In contrast to what the news media portrays as a hopeless situation in the Middle East, there is an Arab village in northern Israel, Ibillin, where the leaders of tomorrow are gathering daily in school classrooms, Jews befriending Muslims befriending Christians.
At the Mar Elias Educational Institutions (MEEI), children receive a superior education but also work together to promote peace, justice, and reconciliation in the Middle East. MEEI has become a shining beacon of hope for all people of the Holy Land – and around the world.
MEEI was the inspiration of a Christian Palestinian, Father Elias Chacour, now the Archbishop of the Melkite Catholic Church in Haifa, Nazareth, and all Galilee.
Father Chacour had a vision to build schools to educate children of all ethnic and religious backgrounds, based upon the principles of peace, reconciliation, respect, and justice. That vision is now alive in the schools of Ibillin for more than 3000 students and faculty of Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Druze heritage.
The original school was opened to all local children, regardless of religious affiliation. It became an educational complex consisting of a kindergarten, elementary school, junior high school, high school, college and university. The campus was built on Jabal al-Ghoul (Hill of Demons), which has been renamed Jabal al-Nour (Hill of Light).
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