Dear Ramallah Family,
As you know, we have been carefully monitoring coronavirus developments both here and in Palestine over the past few weeks.
In the interest of addressing the health and safety concerns of our members and in consultation with the Palestinian Health Ministry and the doctors with our own Medical Mission, the AFRP board has decided not to move forward, for now, with our Easter gathering this April. We and the Sareyyet are currently considering alternate dates for these events and want to make the best possible experience and accommodations for our group. We will announce the new dates as soon as practical but will have to wait on circumstances related to all the above.
This was not an easy decision. Over 350 of you had already planned to visit Ramallah during this time and spend a wonderful 10 days together with our family and friends while there. Easter is a beautiful time to be in Ramallah and know that our community there loves to host us, have us as guests and always show us a good time.
Earlier this month Palestine declared a State of Emergency for 30 days. This included closing all schools for two weeks and possibly extending it as necessary. Bethlehem is under quarantine and travel between borders is limited and may be cut off at any time. Israel has mandated that all travelers arriving in or through Israel must be self-quarantined for a period of 14 days and travelers must show their ability to arrange that.
We know many of you have already made your airline and travel arrangements, most have cancelled or made other plans. Some have indicated that they may travel to Ramallah anyway if circumstances get better. Whatever your decision may be please take precautions and be mindful of all the risks involved. What we don’t want to do is make things worse or create more hardships on the medical community in Palestine as they may be overwhelmed if this threat spreads. Those flying in may unknowingly be exposed to the virus and pass it on to others there, we certainly don’t want that to happen.
We are grateful for each and every member of our Ramallah community. It is your love and passion for Ramallah and our families that makes the AFRP a success year after year, and it is that same passion that will drive us into the future as we look ahead to new possibilities later this year and beyond. We pray for those everywhere affected by this virus and Inshallah this will soon pass.
Please read the announcement below from Sareyyet Ramallah:
Daniel Harb, President
American Federation of Ramallah, Palestine