An amazing look at Elias Chacour's life detailing the creation of Israel and how various cultures that used to get along daily (Jews, Muslims, and Christians) started living in conflict and his efforts to promote peace through his faith.
If you don't know much about Israel/Palestine, this book is a good starting point. Writing with humor and empathy, Chacour tells his story as a Paletinian Christian living in a land that was given to the Jewish people in 1948 - the effect on his family's home village; his experiences studying and traveling while becoming a Melkite Catholic Priest; and his experiences working with the villagers of Ibillin (in Northern Israel) and the Jewish government after he realized that education was the answer for these poor villagers. This is the story of how the school built. The school now has Christian, Druze, and Muslim students and teachers and an exchange program with a neighboring Jewish village. Before the latest Infitada, the school also had Jewish students. The school, which goes from elementary through high school, has an excellent reputation in spite of continuing problems dealing with the Jewish government.
This book is an easy yet enlightening read. I highly recommend it. Elias Chacour is now the head Bishop (sorry, I don't know the proper term) of all the Melkite Catholic Christians. He has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize several times and has received numerous awards for his work in promoting peace among those of different faiths who live in Israel.
Molly H. (anon) reviewed Blood Brothers: The Dramatic Story of a Palestinian Christian Working for Peace in Israel on
I have read many books on the situation in Palestine over the past year, since my church was visited by a Christian Palestinian pastor from Bethlehem. Blood Brothers stands out for me as the best - if you can only read one book about Palestine, I would say read this one. The powerful faith of Abuna Chacour and his work for peace are profoundly moving to me
This is the autobiography of Abuna (Father) Elias Chacour. A three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Elias Chacour is now the Archbishop of the Melkite Catholic Church for Akko, Haifa, Nazareth, and all Galilee. He was born to a Palestinian Christian family in the village of Biram in Upper Galilee in 1939. Along with his whole village he experienced the tragedy of eviction by the Israeli authorities in 1948 and became a refugee in his own land. He and all his family members became citizens of Israel when the state was created. Father Chacour realized early on that his work in Ibillin would require more than routine priestly duties. His vision was, and is, that through education, children, youth, and young adults of different faith traditions will learn to live and work together in peace. That vision is a reality in the schools of the Mar Elias Educational Institutions (MEEI). As Father Chacours dreams became reality, schools were established in Ibillin over 30 years. The cluster of schools now serve 2,500 students from preschool through high school (info from Pilgrims of Ibillin website).
This well-written account merges personal details of Abuna Chacour's life and struggles with historical research to give a broad and coherent overview of the conflict in the region.