My name is Bassem Moukarzel and I come from Lebanon. I’m a Salesian cooperator since 1987 in Don Bosco Kahale, near Beirut. I’m a teacher in Don Bosco School and at the University of Beirut. Moreover, I am also responsible of the Oratorio Don Bosco Kahale. I participated in the International Salesian Youth Games – PGS International, in Malta in the year 1989. It was a great experience for me, and last May I attended the XXVIII International Salesian Games in Seville (Spain) not as a player, but as an organizer to my team, the volleyball team of Lebanon, a great group of teenagers who love sport.
During these summer months we have organized plenty of oratory activities for many children and teen agers, together with a good number of young animators. Sports, games, music, animation, catechesis, prayer, outings, friendship, fun and commitment have been the life of every day, from morning to evening. In this way we build peace, with an oratorian heart, full of love and hope. And in this way we grow in our choices for Christ and with Him.
What to say, when it comes to an area around the Mediterranean Sea, with severe problems that debuted thousands of years ago…?! The history of the Middle East has marked out by all kinds of conflicts that have become more dangerous and radical nowadays.
Despite wars, crimes and massacres, God has chosen this area as a native country to his beloved son, Jesus Christ. Indeed, the Plan of Salvation was not chosen by God randomly to begin its story in these places.
The differences, especially at the socio-cultural level, are increasing, the problems are worsening day after day, and the crimes are committed without mercy…
The major question that is usually requested is where and how can we find hope in a situation where hatred and disappointment are ruling?
The only response to this question is God the Almighty, King of Peace. We believe in Him. He is the source and fountain of peace. Peace towards others who became enemies and even strangers. Peace among all the young people in our Youth Centre, peace in our relationship, in our prayer with all and for all.
As Christians who live in those countries, Egypt, Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the only weapon we can hold on to was, is and will always be the Word of the Lord. His words teach us how to love each other despite our differences. They teach us to be witness to his love and be prophets of peace.
Sometimes we give in to the vengeance, ignoring others. We abided by the Law of Retaliation “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”… this idea that pushes us to eliminate others, provoking division and destruction.
Following God’s path isn’t really easy. Forgiveness is far from being understood and constantly practiced.
Finally, in order to survive all those challenges and destroy all obstacles, we are called every moment of our lives to love… for love always wins!
KAHALE DON BOSCO CENTRE