March 14, 2016 – Spring Newsletter
From May 9-12, 2016, Tent of Nations has plans underway for a four-day celebration of its 100-year anniversary (100 years of the existence of Daher’s Vineyard). Over 50 individuals from around the world have registered to attend the events at one level or another; many have even volunteered to help set up prior to the planned activities and clean up after the events are over. In addition to the four-day program, Meta Flor (coordinator) has arranged for a choice of activities over the week-ends of the 7th-8th and the 13th-14th of May. One Main Event is planned for Wednesday, May 11, when the community at large is invited to attend and commemorate this important milestone that mirrors the larger struggle for Palestinian land rights.
Registration for this program ended on February 29, but we encourage you to begin to look into ways throughout 2016 in which you can personally share in these activities in spirit, if not in person, wherever you live. We invite you to:
- Encourage your church community to plant a tree in solidarity with the Nassar family;
- Plant a tree in a nearby park (with permission, of course);
- Plant a tree in your own yard and have your neighbors attend and share information about the Nassar family story;
- Lift up the family in prayer at a church service;
- Educate people about what is happening on the land;
- Offer up scholarship money for youth in your community to travel to the land and volunteer on the farm;
- Write a letter to your elected representatives and senators and President Obama to let them know your personal opinion on the situation and encourage them to be open-minded in their struggle to understand both sides of the story in Israel/Palestine;
- Organize a tour to the land within your community at any time during 2016;
- Sign up for one of the Interfaith-Peace Builders tours; and
- Keep the family, including all of the Israelis and Palestinians working for peace, in your prayers and thoughts.
We would love to document some of the actions you plan to take in support of this year’s 100-year commemoration. Please share them with us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. For example, Trinity Presbyterian Church in Arlington, VA will be planting a tree on the church grounds. The FOTONNA Steering Committee will also be planting a tree in April when Daoud is here for his Spring Tour. If a tree is too much, then planting some lovely perennials in your yard will do. Just do it with a silent prayer for peace with justice!
If you think that you could use some brochures to share at your activity, please let Kay know; we will mail out whatever you need. We may have a video ready to share soon, but that is still a work in progress. We will let you know if/when that is available for your use.
Palestinian Recipe Book:
We are on our third order of books. More than 360 books have already been given away for donations or as gifts for hosts and sponsoring organizations for Daoud and other Steering Committee members on the tours. If you would like to have a copy, donations as small as $10 can get you one. Simply write a check to FOTONNA – mark “recipe book” in the memo line – mail to: FOTONNA – Kay Plitt – 5621 N. 9th Road – Arlington, VA 22205.
PALESTINIAN RECIPE BOOK
Spring 2016 Tour:
Daoud will be traveling with his 16-year-old daughter, Shadin, on the Spring 2016 Tour from April 5-12. What is usually a two-week tour has been shortened to one week because of the tensions on the ground and planning for the May Commemoration. Shadin will have opportunities to meet with some young American students while here and share her story with them. She may even share her wonderful talent as a fine pianist at some of the participating sites. If you live anywhere near these events, please attend and bring a friend or two. Here is the itinerary at this point in time:
- Tuesday, April 5, 2016 – FOTONNA Steering Committee Dinner/Meeting – (Closed Event)
- Thursday, April 7, 2016 – Huston-Tillotson University – Austin, TX – Class Presentation – (Closed Event)
- Thursday, April 7, 2016 – 7-9 PM – Westminster Presbyterian Church – Fellowship Hall – 3208 Exposition Boulevard – Austin, TX – Sponsored by the Interfaith Community for Palestinian Rights and the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Austin – (Open Event)
- Friday, April 8, 2016 – Day is in flux – could include Radio Show Interview and Interview with Newspaper
- Saturday, April 9, 2016 – 10 AM-Noon – St. Austin Catholic Parish – Hecker Hall – 2026 Guadalupe Street – Austin, TX – Sponsored by St. Austin Catholic Social Justice Ministry Program – (Open Event)
- Sunday, April 10, 2016 – Preaching Sermons at 8:30 and 10:30 AM services – Gethsemane Lutheran Church – 200 W. Anderson Lane – Austin, TX – (Open Event)
- Sunday, April 10, 2016 – 5:30 PM Potluck followed by Presentation and Q/A – River City Vineyard Community Church – 358 Landa Street – New Braunfels, TX – (Open Event)
- Monday, April 11, 2016 – 4-6 PM – St. Edward’s University – 3001 S. Congress – Maloney Room (Main Building, Room 320 – Top Floor) – Austin, TX – Sponsored by St. Edward’s University Center for Religion and Culture and Center for Ethics and Leadership – (Open Event) – Visitor Parking in “All Permits Parking” area, an open, outdoor lot between IH 35 and the parking garage)
If you have any questions, please contact Beth Moore, FOTONNA’s Director of Tour Planning, at: email@example.com.
The Nakba Museum:
Freedom through Art. Stories of the Silenced. Every Voice deserves to be heard
The Nakba Museum Project has finished another successful exhibition in downtown Washington, DC. The exhibit was held at Calvary Baptist Church in Chinatown and attracted hundreds of visitors. The exhibit is now travelling to the following venues around the country:
- March 21: Roanoke College – Roanoke, Virginia
- April 17-26: Fort Wayne, Indiana – Center for Middle East Peace
- May 4-27: Jerusalem Fund and Palestine Center – Washington, DC
There are many more sites being planned for Summer and Fall 2016! If you would like to host the exhibit or support venues/traveling expenses, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website www.nakbamuseumdc.org
Voices from the Holy Land:
In 2015, several churches in the Metro Area worked together to screen six films on consecutive Sundays at one of the church locations. The films chosen reflected stories based on the lives of Palestinians and Israelis, and the discussions and Q/A sessions that followed each screening were very helpful in bringing greater understanding to the dilemma we find ourselves facing on a daily basis within this confusing and convoluted situation. The initial success of this project prompted other churches in the area to put together another series of films that will be shown during April/May 2016. This time ‘round there is a much larger number of sponsors and supporters of the project. Please click on the brochure below to see details.
A great deal of work has gone into organizing this, and you can take advantage of the committee’s due diligence by requesting their film series “kit” which should be available very soon. Here are a few details:
The committee currently has eleven videos in the kit – six that were screened during the 2015 film series and five that were on the shortlist. Discussion is still going on regarding ways to expand this small collection in order to provide interested communities with additional and newer choices. Those who would like to borrow the films for screening may choose to host a series of films or just show individual films. The committee is primarily targeting this kit for use by churches and church-related groups that will not charge for the events.
Any organization interested in this kit may contact Kathy Drinkard, Chair of the Middle East Working Group @ Grace Presbyterian Church (7434 Bath Street, Springfield, VA 22150) or Deepak Kenkeremath. Both can be reached at GPC_MEWG@cox.net.
Below is the general outline of the kit’s contents.
Voices from the Holy Land
Film Series Toolkit
- Background of Film Kit
- Why host a Film Series?
- What is in this kit?
- Pre-Planning Issues
a. Leadership Buy-In
b. Core Team
c. Target Audience
- Planning Activities
a. Film Selection
b. Co-Sponsors & Supporters
- Legal Considerations
- Screening Day Logistics
Sample Checklists, Guideline, Forms
Sample Publicity Materials
If you are interested in pulling together a program such as this, we recommend that you put plans into motion at least six months in advance. Getting five or more churches or organizations to support your efforts takes time, and you may need to educate people about the need for such a program. We would love to see this duplicated across the country. The footwork has already been done for you, thanks to the diligent work of a group of people who believe deeply in peace with justice for all Palestinians and Israelis. Film is a perfect venue for provoking discussion; go for it!!
InterFaith Peace-Builders Tour and Holy Land Trust Tour:
There are at least two opportunities for travel to Palestine/Israel this summer with highly regarded tour leaders. Check out these websites to find out more details about the IFPB and HLT summer trips.
2015 Financial Report:
If you would like to have a P/L report for 2015, please request a copy from Kay. We thank each and every one of you who have shared in your support for Tent of Nations. Daoud has never been concerned with the financial support the family receives from people like you; his major purpose has always been to educate and engage people in discussion of the issues the Palestinian people face every day of their lives. Your support enables him to do this, however, and we are all grateful for your solidarity and faith-filled accompaniment on this long journey towards peace.
FOTONNA Steering Committee