Umm al-Fahm/Nazareth Dispatch

By Frank Mastroianni

If I had to summarize today’s theme, it would be incorporating new and important perspectives. We spent the day in two Arab-majority cities, Umm al-Fahm in the morning and Nazareth in the afternoon. In Umm al-Fahm, we met with Dr. Yousef Jabareen, a former member of Israel’s Knesset (Parliament). We had an important conversation about his work advocating for equal rights for Palestinian Arab Israeli citizens.

In the afternoon, we went to Nazareth to see the Old City and churches commemorating the Annunciation. In Christian tradition, this is when the angel Gabriel came to Mary and told her she was to give birth to the Son of God. What I found most impactful was the art in the Catholic Church, which displayed pieces donated around the world. I saw the event through many perspectives and was reminded of the wide diversity of the Christian community and how this common story can be important for much of humanity.

I am so happy we were able to incorporate today’s lessons into our trip. It added important nuance to what we have learned so far and reminded me of the incorporation of diverse perspectives into common narratives.  

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