Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME) proudly announces that it is the recipient of the Mount Zion Award 2011!
The award of the Mount Zion Foundation recognizes biannually the achievements of individuals and organizations that made an outstanding contribution to the enhancement of dialogue between the different religions and cultures in the Holy Land. The award was founded by Wilhelm Salberg, a Catholic priest. It was launched for the first time in 1987 and is now in its 13th edition.
The award ceremony took place in the Dormition Church, Mount Zion, Jerusalem on Sunday, October 30. In a solemn celebration the prize was handed over to the three Directors of FoEME, Gidon Bromberg (Israel) Munqeth Mehyar (Jordan) and Samiramis Kutlo, representing Nader Al-Khateeb (Palestine).
In his salutation, member of board of the Mount Zion Foundation Fr. Markus Muff OSB, stated: “Your institution, FoEME, is a unique, an extraordinary initiative; An initiative which certainly meets the dreams of Wilhelm Salberg”.
Laudator and member of board Abbot Gregory Collins from the Dormitio Abbey in Jerusalem added in his speech: “The Jordan has been a source of living water; In recent years it has sadly become a border and a symbol of division, but in the work of FoEME we see with hope that even a border may become a focus of unity, as the communities whose lives depend on its waters work together … Dear FoEME, like the founder of the Mount Zion Award, you do indeed have the courage and imagination to dream dreams and see such visions. You have committed much work, much energy, much passion to the redemption of the Jordan River Valley for its protection and its renewal… We praise you and thank you”.
Also board member Prof. Dr. Verena Lenzen thanked FoEME for its commitment and work and showed its great respect to the actions of FoEME, which combines environmental protection with the effort for a peaceful coexistence in the holy land.
The three FoEME directors stressed that the Lower Jordan River – a river considered holy to half of humanity – has had 98% of its fresh water resources diverted. All that is presently left flowing in the Jordan River is agricultural run-off, diverted saline waters and untreated sewage. The Jordan River‘s rich spiritual and cultural connections to Jewish, Christian and Muslim faith based communities provide a foundation for a strong inter-faith coalition focused on the need to rehabilitate this important natural and cultural heritage landscape.
FoEME directorsin unison said that they are honored and thankful to have been recognized to receive this prize consisting of 20.000 €. The award will help FoEME to further protect the Jordan River and to encourage fairer sharing of critical water resources between the peoples of Jordan, Israel and Palestine and their shared environment.
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- Josef Wenninger
Social Media Coordinator at the FoEME Tel Aviv office