This will be just a brief update from us since you have already received our letter of concern.  As always, we hope we won’t need to take any action, but we appreciate your willingness to do so if called upon.

An update on the Women’s Education Projects from Jihan Nassar is included.  There is always a need for volunteers to help with these classes, so if you have some skill or expertise in the subjects they want to teach, please get in touch with Jihan at:  info@tentofnations.org.  It will be an experience that will change your life!

A brief email message from Daoud is also attached – good news about the rains coming!!

Fall 2009 Tour:

The Iowa tour was fantastic.  From November 2-7, 2009, Kathleen McQuillen (AFSC) organized a series of presentations, including Drake University, Central College, Simpson College, West Branch Friends Meeting, the University of Iowa and Scattergood Friends School.  There were numerous radio and newspaper interviews and a television interview held in Iowa City.  From November 7-20, there were events at the Tree of Life Conference in CT and other venues in Cape Cod, Boston, Philadelphia, Hartford, DC and Arlington.  As always, Daoud and his story were received with great interest and open minds and hearts.  Kudos to all who helped make this a very successful tour.

Spring 2010 Tour:

We are in the process of putting together another tour from April 18-May 4.  This window is smaller than usual because of events on the ground, and Daoud doesn’t want to be off the farm any longer than necessary.  Because of the limited time frame, we will be focusing on East Coast venues again this time.  If you would like us to consider a request for Daoud to make a presentation to your church/other group, let me know as soon as possible.  We are looking at Raleigh, NC, Williamsburg, VA, Richmond, VA, New York, NY, Newark, NJ, Hartford, CT, Boston, MA and the DC Metro area (DC, MD, VA).  If you are interested in hosting events in other areas of the country, please keep our Fall 2010 Tour in mind and let us know as soon as possible if you would like to work on this with us.  We will post the final Tour events on our website:  www.fotonna.org Please contact Kay Plitt at kay@fotonna.org if you have any questions.

New Book by FOTONNA Executive Director Mark Braverman!

Mark Braverman has published his new book – Fatal Embrace – Christians, Jews, and the Search for Peace in the Holy Land.  You can go online and purchase a copy at: www.fatalembrace.org.  The cost is $16.95. In Fatal Embrace, Mark shows how the Jewish quest for safety and empowerment and the Christian endeavor to atone for centuries of anti-Semitism have combined to suppress the conversations needed to bring about a just and lasting peace in the Holy Land.  Fatal Embrace charts Mark’s journey as an American Jew struggling with the difficult realities of modern Israel.  Vividly describing the spiritual and psychological forces driving the discourse, Braverman turns to the prophets’ cry for justice and Jesus’ transformative ministry to show the way forward.

Book of Poetry:
Fifteen of the women who attend Jihan’s Bent al-Reef Women’s Education Programs wrote some moving and beautiful poetry through a Creative Writing Class offered in March 2009.  The booklet is now completed (translated from Arabic into eight other languages, including pictures taken on the land) and is available for a donation of $50 or more.  If you made a donation of $50 or more during the months of November and December 2009 and January and February 2010, we will be mailing a copy to you by mid-March.  The printing of this booklet was supported by The Reading Connection and an anonymous donation.  Seventy copies will be sent to Jihan.  If you are interested in supporting the printing of additional copies, please send a donation earmarked for “Booklet of Poems”. As always, we appreciate your support and concerns for the Nassar family as they continue to work for Peace with Justice through non-violence, open dialogue and teaching by example. Many thanks!!


Tent of Nations Bent Al-reef Empowerment Project

-People Building Bridges-

Another year has past, and we at the Tent of Nations are working hard to fulfill the goals of this project.  Last year we offered two English Courses for Beginners, two for Intermediates, two for Advanced, and one Course in English Grammar and Conversation.  We also offered one Computer Course in Drawing and Designing, two Computer Courses in Computer Literacy, two in MS Word and two in Internet and E-mail.

We also had many workshops about Children’s Health, Women’s Pregnancy, Alzheimer’s Disease, Health and Nutrition, Drying Fresh Garden Herbs, Story Reading and Story Discussion in English Language.

Since the main goal of this project is to invest and empower the village women, all of our educational classes and activities were put to serve the women and help them realize their power in building a healthy family and society.

Every year we try to implement the educational program with a new group of women of all ages and backgrounds.  The women’s group of last year was so remarkable, devoted and always ready to learn new things.  The women enjoyed the classes a lot and constantly asked for more.  The lack of staff, volunteers and fund resources constrained our plans of growth and development of this project.

The Women’s Week of last year was a thriving and appealing one for many of the village women who attended it.  All the workshops during that week talked about “Environmental Wellness and How it Affects all Aspects of Life”.  We thank all international educators, specialists and doctors who came and volunteered during the Women’s Week.  We hope that during the year 2010, more village women will join our programs and activities, and we hope to achieve the project goals and fulfill this year’s plan.

Our Annual Plan for 2010 will be as follows:

1 – The Educational Program:

This program offers free classes in English, Computer Skills, Management, Health Education, Communication Skills and Organic Farming.  We need volunteers to teach the following subjects:

First Stage (March 2-April 8):
Participants:  10-15 Village Women
Subjects to be taught:

  • English for Beginners from 9:00-10:00 a.m. (Volunteer is needed)
  • Computer Skills 1 from 9:00-10:00 a.m.
  • Management from 10:00-11:00 a.m. (Volunteer is needed)

Meetings:  12 Lessons for each subject
1 Hour Per Class / Tuesdays and Thursdays

Women Graduation for this stage will be on Saturday, April 17

Second Stage (May 4-June 10):
Participants: 10-15 Village Women
Subjects to be taught:  English for Intermediates from 9:00-10:00 am (Volunteer is needed)

  • Computer Skills 2 from 9:00-10:00 a.m.
  • Health Education from 10:00-11:00 am (Volunteer is needed)

Meetings: 12 Lessons for each subject
1 Hour Per Class / Tuesdays and Thursdays

Women Graduation for this stage will be on Saturday, June12

Third Stage (September2-October7):
Participants: 10-15 Village Women
Subjects to be taught:

  • Advanced English from 9:00-10:00 a.m. (Volunteer is needed)
  • Computer Skills 3 from 9:00-10:00 a.m.
  • Communication Skills 10:00-11:00 a.m. (Volunteer is needed)

Meetings:  12 Lessons for each subject
1 Hour Per Class
Tuesdays and Thursdays

Women Graduation for this stage will be on Saturday, October 9

Fourth Stage (October 19-November25):
Participants:  10-15 Village Women
Subjects to be taught:

  • English Speaking and Conversation 9:00-10:00 a.m. (Volunteer is needed)
  • Computer Skills 4 from 9:00-10:00 a.m. (Volunteer is needed)
  • Organic Farming 10:00-11:00 a.m. (Volunteer is needed)

Meetings:  12 Lessons for each subject
1 Hour Per Class
Tuesdays and Thursdays

Women Graduation for this stage will be on Saturday, November 27 2 – Workshops and Lectures:
Our workshops and activities are open for all women of different ages and backgrounds.
Local and International volunteers can do workshops on those topics:

  • Health Education, Alternative Medicine, Women’s Nutrition, Family and Children
  • Environmental Wellness, Agriculture and Organic Farming
  • Personal Development, Confidence Building, Women Leadership Training, Communication Skills
  • Feminism and Equal Rights, Violence
  • Arts and Creativity
  • Sport and Fitness

We need volunteers to do the following workshops and lectures for the year 2010:

  • January 14th, Art and Creativity Workshop – “Magazine Collage” by Jihan Nassar
  • January 28th, Chinese Medicine Workshop 1 – “Tuina Therapy” by Lan Komatsu, a specialist from Japan
  • February 11th, Alternative Medicine Workshop – “Pelvic Floor Muscle Problems and Therapy” by Rita Haller, a specialist from Switzerland
  • February 25th, Chinese Medicine Workshop 2 – “Tuina Therapy” by Lan Komatsu, a specialist from Japan

Women’s WeekApril 12th to 17th – This year we will be talking about:
“Transforming Pain into a Constructive Power that Leads to a Better Future”

  • July 8th, “Art and Creativity Workshop” (we need a woman volunteer to do this workshop)
  • July 29th, Lecture – “Health Education – Women and Children’s Health” (we need a woman volunteer to do this workshop)
  • August 5th, “Confidence Building Workshop” (we need a woman volunteer to do this workshop)
  • August 26th, Lecture “Agriculture and Organic Farming” (we need a woman volunteer to do this workshop)
  • December 2nd, “Sewing and Crafting Workshop” (we need a woman volunteer to do this workshop)
  • December 16th, Lecture on ”Personal Development” (we need a woman volunteer to do this workshop)

3 – Annual Events:

  • Women’s Week – April 12-17
  • Field Trips – Twice a year (to be assigned later)
  • Socializing Day – Once a month (to be assigned later)
  • Women Encounter – Once a month (to be assigned later)

We kindly ask your help and support to make this project a more powerful and successful one.
Lecturers, Scholars, Artists, Intellectuals, Volunteers are welcome to participate in all the above programs and activities.

For more information on how to volunteer, please contact us at:  info@tentofnations.org

Together we can make a difference!

Jihan Nassar, Project Coordinator

March 3, 2010

Dear Friends,

All cisterns are almost full.  It was a lot of work in the rainy weather to pump water from a cistern into the big truck tank and then transport it to the other cisterns.  Now we managed to have the cisterns almost full; all together, we have a capacity of 600,000 liters of water, and our aim for this year and the following one is to build more cisterns and raise the capacity for 1 million liters of water.  Then we would be able to sell water to the settlements, put them in bottles with a label “Pure rain water from Palestine”.

No update for the program is needed, but it would be wonderful to have a little more of rain in March.

With the financial support from FOTONNA through many who donated for the project last year, we were able to build 4 new cisterns for a capacity of 300,000 liters of water.  It is wonderful; thank you so much, my friends, and please pass our thanks and appreciation to all people who made a donation.

So far we were able to plant 750 trees and hundreds are waiting to be planted within the next days.

Salaam
Daoud Nassar
Director

FOTONNA was established based on the Interfaith Peace-Builders (IFPB) trips that Mark Braverman, Bill Mims and Bill Plitt took to Israel/Palestine in 2006.  It was on those tours that they met Daoud and his family and learned about the work being done at Tent of Nations.  We would like to encourage you to consider going on one of these wonderful trips yourself.  If you think that isn’t going to be possible for you personally, please consider providing a scholarship to a student for travel to that area.  Maybe your church could hold a fundraiser to help sponsor a trip for someone in your congregation.  Whatever you might choose to do, it would be a worthwhile effort to send an individual(s) to bear witness to events on the ground and share their insights with those of you who cannot go yourselves.  We only ask that you not do ‘nothing’!
The following schedule shows the upcoming 2010 delegations for IFPB:

  • May 23 – June 5, 2010
  • July 24-August 6, 2010
  • October 31 – November 13, 2010

You can contact Interfaith Peace-Builders at:  www.ifpb.org.
Or, 1326 9th Street, NW – Washington, DC  20001
office@ifpb.org
202-244-0821
Help make a difference!!

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