HCEF and BYU to preserve Palestinian’s heritage and culture through Bethlehem Museum


The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF) formed a monumental partnership with Brigham Young University’s (BYU) Department of Anthropology and Archaeology and Museum Studies Program, strengthening their efforts to advance the work of maintaining collections and exhibits in the Bethlehem Museum in Palestine.

With this partnership the Bethlehem Museum will become a center for culture and education to visitors from around the world as well as for the local community.

“This is a huge step not only for the museum, but for the Palestinian people,” said Sir Rateb Rabie, KCHS, President and CEO of HCEF, “the Bethlehem Museum showcases the rich culture and history of the Palestinian people through the eyes of the Living Stones who strived to preserve it throughout the centuries.”

As part of this project, HCEF welcomes Dr. Cynthia Finlayson, Ph.D., R.P.A, Associate Professor of Anthropology/Archeology and Museum Studies at BYU, to bring her many years of expertise to the Bethlehem Museum’s continued development. Dr. Finlayson is well acquainted with the Middle East and currently stands as the director of the Ad-Deir Monument & Plateau Project in Petra, Jordan.

With this partnership, Dr. Finlayson will be upholding the operations of the museum by global standards. She will also be training the staff of the museum, empowering them to maintain these standards for the years to come.

Starting in the fall of 2016, the Bethlehem Museum will serve as a case study for students in BYU’s Museum Studies Program.

Students and alumni will be working hard to help the Bethlehem Museum achieve its goals and mission.



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