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2012
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May 1st in Bethlehem

May First in Bethlehem: an evening of music and performances at the John Paul II Foundation, in the presence of the mayor of Bethlehem and the Italian and Palestinian authorities.

The occasion was manifold: to celebrate the first anniversary of the beatification of Pope John Paul II in one of the cities he loved most… But also to remember the siege of the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem ten years ago, and participate simultaneously in the feast of workers in the land of St. Joseph, as Msgr. Luciano Giovanetti, president of the John Paul II Foundation in Italy, recalled:

Mons. LUCIANO GIOVANNETTI
President, John Paul II Foundation in Italy
“It’s great to celebrate the day of work here, because it seems that there is no better or more significant place to celebrate this day than at the site where the one called “the son of the worker” was born.

The evening was animated with the rhythm and music of the traditional Palestinian dance, the debke, along with a play in Italian and Arabic…

The encounter between Palestinian and Italian culture wished to close in this way the annual Italian language courses promoted by the Foundation together with the University of Perugia, recalling the constant effort to promote Italian culture among the young people of Bethlehem.

Gennaro Falcone, from Naples, has taught Italian language and culture in recent months to a group of local youth, preparing them to face studies in the Italian universities.

GENNARO FALCONE
Teacher of Italian language and culture
“Six young people who participated in the play today to conclude the course will go to Italy with scholarships, and they will attend courses at the University of Perugia.”

The idea of the John Paul II Foundation is to offer a possibility to the young people of Bethlehem to study at Italian universities and return to the Holy Land to work with the many Italian pilgrims who visit this land every year.

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