It’s been four days since I returned home from the centennial celebration of the purchase of Daher’s Orchard, now the home of Tent of Nations, and the Nassar family farm. You can read more about the events of the four-day gathering of 60+volunteers from 8 countries on our website blog here.
For me the week’s activities of gathering as a community every morning near the family cave, where we heard personal stories, celebrated with music, prepared for the day of service on the farm with each other in small groups, was a pilgrimage to a special place.
That’s how it has been for me on every trip there since I first stepped foot on the land in 2006 through travel as a delegate with Interfaith Peace Builders. But this time, it was even more special, as we were celebrating life together, and the work of the Tent of Nations and it’s mantra: “We refuse to be enemies”.
What was different was the gathering of the diversity of age, gender and culture. Very few of us, other than the large delegation from Holland, knew each other before. Normally, when people visit the Tent of Nations, they are doing so with people from their own countries, and generally with people more senior in age.
This was a microcosm of the world where we lived together in harmony, at least for this week. Missing of course, were the members of nearby Israeli settlements, and those from an opposite hilltop just 250 meters away in particular, where some, at a point in the closing ceremony, seemed to be watching there from the school playground. I wondered what they might be hearing and thinking as we sang, danced and heard words of testimony? I wondered if they might join us at some future gathering of our group or one like it? I wonder. BP