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The Mar Elias Educational Institutions to become the first Peace Academy of HWPL

Valentine Chinyem



Ibillin, Israel – While the world, especially the Middle Eastern nations, is full of grievances and fury due to the armed violence perpetrated by terrorists, a flurry of anticipation filled the Mar Elias Educational Institutions of over 3,000 students and faculty on Wednesday, December 2nd. The institutions were designated, for the first time in history, as the Peace Academies of Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL). HWPL is an international non-profit registered under UN Department of Information.

A three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee and former Archbishop of the Melkite Catholic Church, Father Elias Chacour is a founder and principal of the schools of the Mar Elias Educational Institutions (MEEI) established in Ibillin, an Arab town in the Northern District of Israel. Fr. Chacour, an active Publicity Ambassador of HWPL, has cooperated to establish the World Alliance of Religions’ Peace (WARP) Office in Israel and united the MEEI high school students with HWPL’s youth division, International Peace Youth Group (IPYG).

The MEEI consists of students and faculty from various faiths such as Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Druze heritage. Fr. Chacour has put forth his effort to build schools to educate children of all ethnic and religious backgrounds in the ways of peace, reconciliation, respect, and justice. His commendable efforts to promote peace among youths have led to the honorable recognition of MEEI becoming the first HWPL Peace Academy.

Mr. Man Hee Lee, a world-renowned peace advocate as well as founder and Chairman of HWPL, and Chairwoman of the International Women’s Peace Group (IWPG), Ms. Nam Hee Kim met with Fr. Chacour, students of the MEEI, and religious leaders. Chairman Lee will serve as a honorary principal and Chairwoman Kim as a vice-principal of the MEEI. The two chairpersons have tirelessly pursued the work of peace that transcends borders, ethnicities, religions and that empowers a new generation of leaders to be active proponents of world peace.

Chairman Lee emphasized about the importance of education in establishing peace, “Peace is something that blossoms from the hearts of each individual and can be achieved through the changes of perception from proper education. When we accept the word – peace – and when children get closely acquainted with the term above any other through school curricula, the world where every individual can live peacefully will be fulfilled quicker than ever before.”

At the designation ceremony, Chairwoman Kim appealed to the students, “IWPG has dedicated full efforts in providing education about peace and further collaborated with HWPL to ensure this education be incorporated into curriculum in each institute. People in all sectors of the society, NGOs promoting peace along with schools, need to collaborate with HWPL professionally to teach our youth about the work of peace. Please have pride in being part of the first designated HWPL Peace Academy. I sincerely congratulate you.”

The establishment of the HWPL Peace Institute through the MEEI in Israel will serve as a comprehensive program which provides an educational framework on interfaith conflict analysis and resolution, interfaith peace dialogue sessions, and alliance of religions through the World Alliance of Religions Peace (WARP) Office. HWPL will work to design programs and courses to enhance the peacemaking capacities of individuals and organizations from various faiths through the WARP Office events and will highlight HWPL’s most recent peacemaking efforts.