Bethlehem Office Director of Open Bethlehem Ms. Carol Dabdoub (see picture below).

From left to right: Leila Sansour (CEO of Open Bethlehem), Cardinal Theodore McCark
(Cardinal of Washington), Carol Dabdoub
(Bethlehem Office Director of Open Bethlehem)

March 11:  The amount of rain that fell on Bethlehem during the winter season of 2005 and up to march 11, 2006 was 450 millimeters compared to 513 millimeters the amount of rain that fell during the same period of the previous year.

March 12:  The Governor of Bethlehem Mr. Salah Al Ta'mari issued an administrative order by which hunting of any kind and sort is strictly prohibited in the Bethlehem district.  This order came in an attempt to preserve the natural wildlife in the district.

March 16:  H. E. the Turkish Ambassador in Jerusalem Dr. Argan Ozer paid a visit to the municipality of Beit Jala where he was met by the Mayor of Beit Jala Eng. Raji Zeidan and the municipal council.  During the visit, Dr. Ozer was briefed on the various development projects in Beit Jala as well as on the land confiscations being forced by the Israeli occupying forces on the citizens of Beit Jala and totaling to-date over 7,200 Dunums (7.2 million square meters).  At the end of the visit, Dr. Ozer promised to continue his efforts to create a twin-ship between Beit Jala and the Turkish city of Dembreh, the birthplace of St. Nicolaos (Patron Saint of Beit Jala).

March 18: At around 20:15, unidentified arsonists started a fire in parts of a furniture factory belonging to Mr. Sharbel Handal in Khalyel Al-Loz to the south of Bethlehem.  The fire brigade, headed by Mr. Ibrahim Ayesh, managed to extinguish the fire after two hours of fighting with the flames, after which Bethlehem Governor Salah Al Ta'mari visited the site and ordered an immediate chase after the arsonists.

April 2006

April 18:  The village of Housan (west of Bethlehem) inaugurated the Mus'ab Bin Amir Mosque.  The cost of the mosque exceeded NIS 1.86 million (US$ 413,000) and was built over a period of 15 months.  In addition to the praying area, the two-storey mosque comprises of a kindergarten with the same name, a yellow dome, and a thunder pole .  The mosque's minaret with a height of 52 meters is one the highest minarets in the Bethlehem Governorate.

April 20:  The Governor of Bethlehem, Mr. Salah al-Ta'mari, in the presence of the Bethlehem Deputy Mayor, Mr, Goerge Sa'adeh, Director of the Bethlehem Education Directorate, Mr. Abdallah Shakarneh,  inaugurated the park of the SOS Children's Village (Director: Mohamad al-Shalaldeh)

May 2006

May 6:  The Bethlehem Peace Center organized its forth annual talent competition, sponsored by the Pontifical Mission for Palestine and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).  The participants were from Talitha Kumi Lutheran School (Beit Jala), Al Ala'iyah School for the Blind (Bethlehem), Nahalin Secondary School for girls (Nahalin), Terra Sancta Secondary School for girls -Saint Joseph (Bethlehem), Al Khulafa' Al Rashidin School for boys (Al Doha), the Good Shepherd School for girls (Beit Jala), Al Khansa' School (Tqu'), Terra Sancta Secondary School for boys (Bethlehem), the Latin Patriarchate School (Beit Jala), Beit Sahour Boys' Secondary School (Beit Sahour), Joret Al Sham'a Boys' Secondary School (Joret Al Sham'a), and Al Ru'a Orthodox Secondary School (Beit Sahour).  The first prize in the singing competition went to Shahd Mustafa, Majdoline Abu Ghayatha, and Fida; Ghayatha (from Nahalin Secondary School for girls (Nahalin)).  The second prize went to Jeannie Maria (from the Latin Patriarchate School (Beit Jala)).  The third prize went to Ziad Salman (from Al Khansa' School (Tqu')).  In the competition of playing musical instruments, the first prize went to Inas Dar Ya'coub (from the Good Shepherd School for girls (Beit Jala)).  The second prize went to Daniel Morcos (from Terra Sancta Secondary School for boys (Bethlehem)).  The third prize went to Lordina Baboun (from Terra Sancta Secondary School for girls -Saint Joseph (Bethlehem)).

May 8:  Minister of Tourism, Mr. Judeh Morcos, and in the presence of mayor of Bethlehem, Dr. Victor Batarseh, Chief Knight of the Holy Sepulcher in Wales, Dr. Michael Weln, inaugurated "Laila Tours & Travel" agency on Manger Street, Middle East Building (opposite Directorate of Education).  The agency is owned by former International Center of Bethlehem staff member Mrs. Leila Asfoura.

May 10:  Father Amjad Sabara (Bethlehem Latin Parish Priest) and the Franciscan Fathers held Holy Mass at the Saint Catherine Parish Church in the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem on the occasion of the of the forth anniversary of the end of the siege of the Church of Nativity by the Israeli occupying forces back in 2002.

May 12:  The General Secretariat for Christian Educational Institutes and the School Libraries and Religious Instruction in Christian Churches in Jerusalem organized the "Holy Land Christian Education Conference" at the Bethlehem Hotel.  The event was under the patronage of Patriarchs and Archbishops of the Holy Land and the participation of the Minister of Tourism, Mr. Judeh Marcos, Mr. Barakat Fawzi al-Qasrawi, representative of the Minister of Education, Mr. Abdallah Shakarneh, Director of the Bethlehem Education Directorate, parish priests, principals of Christian schools, instructors of Christian Education, parents of students, and students.

May 15:  The Governor of Bethlehem, Mr. Salah al-Ta'mari, founded a preparatory committee to establish an Economic Council in the governorate aimed at putting forward development plans for Bethlehem.  The preparatory committee comprised of: Dr. Samir Hazboun (Director of the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce), Dr. Jad Ishaq (Director of the Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ)), Dr. Ali Salah, Mr. Saqr al-Jerashi (Member of the General Union of Palestinian Indiustries), Mr. Jamal Subih, Mr. Kamel Hmeid (General Director of Projects Development in the Local Government), and Mr. Isam al-Hayek.

May 20:  The De La Salle High School in Bethlehem (principal: Dr. Michel Sansour; Valedictorians: Nidal al-Ayaseh (Arabic), Doris Sansour (English), Sari Dallal (French)) celebrated the 101st annual commencement ceremony of its high school 12th graders (Scientific and Literary streams)

May 20:  The Evangelical Lutheran Dar al-Kalima School in Bethlehem (principal: Ms. Naila Kharroub; Valedictorians: Narmine Salman (Arabic), Angelina Shahwan (English), George Hannouneh (German)) celebrated the second annual commencement ceremony of its high school 12th graders (Scientific stream)

May 23:  Terra Sancta High School for Girls (St. Joseph High School) in Bethlehem (principal: Sister Femia Khoury; Valedictorians: Razan Giacaman (Arabic), Jane Qumsiyeh (English), Rawan Jad'on (French)) celebrated the seventeenth annual commencement ceremony of its high school 12th graders (Scientific and Literary streams)

May 25:  The Evangelical Lutheran School in Beit Sahour (principal: Mr. Salameh Bishara; Valedictorians: Shadi Gharib (Arabic), Marwa Abu Eitah (English), Nasim Nassar (German)) celebrated the ninth annual commencement ceremony of its high school 12th graders (Scientific and Literary streams)

May 26:  The Evangelical Lutheran Taltha Koumi School in Beit Jala (principal: Mr. George Dor; Valedictorians: Jane Abu Ghannam (Arabic), Jana al-A'raj (English), Johanny Najjar (German)) celebrated the fiftieth Golden Jubilee annual commencement ceremony of its high school 12th graders (Scientific and Literary streams)

May 26:  The Shepherds Orthodox School in Beit Sahour (principal: Mr. George Sa'adeh; Valedictorians: Mohammad Hindi (Arabic), Abir Nassar (English)) celebrated the seventh annual commencement ceremony of its high school 12th graders (Scientific and Literary streams)

May 26:  The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) held a festival on Manager Square (attended by over 4,000 people) in defiance of the Israeli practices of enclosure against the Palestinian people.

May 31:  The Latin Patriarchate School in Beit Sahour (principal: Mr. Isam Bannoura; Valedictorians: Isa Salameh (Arabic), Giries Qumsieh (English), Diali Bannoura (French)) celebrated the second annual commencement ceremony of its high school 12th graders (Scientific stream).

June 2006

June 2:  The Gynecology and Delivery Specialists Society ended its second annual conference, sponsored by the Dar Ashifa Pharmaceutical Company, held at the Jacir Palace Intercontinental Hotel in Bethlehem.

June 2:  Lina Fouad Youwakim from the Jericho Good Shepherd Scouts Group received the honorary "Forst Medal" from the Palestinian Scouts Representation during a festival in Bethlehem to ordinate six scouts leaders from Bethlehem and Jericho.  The medal was given to Ms. Youwakim by the Bethlehem representative of the Palestinian Scouts Representation, Mr. Odeh Bishara.

June 3:  The Silesian Industrial School in Bethlehem (principal: Fr. Irando Vaka; Valedictorians: Anan al-Barbarawi (Arabic), Nizar Lama (English)) celebrated the fortieth annual commencement ceremony of its high school 12th graders (Industrial Stream: Electrical Usage and Radio and TV divisions)

June 7:  The Governor of Bethlehem, Mr. Salah al-Ta'mari, and the municipality of Beit Sahour separately received a delegation from the municipal council of Grenoble in France.

June 7:  The student council of the Jerusalem Open University in Bethlehem held a debate on the document of National Understanding initiated by the Palestinian captures in Israeli jails.

June 9:  The Bethlehem Bible College, Jerusalem-Hebron (Yasser Arafat) Road, celebrated its 19th Annual Commencement Ceremony of its students specializing in "Bible Studies".

June 9:  The mayor and municipal council of the French city of Grenoble visited the Municipality of Beit Jala.

June 9:  The Palestinian Demler-Chrysler Car Academy was inaugurated at the Gharghour Company Headquarters in Beit Sahour.  The inauguration was attended by Mr. Eineker, the representative of Stuttgart-based Demler-Chrysler in Germany, Mr. James Tuborg, representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Hanz Beker, representative of the German Cooperation Agency (GTZ), Mr. Habert Jakart, deputy to the head of the German Representative office in the Palestinian Authority, Mr. Nadim Gharghour, owner of Gharghour Company and general dealer of Demler-Chrysler in Jordan and the West Bank, and Thomas Schlend, representative of the German development bank (KFW).