Bethlehem Municipality believes in the Palestinian and Bethlehemite cultural identity and wishes to foster a clear vision to reconnect Bethlehemites all over the world with their home fellows, encouraging them to have a role in the development of their homeland. Thus, Bethlehem Municipality, along with the Municipalities of Beit Jala and Beit Sahour created an initiative; the Bethlehem District Diaspora Convention (BDDC), to invite all Bethlehemites living in the diaspora to come visit their homeland and reconnect with their roots.
The first BDDC was held in Bethlehem City in October 2016. The convention’s main objective was facilitating investment opportunities in Bethlehem and surrounding areas to create an enduring and sustainable local community. It hosted around 80 participants from the Americas, mainly Chile, where they gathered and explored opportunities for investment in Palestine.
As a continuation, and Being aware of the value the diaspora presents in the world, and the importance of the diaspora for Bethlehem as a human capital, Bethlehem Municipality, in cooperation with Beit Jala and Beit Sahour Municipalities, hosted the 2nd BDDC between July 11 – 14, 2019, in the city of Bethlehem. In BDDC II, Bethlehem Municipality invited the diaspora to come strengthen the links with their homeland and ancestors, and invest with their stock of knowledge, education, experiences, and creativity to develop Bethlehem on all levels.
For this year and despite the obstacles and restrictions resulting from the Corona pandemic, Bethlehem municipality in cooperation with the municipalities of Beit Jala and Beit Sahour determined to organize the 3rd BDDC. Even though the convention will be held online, as Bethlehem Municipality realized the importance of maintaining a strong connection with Bethlehemites in the diaspora and the vitality of recognizing this ancient and beautiful culture and identity.