“What can I do?” is a natural question in a world of existential perils such as climate change, European war, and rising authoritarianism. Our shared crises’ sheer dimensions can be paralyzing.
The seemingly hopeless struggle for liberty and justice for all in Israel and Palestine is an especially poignant example. But this week in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, there’s something we all can do. We can come and learn from a family, residents of Ramallah, the Palestinian capital, who are visiting us for a few precious days, a respite, we pray, from the harsh reality of living in the occupied West Bank, where violence is worse than it’s been in 30 years.
The Rev. Dr. Fadi Diab is rector of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church — in the news last year when Israeli forces raided Al Haq, a human rights organization with offices at the church. His spouse, Ruba, teaches at the Arab Evangelical Episcopal School, also in Ramallah. Elder son Phillip is studying medicine in Hungary; his brother Andrew is a high school senior and classmate, at historic Ramallah Friends School, of Shadi Khoury, who made international headlines last year after being accused, on flimsy evidence, of throwing stones at an Israeli family and police.
This Saturday, July 29 at 12:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s Commons, Echo Park, the Diab family will be our guests for lunch and conversation. Tickets are free for those who register here.
Longtime peace activist Randall Heyn-Lamb, on behalf of our diocesan Jerusalem committee, brought the Diabs to see me this afternoon. “We live by hope,” Andrew said softly, “but hope is diminishing.” Yet for now, he and Phillip plan to stay in Palestine in the hope that its people will one day enjoy their right of national self-determination. If you pray for peace with justice in the birthplace and Resurrection place of our Lord, please join us, to learn from, and offer support to, an extraordinary family who insist that Christians still have a place at home in the Holy Land.