Ms. Margaret Karram has been election as president of the Focolare Movement. She was born in Haifa, a city in Galilee. Many of her relatives had to flee to Lebanon during the war years in the Holy Land. So, she never got to know much of her family, because her father decided to stay with the grandparents. She felt a growing desire to build bridges of brotherhood.
She says, “I dreamed about peace from the time I was small. I often used to go to the Arab quarters in Jerusalem, Bethlehem or in other Palestinian territories. Arabic was spoken – which is my first language – the people could tell from my accent that I came from Galilee which is an Israel territory. Likewise, if I spoke in Hebrew they made me notice that my accent was different from theirs. I had a sense of confusion about my identity. At age 15 I got to know the Focolare Movement, and the spirituality of Chiara Lubich gave me wings to fly. I felt that I didn’t have to change people, but change me, my heart. I went back to believing that other people were a gift for me and that I could be a gift for them. And I finally found my true self as a Christian, Catholic, and a witness to hope. It was an important step which freed me from the fears and uncertainties. I could love everyone, Arabs and Israelis, assisting at small miracles, seeing Jews and Muslims change attitude and start to build peace.”
Obviously, there are a lot of projects. Many organizations work for peace through art, education, social action… Many people like her try to enkindle the light that can illuminate the darkness with glimmers of heaven.
In June 2014, Margaret was invited to be part of the Christian delegation at the prayer invocation for peace with Pope Francis, Patriarch Bartholomew, Shimon Peres who was the president of Israel at the time and Abu Mazen, Palestinian Authority president.
“Right after that meeting there was war on the Garza Strip. The Pope’s invitation to the two leaders to work for peace between their people seemed in vain. But it was a historic event, an important step. I perceived the power of prayer and understood that human hearts can only be changed by God. We should continue to invoke peace from God. Like the olive trees we planted that day that peace might take root and let us see the fruits.”
The Catholic Center for Studies and Media in Jordan conveys well-wishes to Ms. Margaret Karram wishing her success in her new mission as president of the Foclore Movement, hoping that her aspirations for the attainment of genuine peace in the Holy Land will come true soon.