November 01, 2012


By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Maria Khoury, author of Orthodox Christian children's books and human rights activist, will give the talk, "Love Thy Neighbor: Reflections from the Holy Land," Saturday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. in the Gallery Theatre of the Elaine Langone Center at Bucknell University.

Khoury will discuss living under military occupation and raising a family in Taybeh (formerly the Biblical village of Ephraim), one of the few remaining Christian villages in the Palestinian West Bank.

She has authored many articles dealing with the Christian presence in the Holy Land and the Palestinian struggle for independence and freedom. Her book, Witness in the Holy Land, is a reflection of life in the Occupied Palestinian Territories since the outbreak of the Second Palestinian Uprising in September 2000.

Khoury was included on the 2009 top four Human Rights Champions list by D.C. Human Rights Examiner, a list which included the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Hilary Clinton.

She is married to David C. Khoury, co-founder of Taybeh Beer, the first Palestinian microbrewery in the Middle East, and mayor of Taybeh. The Khourys returned to Taybeh following the Oslo Peace Agreement (1993) to boost the economy and raise their children with centuries' old Palestinian Christian values and traditions. She has organized seven successful village festivals: Taybeh Oktoberfest, initiated in 2005, developed into the most distinctive festival in Palestine celebrating cultural heritage.

Khoury has served as a volunteer at St. George Greek Orthodox Church of Taybeh, has trained teachers in the Latin Patriarchate Schools throughout Palestine, and was the only female principal at the Friends Boys School of Ramallah. She worked closely with church leaders in Jerusalem as a consultant for the World Council of Churches (2004) and headed the project to establish the International Academy of Art-Palestine (2007).

She served on the Advisory Council of World Vision Jerusalem and the Taybeh Education Fund which she founded as an endowment helping students with university tuition in local colleges in Palestine; She was a speaker at the International Bishops' Conference at Bethlehem University (2004) and more than 100 churches throughout the United States including the keynote at the 2008 Orthodox Institute.

Khoury, who was born in Greece and raised in Denver, also is the author of nine Orthodox Christian children's books including Christina Goes to the Holy Land, Christina Goes to Church, and Christina's Favorite Saints. Published in Jerusalem, the series promotes ancient Christian values, centuries-old traditions and spiritual growth.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by Orthodox Christian Fellowship, and co-sponsored by University Lectureship Committee, the Department of Languages, Cultures, and Linguistics, the Russian Studies Program, the Arabic Studies Program, and the Residential Colleges Program.

Contact: Division of Communications
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