Daoud and members of the Fotonna team returned last week from the 18th U.S Spring tour where we focused on reaching out to university groups, local churches and with peace and justice groups primarily in the Austin, Texas area. Due to the commitment of the local organizers there for the Interfaith Community for Palestinian Rights (ICPR), we were able to more than compensate for a canceled tour in the Texas area last Spring, because of a crisis on the farm at the Tent of Nations. We also visited with staff at the State Department and with Congressional staff in Washington, D.C, a regular event for all of our tours.
The Nassar family and FOTONNA committee members shared the message of “Refusing to be Enemies” at over 16 events during the six-day trip where more than 500 persons heard the story. One of the highlights of the tour in Austin was Daoud’s participation in worship services, and in a theology class at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School, joined also by his daughter, Shadin who spoke with students, and performed superbly a Mozart Sonata on piano. The planning committee in Austin also made certain that we had a cultural immersion experience in the Austin culture through tasting good Texan foods, spirited dancing of “Cotton Eyed Joe”, and living within the spirit and comforts of the wonderful hospitality of local families and churches.
Another highlight of the tour was our first event of the tour where a student sponsored group, the Palestinian Solidarity Committee planned and presented an evening program. Over 50 students attended the presentation on a Friday night!