Jalil Schwarz – Federal Merit Cross
Jalil Schwarz, born in 1936 in Ramle, Palestine (since 1948 Israel), Arab Christian.
He lives in Germany since 1955 and is a German citizen since 1965. Having a German passport, he was allowed to visit his family in Ramle after more than 20 years for the first time. From the year 1974 he is engaged in the ecumenical movement helping Christians from Antiochia (Turkey) to integrate in Germany. He has helped them getting and equipping an Orthodox church. He is named the Peace Cook because since 1985 he has been cooking on an honorary basis oriental meals for 50 up to1000 persons in all parts of Germany. With the proceeds of these cooking activities,donations and offerings he was able to finance various peace projects in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Hebron. In his native town of Ramle (near Jaffa) he helped the Christian community to build a community center and a secondary school for 600 Christian and Muslim pupils. He celebrated his 65th birthday with more than 175 homeless in Cologne.
For his work in the field of the understanding of people with different religions, his foment of peace projects in the Holy Land and the integration of Turkish Christians, the German President Johannes Rau awarded him on the 7th of February 2001 the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany