NOTES FROM DAOUD –

Here is the background statement from Daoud dated February 14, 2012 for those who do not know the events on the ground in the past month or so.

Dear Friends,

Today, the 14th of February at 1:30 PM and as we were working on our land, specifically in the Tree of Life orchard, we found on three different places papers with maps signed by the civil administration of Judea and Samaria, which is the Israeli military government.

The papers say that we have to stop working on the land specified on the map, because they declared it as state land.  According to them, this land doesn’t belong to us but it is state land and we are cultivating it.  The papers also say that if we want to challenge this order, we can appeal against it within 45 days in front of the military representative office.  It is ridiculous to receive something like that after 21 years of legal battle defending our land and the right to it in front of Israeli courts.  We sent those papers to our attorney in Jerusalem, and he is going to appeal against it within the next days.

This is just to inform you about what happened today; please be aware that the situation might get worse.   Please be prepared in case actions are needed.  In the meanwhile, our attorney will appeal against it, and we will see what kind of reaction we receive.

We will keep you updated and will inform you about our next steps and how you can help.

Thank you so much for your support and solidarity.  Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Blessings and Salaam,

Daoud


Here is a short update from Daoud about what is going at the Tent of Nations currently.

After we found the cultivation stop orders on our field, I sent them to our lawyer in Jerusalem, and he appealed to the Israeli military court against them.  I talked to our lawyer who said to me that he is expecting to get a letter within the next two weeks about when the first court session is going to be held.  It seems now that we have to start another legal battle, which will be the third one.  All three legal battles are going parallel to each other.  This is a big frustration for us, but still we are not giving up, because we believe in justice, and justice will prevail.

In order to keep ourselves motivated and not being destroyed by all those obstacles we are facing, we started to prepare the campsite for visitors and volunteers.  We put up all our tents and prepared the place for hosting guest groups and volunteers.  We built four new showers, and the idea is that the shower water will be collected and reused for irrigation.  The volunteer outside kitchen is also ready; we finished installing electrical wires and lights there. We are in the process of building two more new compost toilets to be used by our guest groups and volunteers. This is a very successful way of saving water.

The rain was good this year – much better than last year.  We have all our cisterns full, and this will be enough for the dry summer.  We managed this year to plant 1,350 olive and other trees as a symbol of hope for peace and justice. This will help year by year to increase the production and will help the farm to be self-sustainable.

We started also to prepare for our summer camp activities and especially the children summer camp from the 9th until the 22nd of July 2012. Again we are expecting 15 international volunteers to help in the summer camp and about 50 children from the Bethlehem area.

We had a great visit today from two political officers from the American Consulate in Jerusalem.  This is very important for the Tent of Nations to create more awareness and also update the consulate about the situation on the ground in our area.

Tomorrow is the last day in the women’s week.  Between 25-30 women participated from the village.  The Theme was:  Stress Management.  We are working on collecting all the materials, the lectures and the different workshops that women had during the week into a small booklet.

There are two big projects the Tent of Nations is working on for the year 2012:  1) adding one or two small wind turbines to the solar system to help generate electricity and to make us totally self-sufficient in terms of energy; 2)  working on a grey water project.  We want to filter the grey water and use it again for irrigation.  This project will help us to save water.

We want to thank all our friends who are keeping us in their daily prayers.  Thank you so much for all this support and solidarity.

Blessings and Salaam,

Daoud

Daoud Nassar
Director


Last year at this time, the hoped-for Spring 2011 Tour didn’t materialize.  This year, however, we are planning a wonderful Spring 2012 Tour for Daoud even in the presence of so much darkness.  Hope – that feeling that motivates us into action rather than despair – keeps us all uplifted as people are reaching out to touch the story of Daoud and his family and the Tent of Nations peace projects.  This family story is about so much more than just them; it reflects the reality for millions of Palestinians around the globe, and we thank every single person who has been moved and motivated to action when they hear it.

Following is a very general schedule of events; a more detailed one will be available on our website as soon as final specifics are laid out.  Please try to attend one of Daoud’s and Mark’s presentations if you live anywhere near these areas, or let others know about them so that they, too, can become a part of this ongoing saga.  We only hope that the situation on the ground doesn’t affect this educational tour for Daoud.

SCHEDULE

Thursday-Saturday, April 26-28, 2012 – Stony Point Center – Stony Point, NY
Saturday, April 28-Wednesday, May 2, 2012 – In and around Seattle, WA area (Seattle, Snohomish, Everett, Mukilteo, Bellingham)
Wednesday-Thursday, May 2-3, 2012 – Portland, OR
Sunday-Monday, May 6-7, 2012 – Washington, DC

FINANCIAL UPDATE FOR 2011 – PROJECTED 2012 BUDGET

We raised $40,774 in 2011:  $32,452 from individuals and $8,322 from organizations.  Money paid directly into our two major programs of support totaled $20,390 (Youth Camps received $11,000 and Adult Education received $9,390).  Other expenses that were an indirect part of the Adult Education projects included paper/ink/printing/mailing of small thank-you gifts for larger donations to FOTONNA ($2,480). Travel expenses totaled $4,960.  We were also able to pay Daoud a consultant fee for all of his work that totaled $6,000 ($500 a month).  Professional service fees totaled $1,124 (website updating), and bank service expenses were $887 (moved account from one bank to another).  Telephone charges were $165 (for Daoud’s use of a cell phone while in the US).  We carried over $4,768 into 2012 for potential expenses related to the Spring 2012 Tour with the guarantee that most of those expenses would be reimbursed by the sponsors of this tour.

We have endorsed a proposed budget for 2012 that is very similar to the 2011 budget but with an increase of about $5,000.  There is always a need for more support as supplies are used up, food, water and transportation for the children at camp cost more and more, computer programs get outdated, more women sign up for classes and more computers are needed, the rent on the new women’s center keeps going up, etc.  The growth in these projects reflects both the desire for and the need of what the Nassar family is providing for their surrounding communities of neighbors and friends.  The least we can do is to help them out; even small donations are more than welcome!

If we were to receive just $20 next month from everyone who gets this newsletter, we could raise $20,400 without much effort.  And, we want to thank those who have already signed on for a regular monthly donation!  Please see the click-on Donation Form at the end of this newsletter for an easy way to be supportive.

UPDATE ON FOTONNA’S ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBERSHIP

As you may know, we lost one of our special Advisory Council members last year.  Scott Kennedy will be missed sorely as the AC helps FOTONNA work towards meeting its goals and fulfilling its mission.  Even as we have lost Scott, however, we have added a new AC member who will be a wonderful addition to our work.  I would like to introduce Paul Verduin to you and welcome him to our Advisory Council.  We look forward to having his experiences added to those of our other AC members.

Paul Verduin is co-coordinator for Sabeel DC Metro, the Washington, DC affiliate of Friends of Sabeel-North America.  Sabeel DC promotes BDS, sponsors trainings in nonviolence, and holds symposia such as the recent ‘Jesus, Justice, Palestine-Israel: Challenging the Politics of Empire’ which drew more than a hundred people.  A confirmed ecumenist, Paul is currently active in advocacy in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), Metro Washington DC Synod’s Middle East Working Group, the National Capital Presbytery’s Middle East Concerns Team, the Israel-Palestine Mission Network (IPMN) of the Presbyterian Church, the Peace Not Walls (PNW) national network of the ELCA, and the Palestine-Israel Network (PIN) of the Episcopal Church.  Paul holds memberships in local Lutheran and Presbyterian-UCC congregations.  He is a former General Secretary of the Abraham Lincoln Institute, a nonprofit he founded in 1997.  Paul holds an M.A. in nonprofit management and a B.A. in psychology.

Relevant Background:  Paul’s concern for justice in Palestine-Israel began in 2002 and by 2006 had become a major element in his life.  On Sabeel fact-finding trips in 2008, 2009 and 2011, he covered the length and breadth of the West Bank and Israel.  During the 2008 and 2009 trips, he visited the Tent of Nations farm, meeting members of the Nassar family and becoming familiar with their stories.  He has supported Daoud and Jihan Nassar on their tours in the States and has included narratives about the Tent of Nations in power-point presentations in the DC area.

We are thankful to all of you who believe in Peace with Justice
for both Palestinians and Israelis.
Let’s make it happen!!

Yours,

Daoud Nassar
Tent of Nations
People Building Bridges
31December 2010.

Daoud Nassar
Director

Tent of Nations
-People Building Bridges-
P.O.Box 28, Bethlehem
Palestine
Tel: +972 (0)2 274 30 71
Fax: +972 (0)2 276 74 46
Mobile: +972 (0)522 975 985
E-mail: dnassar@tentofnations.org
E-mail: info@tentofnations.org
www.tentofnations.org

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