• ISRAEL \ Jun 20, 2001
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    Israeli Arab to head Christian Affairs in ministry
Israeli Arab to head Christian Affairs in ministry Sizar Dahash Marjia, from the village of Yafia near the of Nazareth, named Tuesday as the first non-Jewish Director of Christian Affairs at the Ministry for Religious Affairs. He was selected from 25 candidates who had passed the Civil Service exams.

This was the first time that an Israeli Arab Christian has been chosen for the post; a decision made by former Minister for Religious Affairs Yossi Beilin. Unitl now, the post has only been held by Jewish Israelis. Marjia, who has a degree in education management, has for the last two years taught religious studies at the Latin school in his village.

Israel's first non-Jewish minister, Druze MK Salah Tarif (Labor), was named by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as Minister without Portfolio in March.