From my memory with the late Metropolitan Paul Saliba, Archbishop of Antiochian Orthodox

     

      

By Marcelle Mansour OAM

Memory Eternal to His Eminence Metropolitan Archbishop Paul Saliba of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines (1939 – 2017). After he was consecrated in Damascus, Syria he arrived to Australia in 1999.  Since his arrival to Australia he doubled the number of Eastern Byzantine churches in Sydney, and around the states of Australia, New Zealand and Philippines. He founded and opened the monastery of St. Michael (Centre of the Antiochian Village Australia) in Goulburne that provides Christian hospitality in a spiritual Orthodox environment.

The late Archbishop Paul Saliba dedicated his entire life serving God, to education, to church, and to community where he focused on youth and younger generation.

One of these photos reminds me with a very short conversation with him during the Annual dinner of Sts Michael and Gabriel 2015, when I told him about one of my artworks was selected and exhibited at the Louvre Museum in the Fifth Award Exposure in Paris 2015, and the artwork was about the Holy Bread that I obtained from my local church in Ryde, he raised his hand pointing to Heaven and said: “It is God’s work”. His concise comment made me thrilled to realized and visualise in depth the mystery of our Christian faith.

May his soul rest in peace with Heavenly Father and may his memory be eternal.

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Bob Carr Invokes Recognition of State of Palestine

   

   

By Marcelle Mansour OAM

Former Labor Foreign Minister Bob Carr has urged Australia to recognise Palestine as a state at the NSW ALP Policy Forum on Palestine.

“The time has come for Australia to recognise Palestine.” He said
A policy forum on Palestine was hosted by the Hon Tony Burke MP and the Hon Anthony Albanes MP of the  Australian Labor Party in New South Wales at the RSL Hurlstone on Tuesday 27th of  June 2017. The event was attended by Senator Shawquet Muslemani, MP of the Legislative Council of the Australian Parliament, Shadow Minister for Education Mr Jihad Dib, MP, Member of the Legislative Assembly, the Ambassador of the State of Palestine to the Commonwealth and Australia Dr Izzat Abdul Hadi and First Secretary Ms. Noura Saleh from the Palestinian Embassy in Canberra, former Mayor of Bankstown, Khal Asfour, various heads of associations, media representatives and a crowd of members of the Arab and ethnic communities.

Tony Burke gave a brief introduction about the guest speakers Aletia Dandas, who recently came from Palestine, spoke of her experience while working for the Palestinian-Israeli program. She holds graduate studies in community development, non-violence, human rights, conflict resolution and peace building. Aletia described the continuing suffering of Palestinians under the torment of the Israeli occupation where the areas are subject to severe restrictions in Palestinian cities. a thousand Palestinian suffer at the checkpoints per hour, Israelis and soldiers are leading to the displacement of thousands of Palestinians, particularly those facing serious challenges to access to basic services, along with the ongoing demolition of Palestinian homes and allowing Israelis to build additional illegal settlements.

Bob Carr the former Foreign Minister of Australia was the keynote speaker, spoke explicitly about his discussion with the former Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard during his career as a diplomat in Canberra since 2012-2013, on the issue of the occupation of Palestine and the lack of world support for it. He spoke about his criticism of the fabrication of history, race and religion and his opposition to the activities of the Israeli illegal settlements that spread and hinders the peace process. “If the settlements have to be withdrawn in the context of the peace offer why are they planting more of them, and why about 60% of them being planted in the state of Israel deeply towards East?” Bob Carr questioned and pointed out that the majority of the Israeli government’s members oppose to the two-state solution where only 4 out of 22 members support it and 65% of The Israeli cabinet disagrees with this principal. He also praised the Jews who are against the occupation and who believe that the intolerable occupation is going to degrade them and will damage Israel, and therefore they support the solution of a just peace between the two sides.

Bob Carr clearly called on Australian government to recognise Palestinian State, In his own words he said: “Fifty years have passed since the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza since June 5, 1967… the continuation of the Israeli occupation severely poisoned Palestinian society, violated the human rights of the Palestinian people and increased their suffering, the Palestinian resistance outlast the occupiers ten times … today we face the issue of justice, and the Australian Palestinians will not leave their land… there must be a just settlement because there is no peace without justice … it is the time to be prepared to listen to the alternative voice and to recognize the humanity and dignity of Palestinians and to send the message to both sides. As a result we support the Palestinian cause for Palestinians there is hope and prospect at the end of the process, a Palestinian state will happen and it is time for Australia to recognize Palestine.”

Bob also informed of the upcoming NSW ALP conference which aims to recognize the state of Palestine and to save the two-state solutions.

The Q & A discussion included many topics of interest to the audience regarding the policy on the Palestinian issues and the resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

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Australia Palestine Advocacy Network Fundraising Annual Dinner 2016

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By Marcelle Mansour

Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN) held its annual fundraising dinner on Saturday 24th September 2016 at the Grand Roxy, Brighton-Le-Sands in the presence of a number of supportive Members of NSW Parliament: The Hon Tony Burk MP-Manager for Opposition Business Australian Labor Party Member for Watson;  Mr Paul Lynch MP-Member of the Legislative Assembly Member for Liverpool Shadow Attorney General Member of the Australian Labor Party; Mr Jihad Dib –Member of Legislative Assembly Shadow Minster for Education Member of the Australian Labor Party; Mr Laurie Ferguson former MP; the Australian Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon and  H E Izzat Abdulhadi The Palestinian Ambassador to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific.

The event was also attended by APAN’s Committee members included Bishop George Browning-President; Professor Bassam Dally-Vice President; Mr Issa Shaweesh-Treasurer; Mr Nasser Mashni, Executive Member; Dr Peter Manning, Executive; Assoc Prof Peter Slezak, Executive Member; Jessica Morrison, Executive Officer; Lisa Arnold, Study Tour Coordinator.

The event was also attended by Ms Jennifer Killen, Coordinator of Friends of Hebron and head of Organisations included Secretary General of Fatah in Australia Abdul Kader Karanouh, President of the Australian Palestinian Club Mr Jamil Batshoun, Public Relations Officer of the Club Mr Tawfiq Awad, Mr Jack Shiber Secretary, Dr. Mustapha Alameddind, President of Australian Arabic Cultural Centre Boutros Indari Forum, Mr Fady Mallo President of El Marada Australia and a large number of distinguished personalities including Dr Imad Berro, Adel EL Hassan, Mr Karim Abiad, Poet Badaoui El Hage Mr Hassan Fakhreddine, and businessman Mr Mohammed Hammouri, Mr Hani Elturk OAM Editor of Australian Affairs of El-Telegraph newspaper and Visual Artist Mrs Marcelle Mansour (Writer of this article).

Ms Fatima Ali MCed the event, and Bishop George Browning delivered a speech declaring that Palestine and Palestinians are not going away. Palestinians are here to stay. APAN exists to make sure the voice of Palestinians is heard by the majority of Australians against continuing injustice practice through taking their lands. Palestinians were also urged to talk to their local Federal electorate members to support the Palestinian cause.

H E Izzat Abdulhadi Ambassador of Palestine highlighted the purpose of tonight’s occasion is fundraising event in order to continue the undertaken substantial efforts to defend Palestine and to attain justice with peace. He also urged unity among Australian Palestinian Community members to make their voices heard in Australia.

Professor Peter Manning spoke about his new book titled Janet Venn-Brown, a Life in Art in which published the history of the artist’s husband Wael Zuaiter who was a Palestinian Writer and Translator and was killed in 1972. The book also contains a biography of the painter, and the full collection of the quality resolution images. Mr Issa Shawish supervised the auction and requested the attendees to encourage Mr John Salisbury who is currently walking and intend s to present a petition to Parliament calling on Australia to recognize Palestinian statehood and to put an end to the ongoing Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people.

The program included raffles, auction items and entertainment by the Australian Lebanese Actor and comedian Rob Shehadie, who provided a lot of entertainment and laughter for the multicultural audience and engaged them in an oriental dancing competition, where the winner was Mrs Elizabeth Elturk.

 

 

 

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Seminar on the Palestinian Diaspora, Identity and Work

Marcelle Mansour Annahar Newpaper 3 June 2016

By Marcelle Mansour

On Friday, June 3, 2016, Gaza Orthodox Christians Association of Australia has held a cultural seminar which hosted Dr. Farah Fayyad, who has obtained a scholarship to undertake her doctoral thesis at the Faculty of Business and Economics, Macquarie University. Fayyad’ topic revolves around the understanding of the influence of the Palestinian Diaspora and the Israeli Occupation on the identity, spirituality and work ethic of Palestinians in Australia to This kind of studies will investigate the manifestation of the occupation on the work-life of Palestinians worldwide that has not been done before.

The Editor of Australian Affairs of El-Telegraph newspaper, Mr. Hani Elturk has MC’d the event on behalf of the President of the Association Mr Khader Dabeet. The seminar was attended by , Secretary General of Fatah in Australia Abdul Kader Karanouh, head of the Australian Palestinian Club Jamil Batshoun, Public Relations Officer of the Club Mr Tawfiq Awad, the active member of Australian Palestinian Professionals Association Mr Issa Shaweesh,  the expert on Palestinian Affairs in Australia Mr Eddie Zananiri, the Active member of Australian Palestinian community Samira Ghabar, the Campaigner for (APAN) – Australia Palestine Advocacy Network Paul Duffill, and Visual Artist Marcelle Mansour (Writer of this article).

Batshoun delivered a brief speech in English which he spoke about the importance of belonging to the land of Palestine that suffered multiple invasions throughout history, and urged to build bridges between the people of the two generations to defend the Palestinian rights.

Followed by Eddie Zananiri’s word, in which he announced the upcoming event of hosting three candidates of Liberal, Labour and Greens to talk with the community members about their party’s policy towards the Palestinian issues in the next election. The meeting will be held on Saturday, June 18 at the Palestinian Club, 387 Guilford Road Guilford.

Then, Paul Duffill introduced to the audience the website link of APAN to vote for the election in order to support the Palestinian cause, that is: www.ivotepalestine.org.au

The attendees had barbecue meals, that was prepared by the members of the Association, Mousa & Maha Abunuceah  and Bertha Dabeet. The seminar concluded with entertainment program, which live by talented singer Jabra Tarazi where the meeting was characterized by an intense presence of the families of the community in an atmosphere of love and friendship.

 

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Commemoration of 68th of Al Nakba and Celebration of Australian Palestinian Graduates

5 شامخ بدرا وعيسى الشاويش والسفيرعبد الهادي والنائب د. جهاد ديب ومارسيل وموريس منصور     6 مارسيل وموريس منصور و لينش وماننغ وقرانوح

1 تقديم الجوائز التقديرية لمستحقيها من أعضاء البرلمان     2 تقديم الجوائز التقديرية لمستحقيها من أعضاء الفلسطينية

4 السفيرعبد الهادي يسلم الدرع لرئيس الاتحاد إبراهيم عيشان مكلفا من الرئيس محمود عباس     3 تقديم الجوائز التقديرية لخريجيي الثانوية العامة والماجستير والدكتوراه

By Marcelle Mansour

The Australian Palestinian Community Commemorated the 68th Anniversary of Al Nakba, together with the Celebration of the 2015 Australian Palestinian Graduates.

The General Union of Palestinian Workers and Australian Palestinian Graduates Association held a Ceremony in honor of the Palestinian University Graduates and the HSC Achievers in 2015, under the patronage of H.E.Dr. Izzat Abdul Hadi, the Ambassador of Palestine to the Commonwealth of Australia. On Sunday, 15 May 2016 in Candle Light Reception Lounge. The event also coincided with the date of commemoration the 68th Anniversary of AL Nakba meaning catastrophe.

Distinguished guests attended: Julia Finn MP -Australian Labour Party Member for Granville NSW,  Lee Rhiannon MP – The Australian Greens Senator for NSW,  Mr Jihad Dib MP- Parliament of NSW -Shadow Minister for Education,  Mr Paul Lynch MP – Parliament of NSW Member of the Legislative Assembly Member for Liverpool Shadow Attorney General Member of the Australian Labor Party,  Mayor Khal Asfour – Clr of Bankstown City Council,  Associate Professor Jake Lynch – Director of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPACS) at the University of Sydney,  Prof Peter Manning Professor of Journalism,  Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed – Grand Mufti of Australia, the Secretary General of Fatah Abdul Kader Karanouh, and expert of Australian Palestinian Affairs Eddie Zananiri, Artists and Academics, Various Cultural  and Islamic Associations and Political Parties Presidents,  Media Representatives and a crowd of families and friends.

 The ceremony began by playing the two national anthems of Australia and Palestine. Followed by welcoming the attendees with introduction and a poem about Palestine recited by student Rola Alian, then a video displayed a brief history of the occupied Palestine.

The function was highlighted by a creative piece of performance titled “Al Nakba Suitcase “and was acted by Saleh Saqqaf  (Broadcaster and Actor) on the sound of Oud music played by the MC. Mr Jamal Alyan.

Speeches delivered as follows:

Abdul Hadi, Ambassador: In his speech H.E. stated: ” Al-Nakba marks all our lives and it remains with us”. Palestinians always remember the sad expel of their home land and it remains with them until justice and freedom will take place. These wonderful young achievers are the future of the Australian-Palestinian community spanning the globe who will transform loss into victory.

Mr Monir Mahajinah delivered a political speech in Arabic, in his own wods: “Tonight, we are not here to celebrate Al Nakba, rather to commemorate Al Nakba and raise flags and slogans. Three strategies are required:  firstly, is Unity, secondly to strengthen the steadfastness of the Palestinian people on the ground, such as education and other things, and thirdly, resistance to the new generations. We cannot achieve independence, without our will and persistence and, embracing the Holy Stone.”

Lee Rhiannon MP who has visited Palestine and has seen the refugee camps said the Nakba day is a sad day to Palestinian people who were taken away from their home. But time has come to achieve justice, and the 21st century will witness that Palestinians will return to their land, “especially here we are celebrating the success of new generation, your voice of Palestine will act as a challenge, it is about commitment of people working together.” She said.

Paul Lynch MP:  expressed his support to the Palestinian Community on Al Nakba Day commemoration of Palestinian exodus forcibly displaced from their homeland in1948 and their right of return through justice and ending occupation. He also praised the high achievement of young generation.

Jihad Dib MP: “There is a lot of connection between Aboriginals and Palestinians… Israel built the wall, but would not kill the spirit of Palestinian People… The fight of Palestine is the fight of what is right to return the land that was taken away from them… It is an honour to celebrate the achievements of young Australian Palestinians… Live Australia and Live Palestine.”

Jack Lynch: who has been a Director of of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney stated that the process is about the continuation of academic research. He praised the Palestinian graduates who came from Gaza and have excelled in every unit. Lynch was proud to see the very first graduate of Master Degree (Mr Shamik Badra) from Gaza on scholarship and he mentioned that the university will support more students from Gaza in the near future.

The event concluded by delivering appreciation awards to the Parliamentary members for their continuous support to the Palestinian cause: Julia Finn MP, Jihad Dib MP, Paul Lynch MP.  As well as members of the Palestinian community where the Ambassr Dr Izzat Abdul Hadi presented a shield  – on behalf of President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) – to The General Union of Palestinian Workers in Australia, for their tireless work of serving the Community. The shield was received by President Ibrahim Ishan, followed by Palestinian community members who received appreciation awards were: Lama Hammouri, Ibrahim Ishan, khader Sultan,  Mahmoud Sultan,  Akeel Sultan, George Dabbagh, Mr Eddie Zananiri ,  Maher Morqabala, Ahmad Qasim for Council of Australian Palestinians. The Ambassador of Palestine Dr Izzat Abdulhadi also delivered achievement awards to 53 Palestine graduates of HSC, Master and PHD.

 

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Women’s Forum and Lunch with Dr Vera Baboun Mayor of Bethlehem By Arab Council Australia

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By Marcelle Mansour

Arab Council Australia (ACA) hosted a special event to welcome Dr Vera Baboon, the Mayor of Bethlehem city in Palestine, over a women’s forum and an interactive lunch on Friday 6 May 2016 at Al Aseel Restaurant Greenacre.. A group of some key Arab-Australian women leaders were invited and attended, to participate in the informal forum and share insights and experiences that might be of interest to Dr Baboun.

Dr Vera Baboun is a Palestinian politician and the first female mayor of Bethlehem. Prior to her election in October 2012, Mayor Baboun worked as an English language and English literature lecturer at Bethlehem University for 21 years where she was dean of student affairs. She holds a master’s degree in African-American literature and is a PhD candidate in Arab-American women’s literature. Mayor Baboun holds numerous leadership positions within civil society organizations.

Dr Vera Baboon was invited to Australia by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s special visits program for a period of five days, accompanied by Ms Lucy Carlsen from Canberra. Her program focused on the discussion of the challenges facing Bethlehem city and the Palestinian Territories; exploring expertise, collaboration on grassroots issues that impact at the municipal level such as waste management; interfaith dialogue and community engagement; and promoting gender equality and the role of women as future leaders.

In the presence of Ms Lucy Carlsen from the Australian Government’s Dapartment of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra, the names of the participant women attended as follows: Ms Randa Kattan, Ms Fatima Ali, Dr Rosemary Suliman, Ms Elizabeth Absolon, Ms Rosanna Barbero, Ms Zizi Charida , Ms Reeda Kassis, Ms Jennifer Killen, Ms Layla Naji, Ms Rana Saab, Ms Mary Shalhoub, Aida Tabet, and Marcelle Mansour (the writer of this article)

Ms Fatima Ali the Chairperson of the ACA gave a warm welcome to Dr Baboon and to all the women attendees and provided an inspiring biography of Dr Vera baboon. Ms Randa Kattan, the ACA Chief Executive Officer, summed up a brief introduction about the Council, being a secular non-profit independent community organization working to improve the lives of the most vulnerable people in the community, in collaboration with other organizations

Dr Baboon started her talk by thanking the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for making her visit to Australia; especially she became the first female Mayor of Bethlehem city in 2012. “Bethlehem is the city of Global message and it is fully separated from Jerusalem. This means our young generation has never seen the Nativity since 2002. After the 1993 Oslo Accords, the Palestinian territory was divided into three administrative areas of A, B and C in the West Bank. It implies that we cannot practice any development or construction without consulting the Israeli authority, where the Israeli occupation preventing our Palestinian people from practicing their rights on their land” Dr Baboon said.

All the attendees took a part in a friendly discussion about the terrible issues related to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, hoping that this will be improved in the near future. It feels awful violating the Palestinian rights under the Israeli horrible occupation for many decades, hoping that Israel will remove all the restrictions on Palestinians and make hast resolutions in all aspects.

The meeting concluded by thanking the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for making Dr Baboon’s visit to Australia, and the Arab Council Australia for hosting the informal meeting and wishing Dr Baboun the very best in her Endeavour.

 

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