Photo Essay | Notre Dame De Sion by Clody, Israel

“This land is a land of peoples who each have their own memories. As a Christian who is part of a community with a living presence here of 140 years,  we too, have a memory as a community. A community of sisters who have served the Arab community who had lived here in this village, and then, the Jewish community who came after the establishment of the State of Israel.”

But memories give rise to future hopes. Writing to the sisters in the light of his long experience in the Holy Land, Alphonse Ratisbonne, the founder of the NOTRE DAME DE SION, expressed – in the language of his time – his hope and also his respect for people and their distinctive identity, in these words:

“We need to enlarge our hearts…and make no distinction between Latin Catholics and Greek Orthodox, between Muslim and Jew…but to embrace all in love.”

Such words still have meaning in our day and if the realization of such a program seems impossible, let us remember that this land is a land where the impossible happens. Let us never lose hope!


This is just one example of the important work produced by YaLa’s citizen journalists, a program funded by the European Union’s Peacebuilding Initiative in order to enable young leaders from across the Middle East and North Africa to document and share their experiences of the region.

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