WMU News

Lecture by Father Elias Chacour headlines Peace Week

Sept. 16, 2005

KALAMAZOO--Student and local community organizations are sponsoring a variety of Peace Week events daily, Monday through Sunday, Sept. 19-25, at Western Michigan University. All events are open to the public, and all but one are free of charge.

Headlining the week's activities is a Thursday, Sept. 22, fund-raising dinner and free lecture by Father Elias Chacour, author of the best-selling book "Blood Brothers," founder of the Mar Elias Educational Institute in Israel and three times nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. A reception and dinner begin at 5 p.m. in the East Ballroom of the Bernhard Center; a lecture by Chacour follows at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the dinner are $60, or two for $100. Admission to the lecture is free.

Chacour, a Melkite Catholic priest, grew up in Israel, where he founded the Mar Elias Educational Institute in Ibillin, Galilee. The interfaith school, with classes from kindergarten through college, enrolls more than 5,000 children, including Christians, Muslims, Druze and Jews, all of whom study together. In 1994, Chacour received the World Methodist Peace Award, and in 2001, he was awarded Japan's Niwano Peace Prize. He lectures worldwide about his vision of peace and justice in the Middle East and the world.

Special guests at the fund-raising dinner include Margaret M. Chiara, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan and Father Peter Dougherty, founder of the Michigan Peace Team. Dougherty was the keynote speaker for WMU's 16th Annual Peace Week, in 1997. Proceeds from the dinner benefit the Mar Elias Educational Institute and Michigan Peace Team.

To order tickets for the dinner, call WMU alumna Shadia Kanaan at (269) 327-6400.

24th Annual Peace Week events

Monday, Sept. 19

"Peace by Peace: Women on the Front Lines," a film documentary about women in war, Sangren Hall (room number will be posted on entrances), 7 p.m. Free.

Tuesday, Sept. 20

"Universal Dances of Peace," instructor Thomas Holmes will teach different kinds of cultural peace dances from around the world, including Russia and the Middle East, Wesley Foundation, 5 p.m. Free.

Wednesday, Sept. 21

"Bush's Brain," a film documentary about Karl Rove, political advisor to President George W. Bush, People's Church, 1758 N. 10th St., 7:30 p.m. Free.

Thursday, Sept. 22

Fund-raising reception and dinner with Father Elias Chacour, East Ballroom, Bernhard Center, 5 p.m. Tickets: $60, two for $100.

Lecture by Father Elias Chacour, East Ballroom, Bernhard Center, 7:30 p.m. Free.

Friday, Sept. 23

"Fair Trade Feast," free dinner, presentations and information on fair trade, fair food and the Central American Free Trade Agreement, Wesley Foundation, 6 p.m. Free.

Saturday, Sept. 24

"March for Peace," march assembles in Miller Plaza on the WMU campus at 2 p.m. and finishes with a vigil in downtown Kalamazoo. Concludes at 4 p.m. Free.

"Concert for Social Justice," Wesley Foundation, 7 p.m. Free.

Sunday, Sept. 25

"Seminars for Social Justice," variety of speakers and topics, Wesley Foundation, 3 p.m. Free.

Among the student and community organizations sponsoring Peace Week events are the WMU Progressive Student Alliance, KNOW (Kalamazoo Non-Violent Opponents of War) and Students for a Sustainable Earth.

Media contact: Thom Myers, (269) 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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