To have an organization for all the Beit Sahour people and their descendants that reside in the United States of America always been a dream for many of us. The first attempt to form such an organization, was connected to the establishment of such organization in the State of Michigan. Michigan being the home to the largest Beit Sahour community in the USA, had its own organizations resulting is a mixture of success and failure over many years. Within these organizations the idea of establishing a National Organization was approved. However, it was postponed until the State organization was successfully operating. Similar attempts in other states such as in California and Virginia did not come to a fruitful conclusion but the dream never died.
In 2019, a fundraising event took place in Detroit, Michigan to support building a Senior Living Facility in the city of Beit Sahour. While preparing, during and after the event, the dream of having an organization for all of us surfaced once again and it was up for discussion. To accomplish such a dream, many ideas were discussed and many were considered. Later that year, the project of forming an organization was developed during a public meeting that took place in Flint, Michigan. The dream was transformed into a project and quickly shifted in a planning phase. During a public meeting, a group of volunteers were assembled to lead and execute project plan. Everyone worked tirelessly leading us to the first general assembly meeting which took place in March 2020. During the assembly meeting, the first Board of Directors were elected.
While these developments were taking place in Michigan, a National forum was developing through the establishment of a National Steering Committee. The new National Committee members met virtually on monthly basis and worked on building a National Organization. During these developments, a discussion channel was established between the Michigan and the National group. Both groups realized that they were working toward similar goals and for the same audience. Thereafter, the idea of merging both groups together became the central idea of the discussion. The Michigan group submitted a proposal for the merger which was adopted by the National group quickly. Both groups agreed to merge as one National Organization under the assumed name Beit Sahour USA. In addition, both sides agreed to keep each State chapter operating independently while all chapters belong to the same organization. Based on the agreed foundation, the proposed National Bylaws were developed. After electing a National Board of Directors and Executive Committee, the First General Assembly Convention is set to take place on November 14, 2020 to mark the birth of our dream the Beit Sahour USA organization.
Working together was challenging yet very rewarding. It also proved to all of us that this is the way moving forward.