Under the patronage of PA president Mahmoud Abbas, the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF) has launched its fourth international conference for the Palestinian youth in the diaspora, as part of the 2015 Know Thy Heritage (KTH) Leadership Program, which creates bonds between Palestinian youth and their homeland.The ceremony was launched in Bethlehem’s Convention Palace, and in the presence of advisers to the president for Christian National and International Relations, Ziad Al-Bandak, Governor of Bethlehem, Major General Jibril Bakri., MP Khalil Lahham, member of the Administrative Council of the foundation MP Ghazi Hanania, Chilean Consul Manuel Lara, Muslim and Christian religious men, security services officials, representatives from local and supporting associations, in addition to participators in the international convention from Lajee’ center.

The KTH delegation, which arrived in Palestine on Saturday, July 25, consists of 40 representatives from ten countries, including the US, Chile, Honduras, Salvador, Italy, Nicaragua, Columbia, Qatar, Jordan and Australia.

The conference began with a moment of silence for the souls of slain Palestinians, especially toddler Ali Dawabsha, who was burnt to death by Israeli settlers on Friday morning.

CEO and founder of HCEF, Sir Rateb Rabie told the PNN that the conference aims to focus on several matters for the Palestinians in the Diaspora, to understand the structure of economy in Palestine and the role of women in society.

The conference held workshops and lectures for the young, and, during days upcoming, will offer practical education on the ground to allow the delegates dive into their roots.

HCEF’s Regional Director Eng. Anthony Habash, in his speech before the attendees, said that the youth came to embrace their homeland and maintain devotion to it.

Habash also said that HCEF are developing this conference, in hopes that in the next year they can invite more than 300 Palestinians from within the diaspora.

“This conference aims to teach the youths about the situation in Palestine, with a focus on the economic situation, through a new initiative for world business leaders, to let the delegates explore the Palestinian market and promote it for investment and development,” Habash said.

For their part, the delegates expressed appreciation for the warm welcome in Palestine.

The delegates said that being a part of this program made them more proud to be Palestinian.

“I’ve become one with where I’m from. I’ve gotten to know my culture, my heritage, and the land of my folks and ancestors.”

The delegates went on to say that even though they came from so many different places, they all remain Palestinians and could feel the unity with everyone.

They finally said that hey will carry the Palestinian cause, message and spread it to the word, and assured that they still maintain their responsibility towards Palestine.