Finally a vision becomes a reality

More than two years ago, Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church in Calgary provided a generous gift to Canadian Lutheran World Relief that would become the foundation for great change at Dar Al Kalima College. The gift allowed the completion of the lecture and performing arts theatre and started construction on a new sports gymnasium. Lutheran from all over Canada assisted in completing the construction.

Canadian Olympian Cindy Klassen (in yellow) with the women's soccer team. Photo: Karin Dyck

Canadian Olympian Cindy Klassen (in yellow) with the Diyar Palestinian women’s soccer team at the Dar al-Kalima Sports Hall grand opening. Photo: Karin Dyck

As Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb said in his inauguration speech, “Girls and boys from different regions, cultural backgrounds, religions and economic backgrounds will come together to form unified sports team and design and implement strategies for success together. Isn’t this how you build a homeland?”

This will become a sports facility for Dar al-Kalima School and University College for Arts and Culture as well as the sports program for young women and girls.

Built to international football, volleyball, soccer, basketball and racquet sport standards it will host local and international teams.

The leading-edge thinking in empowering women through sports will make it a model that will put Palestinian women’s sports on the map.

The Dar al-Kalima sports hall is one of the biggest in the West Bank and Gaza. CLWR/E.Peters

The Dar al-Kalima sports hall is one of the biggest in the West Bank and Gaza. CLWR/E.Peters

Canadian Olympian Cindy Klassen participated in the opening of the facility and was awarded one more medal to add to her vast collection – The Medal of Bethlehem. “This is a world-class facility that will develop excellent athletes,” she said. “I am honoured to be part of such an historic occasion.”

The facility is the second largest in the West Bank and Gaza and provided many jobs and economic opportunities during construction.

– Tom Brook, Community Relations Director

Cindy Klassen’s participation in the grand opening received a lot of media attention in Canada and in Palestine. If you missed it, some highlights from the coverage are below!

Article from The Canadian Press: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/canadian-speedskater-klassen-in-israel-to-help-empower-women-through-sports/article17366384/

Article from the Winnipeg Free Press: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/klassen-to-help-launch-sports-facility-in-west-bank-246102361.html

Video interview on CTV Canada AM: http://canadaam.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=297510&playlistId=1.1704500&binId=1.815911&playlistPageNum=1

Article from CBC Manitoba: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/cindy-klassen-opens-women-s-sports-centre-in-west-bank-1.2556973

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