As a child, Elias Chacour lived in a small Palestinian village in Galilee. The townspeople were proud of their ancient Christian heritage and lived at peace with their Jewish neighbors. But in 1948 and ’49 their idyllic lifestyle was swept away as tens of thousands of Palestinians were killed and nearly one million were forced into refugee camps. As an exile in his native land, Elias began a years-long struggle with his love for the Jewish people and the world’s misunderstanding of his own people, the Palestinians. He is convicted by the haunting words of the Man of Galilee: “Blessed are the Peacemakers”. Father Chacour has become an ambassador for non-violence. He has a vision and passion to build peace through education and is the founder of the Mar Elias Educational Institutions, open to all the children of Israel; Jewish, Christian and Muslim. He has received many international peace awards and been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize on three occasions. He is the author of Blood Brothers and We Belong to this Land. Father Chacour is the Archbishop of the Melkite Catholic Church in Haifa, Israel.

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