Mitri Raheb Speaks at the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies

Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb, Bright Stars of Bethlehem president, spoke this week in Doha at the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies on “A Century of Emigration and Forced Migration of the Christian Palestinian Community”.

Dr. Raheb presented the latest research he did on this topic distinguishing between four major waves of emigration:

  • The first wave was towards the beginning of the 20th Century when Christians from the Bethlehem-Beit Jala area left mainly to South America primarily for economic reasons.
  • The second wave occurred in 1948 during what is known as the Nakba Catastrophe. This wave affected mainly the Christians in what is today Israel. This was a forced migration and affected the major affluent Christian communities in west Jerusalem, Jaffa, Haifa and others.
  • The third wave took place under Jordanian rule when Christians, due to a policy of de-development left the West Bank, emigrated either to Amman, the capital of Jordan; to the gulf region, and to the USA.
  • Finally, the fourth wave is a continuous emigration from Palestine because of the Israeli Occupation and it’s impact on the political, economic, and living conditions in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

The detailed study with the latest findings including new facts and figures is expected to be published by Diyar Publishers on December 9th.