QUARANTINE - DAY 44 - 18th April 2020
Today on the Easter weekend for Eastern Orthodox Christians, the ceremony of Holy Fire (symbolising Jesus' resurrection) was celebrated, but in a much more muted way. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem has been closed for several weeks, so a small group of clergy from the Greek Orthodox, Armenian, Coptic and Syriac churches, celebrated the occasion, and the ceremony was broadcast live across the world. Usually tens of thousands of worshippers would have congregated at the church to celebrate, but this year believers worship from within their homes. The sudden appearance of Holy Fire in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, carried on a torch at 2pm each year on Easter Saturday, is believed by many to be a miracle. This fire is transported from Jerusalem to towns across the West Bank. Today it reached Bethlehem, but to a reception of near empty streets..
Thank you to those who have emailed about the virtual coffee morning/cooking Palestinian bread class, this Tuesday at 10am UK/12pm Palestine. I have emailed the ingredients and zoom link to you. For anyone who hasn't received it and to those who would like to join us, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
A teacher who lives in Aida refugee camp shares her thoughts in times of quarantine:
My thoughts and diary during the quarantine: The first days were difficult, as it was a new thing for me, but after that things started to become clearer. I had to prepare myself for this new situation and for a life that was very different from the one we were living before - for example, what we were now eating was different. I started making bread at home. Learning became remote, which had an impact on me as I am a teacher of first year students.
I started teaching the kids online and following up with their mothers. Do not forget how much these circumstances have changed our way of thinking and affected us psychologically - especially our eagerness to be with our loved ones. But our faith in God and our trust in Him has taught us patience through this crisis. I have taken the opportunity during these times to teach my children - 3 boys and 2 girls - and review their lessons and read the Holy Quran with them.
We are human beings. We do not come from the moon, we have difficulties and problems that we must face.
Sometimes there are problems between the kids and I try to solve them. While they are in the house we will have many misunderstandings between them of course. So, as a mother, I try to let them help me with the housework, making cakes sometimes, cleaning the house. For me, I have discovered that wherever you go you will always come back to your house and family. Because of that we must do our best for the family and respect them and stay at home.
We hope God will bring all of this to an end for all of humanity, Amen.
Photo courtesy of Majd Abu Srour