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The death of Arafat
Subject: Condolences
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 09:23:19
From: "Carol Dabdoub"
of the International Centre of Bethlehem

Yasser Arafat

A life dedicated to Palestine

The administration and staff of the International Center of Bethlehem express their deepest grief at the passing away of President Yasser Arafat and extend their heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, and People.

Today is a poignant day not only because of the loss of the symbol of the Palestinian struggle, but also for knowing that President Arafat died without fulfilling his dream of a Free Palestine.

For forty years, a Free Palestine had been a wish that President Arafat had steadfastly clung to and gave unstintingly of his energy and passion to achieve.

For forty years, a free Palestine has been and will continue to be a longing that beats strongly in the hearts of each and every one of us.

The administration and staff of the International Center of Bethlehem will continue working towards the fulfillment of our national dream of a free, creative, and just Palestine.

In gratitude for a life given fully to the Palestinian people, we conclude our condolences with a poem by Abdel Wahab Al Bayati (b.1926), The Fugitive:

I dreamt I was a fugitive
Hiding in a forest.
The wolves in a distant country
Hounded me through black deserts and over rough hills.
My dear, our separation was torture.
I dreamt I was without a home,
Dying in an unknown city,
Dying alone, my love, without a home.

1929 - 2004

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Lord of Life,

We come to you at this time of mourning, seeking solace and comfort. We
thank you for the life of our President Yasser Arafat. We thank you for
his courage to lead the Palestinian struggle for liberation and for daring
to cling to the olive branch even at times of hopelessness and great
despair. We give him into your eternal care.

We pray for his wife and daughter, his relatives and our grieving nation.
We pray for our people that we may be rightfully guided to elect new
leaders who do not compromise on the dream of our nation or on basic human
rights guaranteed by International law. We pray they also would have the
vision not to give up on transforming the enemy into a neighbor.

We pray for a new generation of leaders in Palestine, Israel and the world
who will do justice, love mercy and walk humbly before you. As we continue
to pray for the leaders of this world we acknowledge You, Our Savior, as
our only Lord and King worthy to be worshiped and praised now and forever.


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