The Samaritan sect in Nablus Governorate has honored BOP Chairman and General Manager Hashim Shawa for his continuous efforts and liberality, conferring upon him for the first time the ‘Mount Gerizim Key’ medal in appreciation for his services and contribution to corporate social development in Palestine and support he provided to the Samaritans.

The honoring ceremony took place in the guest house in the Samaritan Quarter in Nablus and was attended by Nablus Governor Akram Rjoub, Nablus Mayor Ghassan Shakaa, representatives from the Chamber of Commerce and departments and organizations operating in Nablus, as well as BOP officials, eminent Samaritans and legal personalities. The Samaritan High Priest Abdallah Wasef handed Shawa ‘Mount Gerizim Key’ medal in the first honoring ceremony of a Palestinian economist from the Samaritan sect. 

For his part, the Secretary of the Samaritan sect Ishaq Radwan said BOP has left an indelible mark in supporting the Samaritan sect with the view of preserving it as an integral part of the Palestinian people. He also extended gratitude to all organizations and institutions that support the Samaritans.

Director of the Samaritan Legend Association Ya’coub Al-Kahen stated the association is seeking to accomplish several activities aiming to introduce the public to the Samaritan sect. The activities will include public displays, panel sessions and meetings for young people. Al-Kahen added the conference of the medal upon BOP Chairman and General Manager demonstrates “our appreciation for his efforts and unlimited contribution in support of the Samaritans.”

Director of the Samaritan Youth Club Ismail Alteif said that Mount Gerizim has always embraced lovers of peace from the three monotheistic religions. He also thanked BOP for its continuous support to the Samaritan basketball team, adding that BOP has been always in the forefront in supporting the Samaritans. 

For his part, Shawa valued the generous gesture of the Samaritan sect, stressing the fact that the Samaritans are an inseparable part of the Palestinian community. At the same time, Shawa confirmed BOP’s commitment to economic development and to supporting local institutions and associations. “This is our national duty,” he emphasized, “until our aspiration to establish an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem its capital has been realized.”

‘Gerizim Key’ is a medal of honor conferred by the Samaritans to a person or institution supporting the Samaritans, who represent the smallest and oldest sect in the world that is trying to keep alive its doctrinal theology, rites, culture, language, customs and norms.

The decision-making committee for the conference of the medal comprises the High Priest, Samaritan Sect Committee, Samaritan Legend Association, and Samaritan Youth Club. The Samaritans, numbering 780 people, live on top of Mount Gerizim south of Nablus.