On July 6th , Mayor of Bethlehem AntonÂ Salman met with the Mayor of Paphos, Phedonas Phedonas, in the presence of the Municipal CouncilÂ Member Shireen Bandak-Mauge,Â and, from the Mayorâ€™s office, Ikram Juha.
For his part,Â Salman spoke about the general situation in the cityÂ of Bethlehem, especially with regard to political and touristicÂ realities, in addition to the demographic details ofÂ the city and surrounding refugee camps.
Salman also talked about Bethlehemâ€™s preparationsÂ for it being the â€śCapital of Arab Culture.â€ťÂ Moreover, he referred to the participation of aÂ delegation from Pafos who was supposed toÂ participate in the Christmas events of 2017, but US President Donald Trumpâ€™s decision towards transferring theÂ American Embassy and the subsequentÂ developments prevented the participation of theÂ delegation of Paphos and many more delegations.
However, PNN reports that Salman welcomed their participation thisÂ year. Phedonas welcomed Salman and emphasized the importance of cooperation between the twoÂ cities. He expressed his willingness to bring artistsÂ to Bethlehem, to participate in the comingÂ Christmas season, in addition to working on manyÂ exchanges, especially between the youth of the twoÂ cities. Phedonas mentioned that Paphos, in 2017, wasÂ the capital of the European culture and, with that, expressing his eagerness to support Bethlehem in 2020.
Chris Carlson is a student of religion at Mount Mercy University, United States, and has been a regular volunteer with the IMEMC since 2013. He assisted in providing extensive coverage of the 2014 Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip and continues, into the present day, with the issues at hand. He can be reached via email at c h r i s @ i m e m c . o r g.