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CALENDAR OF EVENTS

September 2021
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Service Programs

Christmas Benefit Concert in Madrid

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Madrid, Spain - A benefit concert of Christmas music at the UPF Peace Embassy in Madrid raised funds for Palestinian children on December 12. We invited the Mil Caminos Chorus to sing carols for our Family Festival, and they delighted us with nearly one hour of singing. They sang with joy and profound spirituality.

Eighty-five people from the international and interreligious communities living in Madrid attended this Festival, and we collected funds for the CAPP Foundation, which supports children in Palestine.


The opening remarks were given by Armando Lozano, Secretary General of UPF-Spain: “In a joyful event like this, so close to Christmas and other religious holy days, we want to recognize the power of what good will can accomplish. Human beings are intrinsically equal at heart, equal in their desires for happy and prosperous families and societies, and equal in their suffering when those dreams are thwarted by natural or man-provoked disasters. What is happening in the Holy Land is no exception. UPF has committed itself through the Middle East Peace Initiative to mediate, heal the wounds, and offer hope to the people there. Today we are gathering here to raise funds for the education of kids who have lost their families in the conflict. This is not an event to proclaim who is right or wrong but to help the needs of children who otherwise will be compelled to believe that there is no compassion and no care in our world today. So please be generous in your support, and let’s join together in a family of humankind beyond race, nationality or social class.”

A group of five Palestinian girls between the ages of 8 and 12 sang a song about Gaza in their native language, wearing traditional handmade dresses. The smallest in the group wore the Palestinian Flag as her dress. They all sang with strength and deep feelings. In English, the words meant, "Allah is the ally of Gaza and with Him they will achieve victory. Ours, ours is the victory. The winner, Oh victorious Gaza is the promise of Allah!"

Mil Caminos chorus gave a recital, after which they were bestowed with an appointment as Ambassadors for Peace 2010.

Among the audience were several Palestinian and Algerian families with their children. Despite their different beliefs as Muslims, they received with grace the carol songs and the Christmas spirit. An atmosphere of peace and love was present during the whole evening. Truly the descendants of Abraham’s family were united in one heart and mind, for the sake of helping and supporting those in suffering and great need.

To end this first part of the festival we shared a toast for peace in the Middle East. It was a moment of unity and joy.

“The Historical Family Evolution and the Actual Challenges in our 21st Century" was the theme of a lecture by Ambassador for Peace Mr. Juan Fernández Martínez, President of ACUDE, the Dominican-Spanish Cultural Association. He is a psychiatrist with a Master's degree in Couples and Family Therapy from the Catholic University of Comillas. He said: "Human history began with families and clans. How is the family relationship in the different cultures and traditions. The different role models and the different challenges that we have today, such as the false models of families that destroy the natural law of relationships, such as father and mother figures. The nuclear family has been divided and damaged in this 21st century.”

 

The CAPP Palestinian Foundation presented two certificates of appreciation to us, signed by their president in Valencia. Mrs. Sahar Dahche, as the Madrid Delegate, presented us, two certificates as a token of their gratitude. She showed us a video about the different problems that the children have in Gaza and the Palestine territories, creating a sense of sorrow and sadness. The reality it is too cruel and bad to see it. What a normal person spends in a day for basic food in the western world, between $8 to $10, this is the amount that a family in Gaza can spend in one month.

Awards to married couples for their loyal support during the year. We had the honor to present awards to:                                                                                                                                             

  • A Catholic couple: Ignacio & Elisa Redondo. For two years they have been coming consistently to our programs with a sincere heart of support and loyalty.
  • A Unificationist couple: Agustín & Aurora Alegre. At this year's celebration of the International Day of Families, they presented several gifts to the participants. Even though they do not have great financial resources, they bought gifts for others. They received a Christmas gift as a token of our deep gratitude to them for their generous heart and mind. Truly they are an altruistic and loving couple.

Four women received Ambassador for Peace certificates. All of them believe in the principles of peace of UPF and uphold them in their public and family life. They understood that receiving appointment as Ambassadors for Peace is a challenge to expand these principles in the broader society.

  • Mrs. Silvia Cerrada Jiménez, Secretary of the Muslim Family Forum in Madrid and Vice President of AEPRODMUS
  • Mrs. Sahar Dahche, Delegate in Madrid for the CAPP Foundation
  • Mrs. Shapiry Hakami, President of the Afghani Women's Rights Association
  • Mrs. Ana Mª Reynés, Educator of the PRH Foundation (for people, families, groups, and couples)

When they received their appointment each one expressed their deep appreciation. Most of the participants expressed their profound joy to see a program that could bring together so much variety of international and interreligious people in one evening. They felt peace and love from within and with each other. We focused on altruism and universality and joined in a common purpose to help those in need and suffering, and with the heart of parents to care for the children in Palestine as our own children and to celebrate together the Christmas Season.

The family of Abraham (Christians, Muslims, Unificationists, and others) were together and united as one family with God, Allah. 

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