European and Middle East Quakers

Monday, 10 May 2021

Share this article:

Saturday, May 8th saw Governor Sami Cortas and Principal David Gray deliver very powerful online presentations to the Europe and Middle East Section of the Friends World Committee for Consultation meeting of Quakers. The session was well-attended with over 100 participants receiving the messages shared. Mr Cortas, who is also Clerk of the Brummana Meeting, and Principal Gray were able to share news on the desperate situation in Lebanon and how the school continues to provide a beacon of light for families that at least their children can continue to receive a first class education in the country with Quaker values very much embodied in the whole-school community. Nearly 150 years old, the school was founded by a Swiss Quaker Theophilus Waldmeier in 1873 with support from UK and US Friends and now stands as the last remaining Quaker educational institution in the country. As Mr Cortas and Mr Gray shared, the great challenges being faced by so many in the country over the last 18 months very much continue, including social and political unrest, a crippling economic situation with unemployment now at 50%, the tragedy and aftermath of the Beirut port explosion, and all of which is exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. To support school families struggling to make ends meet and ensure the continuation of a BHS education for their children, please consider giving to the school’s Bursary Appeal Fund via this link.

Post-meeting notes from the FWCC EMES included:

“Brummana High School continues to live out Quaker values, touching the lives of its students and their families intellectually and spiritually, whilst holding space for community in the midst of the profound challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and Lebanon’s political stalemate and economic collapse… We were deeply moved by the plight of our friends in the Middle East and have discussed how we might best support them as we continue to hold them in the Light.”