It is with deep sorrow that I write this newsletter.  The events in Egypt and Tunisia have been bittersweet up to this point in time, and there is no way of knowing how they will affect the situation in the neighboring countries or in Israel/Palestine.  We can only hold our collective breath and hope and pray for a positive outcome to the wave upon wave of anger and frustration that has been fueled for decades by the actions of the leaders who are so completely out of touch with, and seem to have no real concern for, their own people.  May we all work in solidarity with the oppressed at this time in history.

On a much lighter note that is filled with joy and wonder at the marvelous people Daoud and I were privileged to work with during the Fall 2010 Tour, I would like to re-cap what we did during November.  It was, as has been the case with every tour, an opportunity to share Daoud’s story with many, many people.  FOTONNA just has to sit back and give people a range of dates and ‘they come.’  Individuals who have traveled to Tent of Nations and know firsthand what is happening there want to ensure that others hear the story ‘from the source.’  As always, Daoud had rapt audiences in a wide range of settings:  community college/university classrooms and meeting places, private homes, churches, interfaith peace groups, Islamic centers, mosques.  He spoke to groups as small as five and as large as 200.  Everywhere he went, someone was able to introduce him and add credibility to his story with their own personal experiences.  The hope is that people will make plans to travel there and see for themselves what Tent of Nations has to offer in the way of a non-violent approach to the establishment of peace with justice in the Middle East.

Our thanks to:

  • Sr. Suzanne Kush and Fr. Michael Calabria of the Franciscan Center for Social Concern and Clare College in Olean, NY – St. Bonaventure University;
  • Elaine Johnson along with Immanuel Baptist Church, Justice Team of Downtown Presbyterian Church, Faith to Faith, and Peace in Israel/Palestine groups in Rochester, NY, and Bob Smith with WXXI (public radio station interview);
  • Andy Mager and Syracuse University faculty and students and the University Methodist Church along with support from Sam Buchbauer of the Syracuse Peace Council in Syracuse, NY;
  • Yoav Elinevsky with Faculty (and Students) for Israeli/Palestinian Peace at Amherst University, Abbie Jenks at Greenfield Community College, Jan and Bob Winston (private home presentation), Prof. Omar Dahi at Hampshire College, Prof. Art Keene at University of Massachusetts/Amherst, and wonderful Israeli students at Brandeis University who formed a student group in support of Palestinian freedom;
  • Shakeel Syed and Vicki Tamoush who put together a whirlwind tour in the Los Angeles, CA, area  that included the Interfaith Community United for Justice and Peace, the Islamic Center of Riverside, the Islamic Society of Corona Norco, the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles and Middle East Peace Commission, Sabeel Orange County and Irvine United Congregational Church and Don Bustany of KPFK (radio interview);
  • Camille Cole who organized dinner with students studying Arabic, a presentation to the CMC Arabic Department and presentations at the Oldenborg Center for International Relations at Pomona College and the Athenaeum at CMC in Pomona, CA, and Prof. Williams who invited Daoud to speak briefly with her students who were studying water issues in the Middle East;
  • Vicki Tamoush for also getting us in touch with Dino Bozonelos who had three of his Middle East Studies classes meet together at Cal State San Bernardino;
    Vicki for getting us in touch with Louise Fisher who put together a presentation at Trinity Episcopal Church in Santa Barbara, CA;
  • And, Bruce Fisk who invited Daoud to speak with a few of his students at Westmont College who will be traveling to Israel/Palestine.

I want to emphasize the honest interest and concerns on the part of the college and university students and professors with whom Daoud spoke.  This new generation of young people is being educated about the reality on the ground, and they will be the leaders in the near future who will determine whether we have peace or continued discord in the Middle East.  The more they know and understand about the history of the area, the better they will be at shaping our world’s reality.  Kudos to all of you!

I also want to thank each and every family who offered Daoud and me warm and comfortable hospitality as you shared your homes with us.  We felt so very welcome by everyone.  I would like to give special thanks for an ‘unexpected gift’ along the way, however.  In Syracuse, plans changed (for a variety of reasons), and we ended up staying with a couple who lived closer to the Syracuse Airport.  Rev. Hani Khoury and his wife, Margaret, opened their home and their hearts to us at the last minute.  Rev. Hani just happens to be a Palestinian Christian minister, 82 years old, born in Bethlehem, who left Palestine many, many years ago.  He and Daoud talked for a long time about all of the families and friends and businesses that were as fresh in his mind as if he had walked down the streets of Bethlehem yesterday.  He pulled out old photo albums and reminisced with Daoud about his life there.  This was a two-way gift, and it was a special evening shared between these two exceptional people who spoke not only the language of Arabic but spoke the language of the land and the people who live there.

FINANCIAL UPDATE FOR 2010

The really good news is reflected in the following chart.  When we put together all of the large donations and all of the small donations for 2010 plus some carryover from 2009 for the backhoe, we were able to provide enough funds for all of the Special One-Time-Only Projects Daoud had identified.  In addition, we were able to complete the funding for the backhoe and pay for most of the rent of the Women’s Education Center in Nahalin.  Your generosity of money and spirit is most appreciated – difficult to ever be able to thank you enough!!  We expect to be back in 2011 in support of the usual TON of projects that include planting trees, the youth summer camp activities, ongoing women’s education projects plus 2011 rent, etc.  Every dollar has gotten the Nassar family and TON closer and closer to self-sufficiency.

Project

Cost

Amount of Donations

Amount Left to be Covered

Cafeteria (Peace Café) Improvements:

  • Additional tables, chairs
  • Enlarging area for seating

$3,800

$3,800

-0-

First Aid Station:                                            

  • Shelving
  • Emergency Supplies

$1,000

$1,000

-0-

Kitchen needs:           

  • Additional refrigerator
  • Additional stove top space
  • Additional plates, cups, saucers, glasses, silverware
  • Additional pots and pans and cooking utensils

$6,000

$6,000

-0-

Library at TON:

  • Books

$500

$500

-0-

Maintenance Workshop:                                

  • Tools/Equipment (welding machine, power saws, etc.)
  • Infrastructure work inside one of the caves

$7,000

$7,000

-0-

Water Pump Pipes:

  • Pipes to connect cisterns to one another

$1,000

$1,000

-0-

Wine Press +:                                                

  • Winepress and Fruit Crusher
  • Containers for juice
  • Bottles and caps for storage
  • Bottle Cappers for capping off bottles

Shipping:

  • Shipping Costs from US to Israeli port
  • Port Expenses (customs, etc.)
  • Transportation Expenses

Infrastructure:

  • Infrastructure Needs (preparing area for wine pressing, cave prep., hoses to containers in cave, etc.)

Total:  $4,242
$1,513

$929
$720
$130

$950

$4,242
$1,513

$929
$720
$130

$950

-0-

-0-

-0-

Sub-Totals:

$23,542

$23,542

 

Backhoe

$15,000

$15,000

-0-

Women’s Education Center – Partial Rent

$3,000

$3,000

-0-

Sub-Totals:

$18,000

$18,000

 

Part-time cook and dishwasher:                                                                   

*$300 a month
(not included)

Ongoing Need

Grant Requests (Holy Land Christians Society – HLCS):

  • Children’s Center at Women’s Education Center
  • Books
  • Shelving
  • Tables/Chairs
  • Storage Cabinets
  • Art Supplies
  • Water Pumps:                                    
  • Three pumps

$2,000

$1,500

$2,000

$1,500

-0-

-0-

Sub-Totals:

$3,500

$3,500

-0-

TOTALS:

$45,042

$45,042

-0-

The best news of all, however, is that Daoud was finally able to get the backhoe on the farm on February 1 and has already been hard at work in completing some of his projects.  It took two years, but patience and persistence paid off.  Thank you to all who helped with the support for this project.


SPRING 2011 TOUR

We are preparing for Daoud’s Spring 2011 Tour much earlier than the usual April/May timeline.  Daoud has an opportunity to participate in the Interfaith Peace-Builders lobbying day workshops* and will be in the Metro DC area and Cleveland, OH area from March 4-March 21.  When that calendar of events is completed (by the middle of February), we will post it on our website:  www.fotonna.org.  Please try to attend one of these presentations if you live nearby.

*Interfaith Peace-Builders and the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation invite you to the:

GRASSROOTS ADVOCACY TRAINING AND LOBBY DAY 2011 – GAIN IMPORTANT SKILLS FOR YOUR ACTIVISM and MAKE AN IMPACT IN THE NEW CONGRESS!
March 6 – 7, 2011
Washington, DC
(see www.ifpb.org/grassroots for a full schedule)

Join Anna Baltzer, Mark Braverman, Nadia Hijab, Daoud Nassar, Adam Horowitz, Loubna Qutami, Josh Ruebner and others to bring your voice to the most important foreign policy debate of our time.

REGISTER NOW AT:  WWW.IFPB.ORG/GRASSROOTS.

Space is limited!  Reserve your spot today!


UPDATE ON FOTONNA’S STEERING COMMITTEE STRUCTURE

We have a wonderful addition to our Steering Committee, and in the process of adding Nadia Itraish to our membership, we also changed our role titles to better reflect our actual work with FOTONNA.  So, here we are, with a brief background statement for each of us as it now appears in our Brochure.

Steering Committee:
Mark Braverman – Executive Director – Mark is a Jewish American with deep family roots in Palestine; he has both lived and worked there.  Mark’s writing can be found at:  www.markbraverman.org.
Daoud Nassar – Director of Operations – Daoud is a Christian Palestinian who, along with his extended family, works a farm known as Daher’s Vineyard.  He is the Director ofTent of Nations.
Bill Mims – Secretary – Bill Mims is a part-time substance abuse counselor and retired airline pilot.  He is a Quaker and has visited TON often between 2006 and 2010.
Bill Plitt – Director of Educational Outreach – Bill Plitt is a teacher in school, church, and university settings and is responsible for creating opportunities for presentations aboutTON.  He has visited TON each year since 2006.
Steve France – Counsel – Steve is a lawyer active in the political asylum area and works as a news editor at BNA, Inc.  His visit to TON in 2010 added urgency to his work with FOTONNA.
Nadia Itraish – Director of Community Outreach – Nadia is an American-Palestinian who is currently working for Freddie Mac.  She has a great personal interest in the events unfolding in the Middle East as she currently has family still living in the West Bank.
Kay Plitt – Director of Finance/Communications – Kay is a part-time administrative assistant with a non-profit that serves children in housing crisis.  She is also the financial manager of another non-profit serving Northern Virginia.


ESTABLISHMENT OF AN ADVISORY COUNCIL

The Steering Committee members have spent the last year contemplating the establishment of an Advisory Council (AC).  One of the main purposes of the AC is to search out some fresh ideas and approaches to the educational and fundraising tours that Daoud participates in; another purpose is to take advantage of the broad and deep experiences of individuals who know about and support Tent of Nations and who are greatly experienced in Middle East issues overall.

With the decision made to go ahead and see what this would bring, we extended the invitation to join us to several people; we now have 11 individuals (waiting for a couple of additional responses) who have offered to serve on our Advisory Council with two meetings a year planned.  We are pleased to offer the following brief bios so you can get to know them.  The current plan is to meet as a group on March 16 while Daoud is in town; the second meeting is TBD.  We want to express our gratitude to each of the following individuals who has offered to serve.

Todd Deatherage is currently working as the Executive Director of The Telos Group.  He also serves on the Board of Directors of Holy Land Christians Society (HLCS) which has been supportive of Tent of Nations through a couple of small grants in 2010.

His connection with TON and the Nassar family began a number of years ago when Mark Braverman introduced him to Daoud.  At that time, Todd was working with the US State Department.

Quote:  “He is one of the people I respect most in the world.  I’ve visited the farm on a regular basis since I left State in 2009.”

Relevant Background:  Todd worked on Middle East issues, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, for six years at the State Department and has now been directly involved with this issue full time since co-founding The Telos Group in 2009.

Todd Endo has been deeply involved for many years with the Arlington, Virginia, neighborhood redevelopment projects which include issues relevant to immigrants, community and education.  His current associations include:  Arlington Partners for Affordable Housing, Greenbrier Learning Center (after-school program for children), Arlington New Directions Coalition (affordable housing and community development for the public good) and Trinity Church Outreach Committee (Little Washington, Virginia).

Todd met Daoud during his Spring 2010 Tour when the Endos hosted him at their home in Amissville, Virginia.  Daoud was a guest speaker at Trinity Episcopalian Church in Little Washington, Virginia, as part of this tour.

Relevant Background:  Todd worked for one year in Egypt on national educational change and made two trips to Jerusalem with related side trips during that year in Egypt.

Philip Farah works as an economist in Washington, DC.  His current associations include serving as Vice-President of the Washington Interfaith Alliance for Middle East Peace (WIAMEP).

Philip has known Daoud for several years and has attended a number of Daoud’s Tent of Nations presentations.  He has helped publicize these semi-annual tours through his organization, WIAMEP, and his many personal contacts.

Relevant Background:  Philip was born in Jerusalem in 1952.  He taught at different schools in the Jerusalem-Ramallah area as well as at Berzeit University.  After the 1967 war, he helped in founding one of the first joint Israeli-Palestinian dialogue groups opposed to the Israeli occupation.  He immigrated to the US in 1978 where he studied economics at the University of New Mexico.  During that time, he served as president of the Arab Student Union, which built coalitions with progressive student and off-campus groups working on peace and justice issues, including New Jewish Agenda.   He has addressed audiences across the US on issues related to Palestinian rights.

Joseph Groves serves as a Senior Fellow, Interfaith Peace-Builders (IFPB), and is an Adjunct Professor, American University International Peace and Conflict Resolution Program.  His focus is on Palestine/Israel Education and Advocacy and on Nonviolence Training and Activism through his work with IFPB and local, community-based organizations.

Joe’s involvement with TON and the Nassar family has included planning at least ten IFPB delegations that have visited Tent of Nations (though he has never been there himself!) and helping to organize speaking events for Daoud in the US.  Joe has kept the IFPB network up to date on the situation at Tent of Nations, including emergency alerts.

Relevant Background:  Joe taught school in Iraq for three years (1966-69), has been involved in Middle East Education and Advocacy for 40+ years and has traveled to Palestine/Israel six times, including leading two IFPB delegations. He was on the Middle East Witness Steering Committee, served on the Fellowship of Reconciliation Middle East Task Force, was the Director of FOR Middle East programs and the Director of Interfaith Peace-Builders.  He has also taught Isalam and Modern Middle East Politics, Religion, and Culture.

Beverly Hunter is currently serving as a volunteer with Trinity Episcopal Church, Washington, Virginia, on the Stewardship of Creation Committee, Virginia Diocese.  She also volunteers with Tikkun:  Network of Spiritual Progressives.

Bev traveled with the Diocese of Virginia Pilgrimage to the Palestine of Jesus in March 2010 where she visited Tent of Nations.  She stayed on after the group tour and planted trees at TON in March 2010.  She helped host Daoud at Trinity Episcopal Church in April 2010, and she organized tours of local farms in the Rappahannock Community where Daoud was introduced to new environmentally-sound farming techniques.

Bev and others at Trinity worked in supporting the purchase of the wine press and other equipment so the grape harvest could be turned into juice for sale on the land.  She also writes profusely about TON on her blog at http://bevhunter.com.

Relevant Background:  In 1989, Bev worked briefly in Egypt with AID.  She is doing some reading about the region and has a strong interest in interfaith understanding as it relates to social justice.

Scott Kennedy currently works as the Coordinator, Middle East Program Resource Center for Nonviolence, Santa Cruz, California.  He is also a Board Member of Interfaith Peace-Builders, Washington, DC, Treasurer, National Refuser Solidarity Network (supports a half dozen Israeli organizations that assist those refusing military service), and is an active layperson with the United Methodist Church of Santa Cruz.

Scott accompanies delegations to Israel and Palestine nearly every year, sponsors speakers and organizes speaking tours for visitors to the US, helps raise modest amounts of funds for various Israeli and Palestinian human rights and peace and justice organizations, is currently publishing two books on art related to Middle East issues (To Be Free: the Defiant Art of Zuhdi Aladawi – 2011, published with Farhat Museum of Modern and Contemporary Arab Art, and Family Ties: Occupied Art by Suzanne Klotz – 2010, co-published with Farhat Museum of Modern and Contemporary American Art and the Palestinian Conflict Resolution Centre).

Scott’s connection with the Nassar family involves having led half-a-dozen delegations with Interfaith Peace-Builders to the Holy Land which included visits to Tent of Nations.

Relevant Background:  Scott first traveled to the Middle East in 1968.  He lived in East Jerusalem in 1970-71.  He has traveled to the region nearly 50 times over the last 40 years and has led four dozen delegations to Israel and Palestine.

Fr. Jacek R. Orzechowski, OFM, serves as the Parochial Vicar at St. Camillus Church in Silver Spring, Maryland.  He is also Chair of the JPIC Directorate of the Franciscan Holy Name Province.  He works in a wide area of ministry within his local parish and the Franciscan Province with a special focus on the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Outreach.  Fr. Jacek is also part of the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation, the Archdiocese of Washington Global Solidarity Subcommittee, and the Montgomery Council Interfaith Council Steering Committee.

Fr. Jacek first met Daoud in 2005 while he was on the CPT’s delegation to Israel and Palestine.  Subsequently, having developed a working relationship with the HCEF, he requested that his peacemaking pilgrimages to the Holy Land include a visit to the Tent of Nations.  Since then, he has taken four different groups of pilgrims to TON.  In addition to this, Fr. Jacek and his St. Camillus parish and the nearby Holy Name College has hosted Daoud when he was here on speaking tours.

Quote:  “I’ve come to deeply admire the powerful, active, non-violent witness of Daoud, his family and the Friends of Tent of Nations.”

Relevant Background:  Fr. Jacek has traveled to Israel and Palestine five times (the first time on a CPT delegation), meeting with a variety of groups involved in non-violent resistance to the Israeli occupation and promoting justice, peace and reconciliation.  Furthermore, over the years, he has participated in several annual advocacy conferences organized by the Churches for Peace in the Middle East.

Rabbi Brant Rosen currently serves as the Rabbi of Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, Evanston, Illinois.  He also serves as Chair, Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council, is Co-Founder of Ta’anit Tzedek – Jewish Fast for Gaza, and is a Member, Board of Trustees, Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions.

Rabbi Rosen first met Daoud in 2010 during Daoud’s Educational/Fundraising Tour to Evanston, Illinois.  He has subsequently kept in touch with Daoud by e-mail.  In December 2010, Rabbi Rosen visited TON with 20 congregants during their Israel/Palestine Study Tour.  He and Mark Braverman (Executive Director, FOTONNA) have collaborated with one another in their mutual activism.

Relevant Background:  Rabbi Rosen has lived in and has visited Israel/Palestine numerous times.  I/P activism is central to his professional and volunteer work.  He writes extensively about I/P peace and justice issues on his blog (Shalom Rav) and on other blogs as well as in several publications.

Mary Kay Turner currently serves as President of Holy Land Christians Society (HLCS) and is part of the Leadership Council for Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) and The Telos Group.  She is also presently on the White House Commission for Presidential Scholars.  Recently she completed an appointment to the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS).  Her major focus is providing Advocacy for Peace in the Holy Land and support for the diminishing Christian community in Palestine and Israel.

Mary Kay visited with Daoud at Tent of Nations in March 2010.  She also hosted Daoud in her home in 2009 to raise awareness for the work and needs of TON.

Relevant Background:  In her last year of teaching (25 years), she had a Palestinian Christian student who asked if she could help the Christians in the Holy Land who have felt abandoned by so many fellow Christians around the world.  She knew very little about the situation, so she made a trip to the Holy Land with two priests, learned about the struggle and founded HLCS to raise awareness in the US about the plight of the Christians.  HLCS now provides scholarships, microfinance, education infrastructure, medical care at an orphanage and water projects at TON.  They have also met with about 60 members of Congress and many Administration officials to tell the story of the Christians in the Holy Land.

Rev. Susan P. Wilder currently works as the Representative for Middle East Policy, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).  She also serves on the Advisory Council, Washington Interfaith Alliance for Middle East Peace (WIAMEP), is a Member, Israel/Palestine Mission Network, PCUSA and is Chair, Middle East Working Group, Grace Presbyterian Church in Springfield, Virginia.

She was “moved and impressed,” she said, when she met Daoud and heard him tell the story of Tent of Nations.  Since that time, she has followed the Nassars’ work with interest.

Relevant Background:  Rev. Wilder has served in ecumenical and interfaith networks as a grassroots organizer, speaker and educator, working to raise awareness about the Israeli/Palestinian situation and to further advocacy for a just peace.  She lived in Jerusalem from 1999 to 2002.  She is ordained in the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., and has served several churches in the Washington, DC, area.  Rev. Wilder graduated from Whitworth College in Spokane, Washington, and received her M.Div. from Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, California.

Christy Wise has been an active volunteer in multiple organizations over the years.  Relative to Tent of Nations, she is currently volunteering as a member of the Westmoreland Congregational UCC Middle East Committee and serves as the Liaison between FOTANNA and that committee.

Christy was a graduate student at Georgetown University where she received a Master of Liberal Studies with a focus on Classical Civilizations.  She is an author, having written A Mouthful of Rivets:  Women at Work in World War II; as an essayist, she wrote Memory Book which was selected as a ‘Notable Essay of 2009’ by Best American Essays.

Relevant Background:  She learned of Tent of Nations through her participation in the Middle East Committee at Westmoreland Congregational UCC and embraces what Daoud and the Nassar family members are doing to bring together people of all faiths and nationalities on their land near Bethlehem.  She understands that Daoud is fulfilling his father’s wish of creating a community of peace, understanding and coexistence on the family farm, and she states that “she feels honored to help him in that endeavor.”  Christy met Daoud in 2009 while he was on a speaking tour in the DC Metro area, and she has expressed the desire to visit the land at some time in the future.


NOTE FROM DAOUD

Tent of Nations
People building Bridges

Dear friends,

Greetings from Bethlehem. I hope you enjoyed the Christmas celebrations and holiday.

Today is the last day of the year 2010. For some people it was a good year but for others it wasn’t. For us Palestinians, the year 2010 was a difficult year. We were hoping that it will bring peace with justice to our land but it brought more settlements and land confiscation. Even that we are not allowed to give up our hope for peace and justice, we want to thank God for the strength he gave us in 2010 to continue our nonviolent struggle for justice in a very difficult and hopeless time.  We wish you all a happy new year full of blessings. We pray and hope that the year 2011 will be a year of peace and justice to all people. All the best to you all for the year 2011.

We hear about the peace process, the negotiations and the obstacles for peace. Politicians and negotiators are talking about peace but at the same time more facts are created on the ground that are against peace. Palestinian land is being confiscated every day for the expansion of settlements, roads and fences that are cutting our land into small pieces, changing it into small homelands. People are talking about peace but they don’t have it in their hearts. We are becoming like sheep without a shepherd. It is a very miserable situation for us living day by day without any future perspectives.

Regarding the demolishing orders, as I already informed you that the Israeli military authority got a new time limit for the third time until the 2nd of January to explain why they want to demolish our structures, a court date was given  on the 2nd of January but I heard from our lawyer while I am writing this Newsletter  that the court date was postponed again.

The Hill which is south west of the Tent of Nations is already confiscated. Roads are opened to connect the settlements together. There is a plan to disconnect us not only from the main road but even from the village of Nahalin. Even that, we will never give up living there.

In the new year as in the previous ones we are trying always to develop the infrastructure on the land, to keep the Tent of Nations functioning even if the plan is to disconnect us. We already have a solar power system for electricity and 11 cisterns for rain water collection. We are planning to add a small wind turbine for 3 KW of electricity in the year 2011. We have 4 compost toilets on the farm in order to save water. A fruit crusher was imported from the US through our Friends of Tent of Nations North America. The used backhoe we are planning to purchase beginning of January. Thanks to our Friends of Tent of Nations North America. All of that will help the Tent of Nations Island to function.

Within the next weeks and months we are expecting more groups and individuals from USA, Europe, Israel and Palestine to come and join us in planting trees at the Tent of Nations. This campaign is called “Plant for Peace”. We started in November to cultivate new fields for new trees. Our goal for this year and the following ones is to plant more than 3000 trees in order to protect the land, to make it green and to increase the land production. Farm products will be sold to our guests that will help the Tent of Nations to be self-sustainable. We want to thank all who are sponsoring trees for the Tent of Nations.

The women project Bent Alreef has been very successful. Beside the different courses we are offering to women from the village, we started with a sustainable agriculture training course for one year. This project is being supported by the United Palestinian Appeal from USA. Our vision is to establish a vocational training center focusing on sustainable farming and alternative energy (Solar and wind).

We are very happy to see that the number of guests from all over the world who are coming to visit the Tent of Nations is increasing. In the year 2010, 4756 people came to visit the Tent of Nations from all over the world, including Israelis. Our goal is to double this number for the year 2011. We want to thank all of you who came to visit this year, thank you for your solidarity. Thanks also to our long term and short term volunteers for their help and support.

Our goal in 2011 is to continue developing the infrastructure in order to make the Tent of Nations self-sustainable. A first aid room is needed, a maintenance workshop in order to repair our machines without binging them to Bethlehem is very important. The legal battle is also a big burden on us. We want to thank all who helped with the legal fees. Thank you so much for your support and solidarity.

We would like to invite you to sponsor our programs for the year 2011: You can sponsor an olive tree for $10, or an animal (horse, goat, chicken, rabbit,…) for $10 a month. You are welcome to sponsor a child for the summer camp in July with $180 or women for one semester with $250.

Our goal is to make the Tent of Nations within 3 to 5 years self-sustainable and self-supportive. Please join us in achieving this goal.

We have a vision for the future and we are looking forward to achieve it. Independently from the difficult political situation, we are trying to move forwards defending our rights in a nonviolent way and preparing the new generation for a better future by spreading the words of peace and justice under the slogan: “We refuse to be enemies”.  Faith, hope and love are the foundation of our work.

We want to thank you all for your prayers, for your encouragement and for your support. We wish you all a happy new year and we would love to see you in the year 2011.

I will be on a speaking tour in the US in March.  This trip will be sponsored by our Friends of Tent of Nations North America; maybe there will be a chance to see many of you.

Blessings and Salaam from the land that is thirsty for peace and justice.

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<mailto:dnassar@tentofnations.org
E-mail: info@tentofnations.org<mailto:info@tentofnations.org
www.tentofnations.org<http://www.tentofnations.org

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *