Reflections from the farm or visitors about TON

04Dec 2018

On November 16, 2018, Beth (our FOTONNA Tour Coordinator), Daoud and I returned home after an eight-day trip across southern and central Virginia, sharing the story of the Nassar family’s persistent stand in claiming their ancestral lands through a simple message of “refusing to be enemies/loving our neighbor” and doing so through a creative non-violent […]

27Nov 2018

Since 1998, undergraduate, graduate and alumni groups from Eastern Mennonite University and Eastern Mennonite Seminary have made the Tent of Nations farm outside of Bethlehem a regular stop on their Middle East trips. Several hundred have visited the Nassar family’s 100 acres in Palestine to plant trees, harvest olives and fruit, and learn about the family’s witness to […]

10Sep 2018

In June, three members of the Franciscan society, a group of related mendicant religious orders within the Catholic Church, founded in 1209 by Saint Francis of Assisi, applied for scholarships to travel to the Holy Land and visit the holy sites there as well to work as volunteers at the Tent of Nations for two-three […]

09Aug 2016

The Tent of Nations centenary: “We refuse to be enemies” by the EAPPI Bethlehem team.   On the 12th of May 2016, the Nassar family supported by visitors from around the Globe, congregated on a scenic hilltop farm on the outskirts of Nahlin village to celebrate their family’s connection to the land which stretches back in […]

15Jun 2016

June 16, 2016 Dear Friends, As you know, during the week of May 9-20, 2016, there was an international Centennial Celebration of the purchase of Daher’s Vineyard in 1916; I was fortunate to be able to participate in this joyful event at Tent of Nations. While we celebrated and planted trees on the farm, members […]

28May 2016

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 […]

28May 2016

Dear Friends of Tent of Nations UK, I’m greeting you a week after having returned from Daher’s Vineyard as friends from around the world joined the Nassar family to mark 100 years of existence on that land that is so dear to them and to which they belong. Around 60 people from the Netherlands, the […]

17May 2016

The 4 days of volunteer activities at the Nassar Farm were busy and took on a regular rhythm, starting with early rising and breakfast, then our 9:00 morning gathering of 60-70 volunteers with songs, poems, prayers, and meditation on the daily themes: “Come and See,” “Come and Tell,” “Come and Act,” and “We Refuse to […]

15May 2016

I have been thinking quite a bit about what it means for there to be an international presence at Tent of Nations and in occupied Palestine, and to imaginatively use having visitors here at the farm on a continual basis.  Daood  Nassar told us that since 2002, when a good number of internationals began showing […]

12May 2016

Today was a great mixture of communal farm work, afternoon workshops, discussions, and optional activities, then a surprise party in the evening.  I am getting to know the many different areas of the 100-acre Nassar Farm, which includes lots of interesting little nooks and crannies along the hilltop and in the fields of grapes, olive […]

10May 2016

Good morning dear friends. Here I am at the Tent of Nations with the Nassar family as we begin the celebration of the Centenial event recognizing 100 years since the farm was purchased by family and now enjoyed by many as the place of understanding. 60 people from 8 countries began the week together at […]

10May 2016

It has been a very full Day #1 here at Tent of Nations!  First:  how I got here, literally, in contrast to my previous journal entry that described how I found myself volunteering at ToN and being a part of its 100th anniversary party. Last evening I came by taxi from Bethlehem with two other […]

02May 2016

I am just waking up in the Bethlehem Hotel, after arriving here last evening from Ben Gurion Airport with 2 Dutch women who are also here for the 100 Year Celebration at Tent of Nations.  A group of perhaps 25 of us “pilgrims” had a buffet dinner together at the hotel, with Meta introducing us […]

18Apr 2016

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 […]

11Jan 2016

Dear Friends, Greetings from Bethlehem! It is something special to celebrate Christmas in the place where the word became flesh. More than two thousand years ago, the shepherds who were also living under occupation came to see the newborn King. Hopelessness, frustration, and fear didn’t stop them from making this risky trip to come and see. […]

13Nov 2015

Pardon my musings, but I wake some mornings with this awesome feeling, a spiritual call to speak. I share this with you because I feel some measure of selfishness that I get to experience the exhilarating moments of our work in the life of the project that reassures me that we are on the right […]

28Oct 2015

“Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) Having just returned from another amazing U.S tour with Daoud Nassar, a Palestinian farmer, I am inspired to write a piece that I think captures the many spiritual moments that occurred once again during the spaces of the featured events of the tour. […]

07Aug 2015

Steve France – August 2015 In July, three of us stopped by Daoud Nassar’s hilltop farm, Tent of Nations, near Bethlehem.  Daher Nassar, the eldest brother, found us picking our way through the boulders and broken rocks strewn on the road by the surrounding settlers to block access to the farm.  Daher gladdened us with […]

07May 2015

Reflections from Kay Israel/Palestine Trip May 17-21, 2015  Bill is light; I am dark.  Bill is up; I am down.  Guess which one of us is full of hope and which one is full of despair. This is how we see the world – through very different lenses – and this is why my reflections […]