Longtime Pax Christi friend Zoughbi Zoughbi is a Palestinian Christian who has lived and worked for peace in Bethlehem his entire life. He is the founder and director of the Palestinian Conflict Transformation Center, known by the name “Wi’am,” the Arabic word meaning “cordial relationships.”

The Beatitudes Center will host an online conversation with Zoughbi on Saturday, August 12, 11 AM Pacific, 12 PM Mountain, 1 PM Central, 2 PM Eastern. Use this link to learn more.

>>You must register at the Beatitudes Center to receive the Zoom link. Use this link to register.

Zoughbi has worked with Pax Christi for years; most recently, he was one of the participants at the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative’s December 2022 gathering in Rome, “Pope Francis, nonviolence, and the fullness of Pacem in Terris.”

A few participants at the December 2022 Catholic Nonviolence Initiative conference in Rome. Left to right: Leo Guardado; Pax Christi USA staff member Michelle Sherman (in front); Yolanda Flores; Rose Berger; Lilian Ehidiamhen (in front of Rose); Heidi Thompson; Zoughbi Zoughbi; Eli McCarthy; Pax Christi USA Young Adult Caucus member Eliane Lakam.

At the Wi’am Center, Zoughbi and his team offer peaceful mediation, nonviolence training, and psycho-social counseling to help resolve community disputes and alleviate the suffering of the people. Their work includes a trauma-coping program for children, leadership training for women, ending community violence, trying to eliminate violence against women and children, and nonviolence education programs. Recently, he was named the president of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation.

“The Israeli-imposed closure of Jerusalem and restrictions on movement in the West Bank, including Jerusalem and Gaza, create enormous hardships in Palestinian society,” Zoughbi writes. “With Israeli confiscation of Palestinian land to build settlements and to construct the infamous Wall, Palestinians have less and less land on which to live and work. More and more, people lack the means to meet the basic needs of their families, and thus the complicated situation feeds the cycle of violence on every level of society. As a result, we face a growing demand for the work of conflict transformation, mediation and reconciliation, and training in different fields such as human rights, democracy, negotiation, and cultural dialogue. The work of Wi’am is on the ground, down to earth with people, as we address the urgent needs of Palestinians. We create hope in times of fear, extremism, anxiety, hopelessness, and helplessness. We try to equip our people with steadfastness, resilience and perseverance.”

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