“I Will Give You Beauty for Ashes”
Protests against the Israeli Military Occupation happened on a daily basis in our communities in the months leading up to Christmas in 2015. Bethlehem Bible College is located in the exact same spot were those demonstrations took place. Rubber bullets, stun grenades, skunk water, and an average of 28 tear gas canisters were launched every 30 minutes into the crowd to suppress the protests.
Every morning when we came to work, we used to see tear gas canisters that the Israeli soldiers threw the night before all over our campus. And because we celebrate life not death, pain and devastation, instead of sitting idly by, one of our students in the M.A. in Peace Studies program began collecting the canisters. He started a socially-conscious and charitable business venture called Peace Parcels and turned the canisters into Christmas Tree Ornaments. Now we’re proud to sell them in our gift shop to promote nonviolent creative resistance and to share the story of modern-day Bethlehem with the world.
Al-Jazeera’s social media arm, AJ+ did a video about it which was shared by over 800,000 people on Facebook.