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Symposium Offers Enlightenment

As part of a week long visit by Archbishop Eilas Chacour, he spoke to the campus as part of the symposium held on Thursday November 6.

Archbishop Elias Chacour delivered a message of unity within diversity as part of the College Wide Symposium on November 6. During a special presentation, President Larry Shinn awarded the President’s Medallion to the Archbishop Elias Chacour. Chacour graciously accepted the medallion and remarked how the medallion will be a way to remember his brothers and sisters from Berea College.

After the award presentation, the Black Music Ensemble sang “When will we learn to love each other?’ ’The song seemed to foreshadow Chacour’s message.

Chacour began with the words “brothers and sisters and not ladies and gentlemen.” He raised awareness about the 60-year-old Palestinian-Jewish conflict in Israel through sharing his personal experiences. At 8 years old Chacour was forced to abandon his home after occupation of Jewish soldiers and became a refugee without entitlement to a country. The promise land became a land of promises as Chacour was determined and endured challenges throughout his good charitable works that include founding the first public library for Arabic children, developed summer camps for refugee children, built and developed the Mars Educational Institutions to educate young people regardless of ethnicity, religion or economic status and to bring reconciliation in a land of strife.

Through intermission the Black Music Ensemble sung ”Shabach” a praise- worship song that got the audience on their feet. Music Professor Dr. Kathy W. Bullock enthusiastically led the call and response.

“I am not here to beg for your money but I beg of your friendship with Jews. He encouraged the audience to do away with preconscious judgments and promoted unity for peace in diversity. Peace needs no completion , get up and do the dirty work,’’ Chacour insisted.

Near the end, students were permitted to ask questions and they did not hesitate upon this opportunity. Students walked away from the convocation with enlightenment and a free signed copy of Chacour’s novel, Blood Brothers.

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