Margaret Karram, Arab Catholic from Haifa, is the new president of the Focolare Movement

Margaret Karram, Arab Catholic from Haifa, is the new president of the Focolare Movement

Margaret Karram, Arab Catholic from Haifa, is the new president of the Focolare Movement 1600 900 admin


Jan. 2021 – There are numerous messages of congratulations and prayers from the Holy Land for Margaret Karram, the new President of the Focolare Movement.

Arab Catholic, she is originally from the city of Haifa, where she grew up and where she has always lived her commitment to dialogue between religions. She was elected on January 31, 2021 by the General Assembly, which includes 359 representatives from around the world.

Margaret Karram succeeds the founder Chiara Lubich and Maria Voce: by statute, the Focolare Movement must always be led by a woman.


MARGARET KARRAM – President of the Focolare Movement

"I would like to say to all the family of the Focolare Movement in the world a big, infinite thank you. As soon as my nomination came out I felt a great emotion and at the same time I felt a force of the Spirit within me. My immediate response was "here I am, I'm at your service, I'm at the service of the Church, of the Movement and of humanity together with all of you."

TERESE SOUDAH – Focolare Holy Land

"For all of us it was truly a great emotion, a great joy, to know that Margaret Karram, a daughter of our land, was elected President of the Focolare Movement.

I would like to express all our gratitude to Maria Voce, who led the Movement for 12 years after Chiara Lubich. Now the choice of a new President with the profile of Margaret Karram certainly represents a sign of novelty for the whole Movement. Perhaps there will be possibilities for greater impact, new ways of dialogue. I would say: let us be surprised by the work of the Spirit."

In addition to serving as co-chair of the Focolare community in the Holy Land, Margaret Karram has served on several commissions and organizations here to promote dialogue among the three monotheistic religions.

A work recognized in 2013 with the "Mount Zion Award" for reconciliation – given to her together with the Jewish scholar and researcher Yisca Harani and in 2016 with the International Santa Rita Award for fostering dialogue between Christians, Jews, Muslims, Israelis and Palestinians starting from the everyday life lived.

YISCA HARANI – Scholar, researcher and teacher committed to interreligious dialogue

"It was a real shock, we were both very surprised. Initially we both wanted to refuse the award: we thought we didn't deserve it, and this caused some embarrassment. We were very happy that Margaret's mother and my father were present. It was an incredible and very emotional moment: two families, one Arab and one Jewish, were sitting there together."

Br. FRANCESCO PATTON, ofm – Custos of the Holy Land

"Today it is a particularly beautiful and meaningful thing for me, being from Trentino, therefore from the city of Chiara Lubich and living in the Holy Land, to see that a Christian from the Holy Land, from Haifa, Margaret Karram, is the president of this Movement. I am pleased to see this fact and obviously we accompany her with our prayers, knowing also that she studied for some years here in our Theological Studio of St. Saviour's, and knowing that the Holy Land is small, and therefore in the Holy Land all of us Christians feel a bit part of the same family. And perhaps this sensibility of being a Christian of the Holy Land can really be of great help in carrying forward the spirituality of unity."

HB Mgr PIERBATTISTA PIZZABALLA, ofm – Patriarch of Jerusalem of the Latins

"This is good news, first of all because she is a daughter of our Church. We have come to know her very well, and she has worked and contributed a great deal here in this Church to raise awareness of our vocation to encounter all realities, even within the sometimes very difficult conflicts that exist here. I am certain that she will bring this experience of the Holy Land into the charism of Chiara Lubich and the Focolare Movement, which is so close to our vocation in the Holy Land."

From the Holy Land, but also from all over the Middle East, come messages of congratulations and prayer for the election of Margaret Karram.


"From Jerusalem we wanted to send you a special greeting and a big hug. As soon as we got the news of your election we burst with joy!"

GHADA SWEILEM – Focolare Community Gaza

"On behalf of myself, and all your family in Gaza we greet you with all our hearts, let’s stay united!"

TALAT SHATROUBI – Muslim friend

"It was the right choice, and it was not an easy one. She has been entrusted with an important task, especially in the difficult times in which we live."

BERNADETTE SOUDAH ABU ATTA – Focolare Community Haifa

"It seems really significant to me that someone who was born and lived in a country full of divisions was chosen to lead the unity movement."

WILLIAM NAHLEH – Focolare Community Haifa

"Thanks to your years in the Middle East, especially in our country, you have a great deal of experience in interreligious dialogue, between cultures and between churches."

JESSICA SACKS – Jewish friend

"What exciting news! We know how much wisdom, how much goodness, how much dedication and how much knowledge you bring to this role."

ANNA MARIA KARRAM – Margaret Karram’s Sister

"The day of the election was a day of prayer and expectation. I wondered if my sister would be the new leader of the Focolare Movement. Now I feel a new sense of responsibility, and a new commitment to live my life as a Christian, through the spirituality of the Focolare, more fully."


Congratulations!!! We all love you!

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