Students choose the future


By Louise Bjerre Dalum
September 3rd, 2003


A special ceremony took place Tuesday afternoon. The international Center of Bethlehem graduated for the first time since 1999 15 guiding students. Students who three years ago started their education. But have not been able to finish their studies yet.

Due to the occupation they have so far only practiced the theoretical part of the study. The Israeli Government has still not allowed the students to visit tourist sites out of Bethlehem. Field trips which is necessary to obtain a license to guide.



But their studying is worth celebrating, his excellence Mr. Mitri Abu Aita, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, explained.



“We suffer much in Palestine, but despite of that we continue our work towards the future. And studying and Tourism is the future.”





And the conferring of Certificates is an important step for the students. Even though the graduation is only a step towards their final examines, The coordinator for the guiding program, Nuha Khoury, said:


“I am very proud that the students are still here. They insist of continuing despite of the conditions in our city. This Graduation is to raise the moral among the student and to ensure them that they are not forgotten.”



The International Center and The Minister of Tourism and Antiquities also celebrate the Graduation of 27 Arts and Leadership student. The majority of the art students were represented by woman. Women who are supporting their families because of the 40% of unemployment in Bethlehem. With their Certificates they have now the ability to create an income.




The Graduation ended with a very special happening. Anji Saba received The annual Scholarship for Excellence for High School Students. The Scholarship is donated by Carlyn and Cregg Smith.