BETHLEHEM (CNS): Christmas celebration plans in Bethlehem are being put on hold as the wave of violence continues.
The mood in the Bethlehem 2000 office was one of frustration and depression last week.
Staff members had spent months organising the special celebrations and conferences for a two-month Christmas Festival, set to begin in mid-November.
“We are just delaying everything, pushing it all back until we get a clear picture of the situation,” said Samah Qumsih, who is administrative assistant for the Church relations unit of Bethlehem 2000.
“We had brochures printed and were all ready, and now nothing is happening. People are cancelling. It feels very frustrating. It’s a disaster, it’s like a nightmare,” she said.
Ms Qumsih said two international conferences – one on historical architecture and the other on pilgrimages – planned for December have been postponed until January and February respectively.
As for Christmas Eve celebrations, she said she did not know if it would be appropriate to have international choirs sing on stage when the local people are experiencing such difficult times.