Dear Beloved Friends,

Al-Massih qam, Haqqan Qam (Christ is risen, He is truly risen).

This was the greetings of the Christians in the Middle East and especilly in Jerusalem to all everyone they used to meet during Easter time. This greeting is used today also by the Christians of the Middle East and especially in the Holy Land during Easter time. One person should say: "Al-Massih qam" for "Christ is risen" and the other should answer: "Haqqan qam" for "He is truly risen".

This greeting during the Easter time was said 2000 years ago, and is said also today, instead of "Good morning" every morning, or when they used to meet some body during the day, or instead of "Good night" when they used to meet some body at evening or before going to bed. It was also said instead of "How are you" or "Take care".

When you meet an Arab Christian (Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant) try to say "Al-Massih qam" to him and you will see that he will soon answer "Haqqan qam".

This greeting was first used by the Angel at the empty tomb of Jesus,Mat 28:7; Marc 16:6; Luc 24:6 and then by the Apostles and disciples at Luc 24:34 "The Lord has truly been raised".

This greeting made the Apostles, the disciples and then all those who beleived in Jesus the first messionnaries of the Gospel. The Gospel was preached with those words: "He is truly risen", " If He is truly risen, He should be, then, the LORD". The Act of the Aposles and St. Paul's letters had this message for the whole world.

Jerusalem, that witnessed this great event that will change the world, suffers today of discremination, when "blood is still unfortunalely shed, says the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem in his 1997 Easter Message, violence is still in the hearts and blindness concerning the rights of others are still in the minds of the leaders....It is possible to stop this bloodshed, if the leaders open their eyes to see that every human derives his dignity from God's dignity, Israelis and Palestinians alike, and that dignity with dignity is saved; the Israelis dignity will only be confirmed with the Palestinian dignity..The Holy City, Jerusalem, the place of all the holy events...is still the main cause for the abscence of peace...God wanted this city to be a holy heritage for the three monotheistic religions. On this base its peace could be build: the principle of sharing the city is the only way to peace..."

Remember Jerusalem in your prayers. Please, pray for the Jews, Christians and Muslims for Jerusalem. Please, take a clear stand to support JUSTICE and COMREHENSIVE PEACE for the Holy Land, this SHOULD BE your gift to the Lord who raised from death, as you celebrate Easter 1997, in Jerusalem or far from Jerusalem but FOR JERUSALEM.

Al-Massih qam Haqqan qam

Father Labib Kobti