The main purposes of this newsletter update are to:
1) let you know about Daoud’s upcoming educational/ fundraising tour;
2) include direct reports from Jihan and Daoud; and
3) as always, request your financial support for the Tent of Nations projects. We are at a critical juncture at this point as you will see when you read Daoud’s report (many of you may have already received his Spring 09 message). Pressure is on, folks, and we really need your solidarity right now. Anything you can do will be welcome. Send donations to the usual address: FOTONNA – c/o Kay Plitt – 5621 N. 9th Road – Arlington, VA 22205 – checks made out to: FOTONNA.
Mark Braverman and Bill Plitt will be joining Daoud in the Chicago area from April 21-27, 2009. If you live in that area and would like to attend any of the following, you would be most welcome.
|Tuesday, April 21, 2009Lombard Mennonite Church
528 E. Madison Street
Lombard, IL 60148
|Wednesday, April 22, 2009First Presbyterian Church
715 N. Carlton Avenue
Wheaton, IL 60187
Abraham’s Children Education Study
|Thursday, April 23, 2009Countryside Unitarian Universalist Church of Palatine
1025 N. Smith Road
|Friday, April 24, 2009Wesley UMC
21 E. Franklin
Naperville, IL 60540
Program at 8:00 PM
|Sunday, April 26, 2009United Church of Rogers Park
(Palestinian Christian Church)
1545 W. Morse Avenue
Chicago, IL 60626
11:00 AM-2:00 PM
|Monday, April 27, 2009Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
and McCormick Theological School
at the Language Resource and Writing Center
1100 E. 55th Street – 3rd Floor Chicago, IL 60615
- Catholic University: Daoud, Mark and Bill will return to Arlington, VA on April 28, and on Wednesday, April 29, Daoud will make a presentation to Barbara Wien’s class at Catholic University and to the wider Peace Studies program there.
- Philadelphia, PA – Saturday, May 1, Daoud will be in Philadelphia along with Mark Braverman, Bill Plitt and Bill Mims. Venue details are still being determined. (Contact Kay at email@example.com for details by 4/25/09.)
- Trinity Presbyterian Church – Sunday, May 2, Daoud will be preaching at TPC at both the 9:00 and 11:15 AM services. Trinity is located at: 5533 N. 16th Street, Arlington, VA 22205 – 703-536-5600.
- Hill Visits: Visits are being set up with various congressional offices in order to help further educate them on the issues that Palestinians face on a daily basis and to continue the momentum that was sparked with the Gaza incursion. If you think your senator or representative might be receptive to a visit, let us know; we will see if we can get in to see them sometime between May 4 and May 8.
- Busboys and Poets in DC – Monday, May 4 – Noon – Potential update by Daoud at Busboys and Poets in DC – in conjunction with other activities. If interested in more details, please contact Kay Plitt at 703-524-5657 firstname.lastname@example.org . This is not yet confirmed as of 4/15/09.
- The Potter’s House in DC – On Friday, May 8, at 7:00 PM, there will be music and a presentation by Daoud at The Potter’s House in DC. Come join us for good music, good food, and a personal update from Daoud. Address: 1658 Columbia Road, NW – Washington, DC 20009 – 202-232-5483 – $15.00 (suggested) donation. Proceeds will be split between FOTONNA and The Potter’s House. Additional donations will certainly be accepted!!
Please take time to read the following reports. Jihan has great news about the Women’s Education Center in Nahalin, and Daoud’s news is both wonderful and urgent. Keep the Tent of Nations and the Nassar family endeavors in your prayers!! Peace with Justice – shouldn’t be so difficult to accomplish!!
Bent Al-reef Empowerment Project seeks to help the village women realizing their potential, hoping to open for them new job opportunities, modify their role within the family and reformulate the individual’s perspective of self. We believe that investing in women fundamentally strengthens family and society. Our women empowerment program focuses on Education (English, Computer Skills, Accounting, and Management), Health Education, Family, Children, Environmental Wellness, Personal Development, Agriculture and Organic Farming, Alternative Medicine, Women’s Nutrition, Sport & Fitness, Feminism & Equal Rights, Violence, Arts & Creativity. All of that is achieved through simple workshops and lectures done by local women educators and with the help of international women volunteers.
Our educational program, workshops, Lectures and activities are open to all women of all ages and of different educational levels and backgrounds. The number of village women beneficiaries increased evidently throughout the past years. Last year, around 73 women had the advantage to participate in our programs demanding more courses and different activities to meet with their expectations, needs and challenges.
We hope to double this number in the year 2009, so that more village women will have the chance to be part of this empowerment project. And because these activities require a lot of fund resources and efforts, we ask your help and support to make this project more powerful and successful.
Since Bent Al-reef project was developed mainly to empower women and to increase their access to and control over technology, we developed the below yearly program to guide us through out the year.
|English for Beginners||15||8 Weeks|
|English for Intermediates||15||8 Weeks|
|Advanced English||15||8 Weeks|
|Computer LiteracyComputer Skills||15-30||16 Weeks|
|Workshops & Lectures||Participants|
|Health EducationAlternative Medicine
|Open to Public + Our Women Students|
|Agriculture and Organic Farming|
|Personal DevelopmentConfidence Building
Women Leadership Training
|Feminism & Equal RightsViolence|
|Arts & Creativity|
|Sport & Fitness|
|Events & Activities||Date|
|Women’s Week||March or April|
|Field Trips||Twice or Three times a year|
|Women EncounterInternational Women and Palestinian Women||Once a month|
|Art Group Meeting||Once a Month|
International Volunteers can contribute a lot in achieving the above programs and activities.
Since the building of the Apartheid Wall will disconnect villagers from the city and will restrict the ability of many Palestinians to travel freely, many Palestinians will be forced to leave their land and villages and settle down in the city centers where they can have an easy access to all services. As a result, land will be abundant and will be easily confiscated. Since our mission at the Tent of Nation is to keep people connected with their land, we believe that it is the time to put more effort to expand the services of Bent Al-reef project and buy a building to develop this simple project into a Community and Educational Center. This center will attract many people to stay in the village and benefit from its services and at the same time stay connected with their land.
Together we can make a difference.
Tent of Nations Bent Alreef Educational Center
Nahalin – Palestine
Tent of NationsPeople Building BridgesSPRING REPORT – 2009
Greetings from Bethlehem, and from “Daher’s Vineyard,” which is bright spring-green. We would like to report a bit of our main situation, and the development of the Tent of Nations project.
As we told you in our last Newsletter in January we can only drive to the land in Nahalin on a roundabout route through the villages. In the future, this road will be re-routed through a tunnel from Bethlehem, and the way will grow longer. Construction of the Apartheid Wall continues, and the settlements around us also continue to grow.
Israel demanded that our land must be re-registered one more time to become legally ours. For this process we must pay $15,000. We made the first payment of $5,000, but the process will stop if we do not continue to make payments. The second payment of $3,000 is due right now. We hope that this part of the long legal process will have a good outcome. Even the way is still long; we won’t give up our hope for justice,
We would be thankful for every kind of financial support, and we thank you for your solidarity with us.
We are happy to tell you that we and with the help of many volunteers and Guests from different countries, have planted 600 trees in recent months. It was very motivating to see all these people coming together from different countries to plant trees until the title: Plant for Peace.
We plan to begin agricultural classes for local residents in organic farming. If you would like more information about this program, please contact us.
We have built two new cisterns for 80,000 liters of water, and a third is in process of being built, because we need so much water for the new planted trees and for our use. We are improving the kitchen recently built, and rebuilding the shelters for the animals to include underground protection. For these projects financial support is also welcome.
We have had a great number of visitors from different countries in recent months. There were 311 persons from Germany, 141 from the USA, 14 from Norway, 22 from England, 3 from France, 28 from Switzerland, 145 from Austria, 5 from the Netherlands, 11 from Brazil, 5 from Sweden, 2 from Scotland, 87 from Israel, and 102 from Palestine. In all, we had 876 visitors between January and March.
We are always happy to have volunteers helping us at all times. Without them, we would never be able to accomplish the work required to keep Tent of Nations going.
Workshop Week in the Center Bent-Areef
The Workshop Week for women of Nahalin was very successful. The women were interested in the new subjects, and learned so many new things. To receive a special report on this week, please contact us.
Finally, from Palestine we wish you pleasant spring days, and a blessed feast of resurrection, and wish you ongoing joy, hope and peace. Please pray with us for peace and justice.
You will find more information under www.tentofnations.org
I will be on a speaking tour in the United States from the 20th of April until the 10th of May, you can contact me at 513 322 48 27 or cell phone 571-830 7190.
I would love to hear from you.
Blessings and Salaam,
Tent of Nations
-People Building Bridges-
Atan Street 17
Bethlehem – Palestine
Tel: +972-(0)2-274 30 71
Fax: +972-(0)2-276 74 46
Mobile: +972(0)522 975 985
|MANY THANKS FROM: FOTONNA STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBERS|
|Daoud Nassar – Director of Operations
Bill Mims – Director of Projects and Planning
Steve France – Director of Communications
|Mark Braverman – Executive Director
Bill Plitt – Director of Community Outreach
Kay Plitt – Director of Finance