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University of Iowa News Release

May 7, 2003

Chacour To Speak On Hope, Peace In Middle East May 12

The Rev. Elias Chacour, a Palestinian Christian and a Melkite priest living and working in the Galilee area of Israel, will be a guest at the annual Adler Luncheon in the University of Iowa department of religious studies as part of his visit to Eastern Iowa May 11-14.

Chacour will speak on "Sustaining Hope in a Time of Despair: A View from the Holy Land" at 2 p.m. Monday, May 12 in the Illinois Room of the Iowa Memorial Union. Responding to his comments will be Reza Aslan, visiting professor of religious studies, and Gerald Sorokin, director of the Hillel Foundation in Iowa City. The program is free and open to the public. The luncheon preceding it is for invited guests.

Chacour, a Melkite priest, is director of Mar Elias Educational Institutions, which embrace students and faculty from Christian, Druze, Jewish, and Muslim traditions, as they study and teach together for peace as one community of learning and service.

A three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Chacour is the recent winner of the Japanese Niwano Peace Prize, the French Humanitarian Medal and the World Methodist Peace Prize. He is the author of two best-selling books, "Blood Brothers" and "We Belong to the Land," which narrate his life story working to achieve peace and reconciliation among Israeli Jews, Christians and Muslims.

The Melkite Catholic Church in which Chacour serves is an Eastern Byzantine Church in communion with Rome.

More information about Chacour's Eastern Iowa visit is available in PDF format at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACT(S): Media: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011, Program: David Klemm, UI Department of Religious Studies, 319-335-2166.