George Rishmawi

George Rishmawi

Born in Beit Sahour, Graduate of Birzeit University with a BA degree in English Language and Literature and a Diploma in Translation.
Deeply involved in the Palestinian nonviolent peace movement since 1991 soon after joining the PCR, with previous involvement since 1987 with the beginning of the first intifada.
Co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), a nonviolent movement that works in Palestine with a goal to promote and support the nonviolent Palestinian resistance movement. (
Co-Founder and Steering Committee member of the Nonviolence Network in Arab Countries.
Has wide experience in coordinating mass activities. George has undertaken a number of speaking tours in Europe, the USA and Canada.

Website URL:

Tunes for Peace 2018

Saturday, 13 January 2018 21:57

The Second Semester of Tunes for Peace will start in Mid of January 2018

The Schedule of the new classes will be published soon, once finalized.

Governing Board 2015-2017

Monday, 06 June 2016 17:29

The Governing board of PCR is called the Board of Directors.  The Board is elected every two years directly by the General Assembly.  Memberships in the GA is open to every Palestinian, males and females, Christians and Muslims who has completed the 16 years of age and has applied to become a member of PCR by submitting a written application, which should be approved in a board meeting.

Members are required to pay an annual registration fee determined by the board of directors.  To be elected to the board, one is requested to have served as a volunteer in any of PCR's activities for a period that is no longer than six months, in order to be known to the General Assembly if he/she decides to run for the board.

The most recent members of the board of Directors elected on February 2015 and will serve until February 2017 are: 

Michael Rishmawi, President & Co-Founder

Michael has been among the founding members of PCR.  He is a retired Teacher of Arabic Language and is actively involved in a number of local organizations.  He holds a BA in Administration and is the most senior among the board members and has been on the board of PCR since its foundation in 1988.  He is involved in a number of Literature group and is now authoring a book about prominent characters in Beit Sahour.


Johnny Taweel, Vice President

Johnny has been involved in PCR since 1992.  He was among the youth group of the center and have helped organize some of the activities and projects, especially the annual candle procession.  Johnny is very active in the community.  He is one of the main organizers of a Football Taurnament in Beit Sahour known as the Beit Sahour Family Taurmament organized on annual basis, where thousands of people from Beit Sahour participate as a fmiliy activity. 


Issa N. Andoni, Secretary

Issa joined PCR in 1992 as part of the the youth group of the center and have helped organize some of the activities and projects, especially the annual candle procession. In th epast ten years, Issa has been following up with PCR activities and decided to join the board this year.  Issa works in the maintanance department at Mercedes-Benz in Beit Sahour.


Eyad A. JOma, Treasurer

Born in Beit Sahour, received his diploma in Jordan as a Dental Technician. Involved in Rapprochement Center since 1998.  Secretary of the board of the Trade Union of the Speciality Association of Science and Technology of Dental Laboratories for two years.  Joined the board of Administrators of PCR in 2006 and now serves as the treasurer of the Board. 


Fida joined PCR in 1997 as part of the advocacy training program launched by PCR in that year.  She was first employed by PCR in 2003 to support the team in running the International Solidarity Movement (ISM).  She traveled to Italy and obtained her Master Degree in Tourism Marketing and came back to work in PCR.  She joined the board first time in 2008 after she got another job in Bethlehem University at the Fair Trade Development Center (FTDC) of the Institute of Community Partnership (ICP).  She currently works at Dar Annadwa in Bethlehem.


Jane S. Hilal, Member

Jane has been involved in PCR since 1992.  She holds a Master Degree of Science in Inviornmental Management and is currently the head of Water and Invirionment Research Department at the Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem (ARIJ).  after several years of being busy at work, she decided to share some of her accumilated  experience in running and managing projects to help PCR develop its programs. 


Elias N. Awad, MEMBER

Elias joined PCR in 2000, as part of the advocacy training program and the youth group. He continued to be active in PCR untili he went to Germany to pursue his studies. He obtained his Master's Degree in Information Business, major Finance from Augsburg University in Germany.
Worked with University of Augsburg in Germany and GIZ, Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Doctors without Border in Jordan.  When he came back to Palestine and reactivated involvement in PCR and recently joined the board.  he currently work as Operations Manager at Masar Ibrahim Al-Khalil.

Tunes for Peace Students 2016For the second year, The Palestinian Centre for Rapprochement betwen People organizes the end of semester Music Concert fo the Tunes for Peace Students.  This is the thid concert in the past two years.  This year, the concert was held on Saturday April 23, 2016 in Beit Sahour, at the Greek Catholic School hall which included performances by the Tunes for Peace students.

As usual, the concert gives the chance to the students to play music on a stage in front of an audience comprised mainly of their parents, which gives the parents also the chance to see their children in action.

Students did solo performances on their respective instruments and then the Tunes for Peace Band performed three music pieces.

The project currently provides service to 75 students from the Bethlehem area varied in age, sex and religious backgrounds.  The students receive training in 5 instruments, Violin, Guitar, Oud, Kanoun, Piano in addition to percussions.  Like every year, the Tunes for Peace band, has new members and we are hoping to be ready for international performances in the near future.

Each students receives one 30-minute one-on-one training and 1 hour theory music every week.  Some students receive additional 2 hours of group play session every week.

The project started in 2009 with support from the Municipality of Rimini in Italy, through the Social Center A La Calle.  The project is also supported by Pilgrimage People, a registered company in the UK,  which organizes trips to Palestine.

The concert aims to encourage the students to learn more and to break the stage fear, and to keep the parents updated with the performance of their kids and the updates of the project.

On Friday 22 April 2016, a group from Pilgrimage People in the UK visited students of the Tunes for Peace Project, and met with the students and the staff.

The group, led by Reverend Father Paul Maddison listened to an explanation about the project by both George Rishmawi, Director of PCR and Maher Kassis the Projects' Coordinator.  In adition to Father Paul, the group consisted of four membrs of the Diocese of East Anglia.

We discussed the possibilities of organizing a trip to our young musicians to the UK to perform to disocese members.


Prevoius funds by Pilgrimage People helped Tunes for Peace Project introduce new instruments and teach more students.

The Tunes for Peace project allows young Palestinians to learn music and play music without getting worried about the money, because it provides music education at a very low cost, affordable by any average Palestinian families.

Shepherds' Nights Festival 2015

Saturday, 23 April 2016 11:06

"Light a Candle for Jerusalem", was the slogan under which the candle procession was held this year.  Jerusalem issue is one of the hard-to-solve issues in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, as the city is under Israeli Military control since 1967 and non-Jerusalemite Palestinians are not allowd to enter the city without special permit from the Israeli Authorities, which is rarely granted.  Therefore, this year, which the increased Israeli attacks against Palestinian presence in Jerusalem, we have decided to light candles and march for Jerusalem.

On December 25, 201 Thousands of Palestinians and international visitors lit their candles and marched in Beit Sahour demanding free access to Jerusalem for the Palestinian people.  People from all over the world can visit Jerusalem, except the Palestinian residents of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

With their lit candles, the marchers also demanded access to the holy sites in the city, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Aqsa Mosque.  We demanded free access to the old city, to the Via Dolorosa to the Gethsemane, etc,,

The march started at the Gree Orthodox Shepherds' Field site, the place where the procession starts ever year since 1991, went through the towns' main road and arrived at Souk Al-Sha'ab intersection in Beit Sahour where the huge Christmas Tree is positioned.

The marchers were welcomed by some inspiring words by the MC Raed Awwad, who invited the Mayor of Beit Sahour, Hani Al-Hayek to speak to the corwed.  Al-Hayek express gratitude PCR for organizing this event which became a tradition in Beit Sahour and welcomed our special guest H.E. Kifah Odeh the Palestinian Representative to Spain.

Chairman of the Board of PCR, Michael Rishmawi spoke to the crowd and explained the importance of this procession where the people of Beit Sahour send a message to the world on behalf of the people of Palestine.

The ceremony was conlcluded with a performance by the Evangelical Luthern School Choir who chanted Christmas Carols and other hymns for Christmas.


The Candle Procession this is usually part of a three-day festival organized every year in cooperation with the Joint Advocacy Initiative (JAI) however due to the current situation in Palestine where young men and women are killed every day by the Israeli military and settlers, we have decided to limit the festival this year to the Candle Procession only, and keep our hope alive for peace and justice in the Holy Land.

Special Thanks to Bank of Palestine and Beit Sahour Municipality who's generous donations covered the expenses of the event.  Special thanks also go to Radio Orient in Bethlehem who provide the media coverage and Power Group who took photographs of the event and published them on Facebook. 

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