Justice & Liberation
by Samia Nasir Khoury
Nasir Khoury retired in 2003 after serving for 17 years as president of
a coeducational elementary school for the lower income community in East
Jerusalem. She still serves as treasurer of the board of the Sabeel
Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center.
Samia was born in Jaffa, Palestine on November 24, 1933. She received
her high school degree from Birzeit College in 1950, and was awarded a
BBA degree from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas in 1954.
Samia then returned to Birzeit, and worked from 1954-1960 at her former
school as executive secretary, registrar and director of women students
activities. Birzeit, which was founded by her aunt Nabiha Nasir in 1924,
would eventually develop into the first university in Palestine. During
that time she also became the first woman to be elected to the church
council of the local Anglican congregation.
In 1960 she married Yousef Khoury, an engineer and graduate of Ohio State
University. After 44 years of marriage and the blessing of many children
and grandchildren, Yousef passed away in early 2004 in their beloved home
of Jerusalem. During their early years in Jerusalem she became involved
with the YWCA, serving on its board, national council, and several committees.
Samia served as National President of the YWCA of Jordan for two terms,
as it had been annexed to Jordan in 1948. When Jordan severed its ties
with the West Bank in 1988, the YWCA of Palestine was reestablished, and
she served as its first President from 1991-96. Her broad work experience
has led to many international connections, and she has spoken before two
UN NGO Forums: in New York in 1996, and in Athens in 2000.
Samia writes about justice, truth, and peace for the Palestinian people,
the relationships between people and the land, the context of Christian-Jewish-Muslim
relationships in the Holy Land, concerns for children in conflict, and
gender issues. She can be reached by email at email@example.com