Beit Jala, Palestine, lies only two kilometers from the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ. Its name comes from Aramaic, the language of Jesus Christ, and means "grass carpet". The city is considered to be one of oldest in Palestine, and its' first municipal council was established in 1912.
Beit Jala is the home for about 15,670 people of Palestinian Christians and Muslims living together in harmony, respect and cooperation as a great example of coexistence between religions. Many of its citizens were forced to flee during the past century due to poverty and armed conflict in the area. The estimated number of the expatriates and their ancestors of Beit Jala living in Chile, Central and South America in addition to the United States is approximately 100,000 people.