Christmas Message 2018

March 27, 2019

in News

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your father in heaven.” Matthew 5: 14-16.

We live in a world that is full of conflicts, wars, darkness and hate. We are all burdened with bad news almost on a daily basis. Where are we today with all of what is happening around us? What is our message at Christmas time and for the New Year?

We always like to talk about things, put together plans and even give solutions to any problem in this world, but the real challenge we face is how to put the word into practice. Jesus said, “You are the Light of the World.” It is not about the word, but about the action. By being the light, we can make the change and not just by talking about it. This is the witness that we always need to carry.

As this year comes to an end, we look back and are thankful for God. HE always blesses us with enough strength to overcome the Negatives with Positives, Hatred with Love, and Darkness with Light with our simple message of Refusing to be an Enemy.

So far this year, we have had 9,804 visitors on the farm, including volunteers from all over. All were inspired by our story, went back home inspired and encouraged to become change-makers in their own communities.

Thank you so much for your friendship, for your prayers, for your solidarity and for your support.

We wish you all and your families a Merry Christmas and a happy and blessed New Year 2019. May God give you, and us, the power to continue to be change-makers. Let us walk together in this coming New Year with Faith, with Love and with Hope.

Blessings and Salaam,
Daoud & Family


December 2016 Newsletter

December 8, 2016

in News

Dear Friends,

Greetings from the Tent of Nations.  Almost the year 2016 is coming to an end; it was a difficult year for our region, with more downs than ups.

We would like to share with you the latest news from the Tent of Nations, the situation on the ground, our concerns, but also to share with you hopeful stories, how we are trying to move forward, despite of all the challenges we are facing.

Political Situation:

The absence of peace talks was used to create more facts on the ground.  More land is being confiscated for new settlements and/or expanding the existing ones.  The wall is continuing to be built on Palestinian land, separating Palestinians from their own communities and from their own land.  The confiscation of land and the building of new settlements and the wall will make it more difficult for the Palestinians to establish their own State.

Also, in our area the situation is getting more difficult.  As you know, the main access road to the farm is closed since 2001.  Visitor groups have to stop their buses close to the road block and then walk to the farm.

Late May 2016, the settlers started with the construction of a new religious school close to where the road is blocked.  This school is going to isolate us more and more, and the main road to the farm, after they finish building the school, may be closed completely.  If this would be the case, we should go legally trying to prevent that from happening.  We will keep you posted and will inform you about any new developments regarding the road.  At the same time, we would like to have more people coming to visit the Tent of Nations, because the international presence at the Tent of Nations is making a big difference.

We try to be optimistic and hope for the best; at the same time, we have to be realistic and be prepared for the worst.

With the end of this year, we complete 25 years of a legal battle with the Israeli authorities with more than $180,000 spent on legal expenses since 1991.  But the positive outcome is that we are still on the farm, and we did not lose any part of the land.  Today, and after 25 years, we will continue this struggle for justice without giving up, will never give up, and we will keep working hard on different levels to prevent our farm from being confiscated.  Although we are going through many challenges, the candle of hope for justice is still burning inside this dark tunnel, and it will lead us out one day.

Agricultural Development:

For the years 2016 and 2017, our aim is to continue developing the farm in terms of agriculture in order to make the farm self-sustainable, especially after the continuation of building the wall that will disconnect us from Bethlehem.  Since the struggle is about land, the more positive facts that we can create on the ground will make it more difficult to confiscate the farm.  By developing agriculture, we want to encourage more farmers to do the same, especially if they start to see that agriculture could become a source of income.  Our hope is to make the farm financially self-supportive through the selling of its produce.  We believe that this is the healthy way to grow.

Between January and March 2016, and with the support and help of many of our friends in different countries, we were able to plant 3,000 new grape trees (a new Vineyard).  In August 2016, we started cultivating a new area using big bulldozers to level the ground and to build terraces.   We finished the first part, and now we are clearing stones and rocks from the fields, building supporting walls and will be cultivating the ground a couple of times preparing it for new planting of trees.  We made a space for 5,000 olive and other trees.  Please pray for rain

The almond, the fig and the grape harvests went well this year, but we had a bad olive harvest.  We are glad to see the fruits of many hands that came and worked together; the farm is producing almonds, figs, apricots and apples.  Out of the fruits, we are making jam that is now available to sell in our farm shop.  For the first time after 80 years, the farm started to produce wine in bigger quantities.  We had the first wine tasting in May during our 100 years anniversary celebration.  We hope that by selling the produce, the farm will be able to support itself by itself.  That is also why we plant more trees.

Special thanks to all people who sponsored and/or helped in planting trees on the farm this year.  Thanks also to all who came and helped during the harvest months.

Energy:

The solar power system for generating electricity was expanded in February of 2015, and we have now 34 solar panels that produce 7-8 kw electricity.  We have 25 storage batteries which were installed in 2009 for the night use.  Those batteries are not enough to fully meet our night use needs, however, especially if we have many people staying on the farm.  We will get more batteries to increase the storage capacity, but are waiting until we can replace the old ones.  We are still hoping to install two small wind turbines for generating electricity to help charging the batteries in the night hours and also during winter time.  The Tent of Nations is 950m (3,000 feet) above sea level – more than enough wind.

Water:

Each year, we have been increasing our rain water collection capacity in order to have sufficient supplies of water and to be able to develop agriculture and to support the Tent of Nations activities and programs on the farm.

Waste water treatment unit:

By the end of December, we will finish the second and final phases of recycling the waste water.  The system will treat the bad bacteria in the waste water so that the recycled water can used for irrigation.

Composting and Bio-gas Fuel:

We are still in the process of building four new compost toilets.  Compost toilets are saving a lot of water.  We hope by the end of this year that the biogas fuel unit will be installed and will produce cooking gas out of the compost.

Aquaponics System:

We started the project this year; the system is for raising fish.  The fish tank is connected through a pipe to three open tanks filled with stones and sand.  When the water is flowing from the tank into the three open ones, it gets clean from the stones and sand and the fish waste stays there and the water continues to flow into the water tank and from there it is pumped back as clean water to the fish tank.  With this system, we can raise fish to eat and grow vegetables in the open tanks.

Greenhouse:

From the heavy wind, the green house was destroyed.  We started fixing it, and it will be ready very soon for planting vegetables in the winter time.

Animal Farm:

The work on developing a better infrastructure for animals is a continuous project since last year.  We stopped many times because of demolition orders, but we continue in small steps.  The animal farm project is important for educational purposes during the children’s summer camps by bringing nature into the life of children; it is also needed for self-sufficiency.  We want to grow our own food and eat from what the farm is producing.  We hope by March 2017 to finish this project.

Educational Garden:

We started this project last year.  The plan is to develop a place for children who come to the children’s summer camps to learn about the different trees and plants.  Most of our children are coming from the cities and do not know that much about plants and trees.  Through learning by doing, we are trying to introduce that to the children.  The first phase is done, and we will continue with the second phase.

TENT OF NATIONS EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES AND PROGRAMS

100 Years Celebrations:

In May 2016, we celebrated 100 years of existence on the farm with 60 people attending the five-day celebration.  More than half lived for the whole time on the farm, and we had 150 people on the final day, the day of celebration.

The five days included different workshops on conflict resolution, arts and crafts, biblical studies, sharing of stories and volunteering on the farm.  Eight nationalities attended, and all participants had a wonderful time together.  The whole idea was to bring people together, to celebrate, to share our stories, to learn and to inspire each other.  Many said that it would be nice to make it as a fixed program every year.  From May 1-4, 2017, we will have the 101 years celebration; we would love you to be part of this special event.  For more information, please check our website.

Bent Al Reef Women’s Project:

The women’s empowerment project in the village started offering activities and programs for this year beginning in September, and it will run until June (a full school year).  We want to enable women who have children or siblings at school to use a couple of the morning hours to be part of those activities to learn, to become empowered and also to be active positively in their own society.  The Program and activities are there to serve and encourage women to learn new skills, discover their talents and interests, develop their characters, socialize, visit and interact and exchange thoughts and ideas with local and international women.  A Palestinian Recipe Book was produced by the women and is for sale through Friends of Tent of Nations North America (FOTONNA).  See their website at:  www.fotonna.org.

Volunteers:

This year we had 54 volunteers who stayed and helped on the farm between three weeks and three months and 226 volunteers who helped between one day and one week.  Volunteers are a big support for the Tent of Nations.  A special thank you for all who came and helped during 2016; thank you for your support and solidarity.  It is important to say that since we started to have an international presence of volunteers (since 2002), attacks from settlers have been stopped; international presence at the Tent of Nations has made a big difference.  We hope to double the number of volunteers for the year 2017.  If you have an interest to come and help, go to our website:  www. tentofnations.org, fill out the form and send it to us.  We would love to hear from you.  There will be some options for scholarships in 2017; please keep an eye out for this information.

Come and See, Go and Tell:

Many visitors came to see the Tent of Nations this year to hear its story and challenges but also to learn about struggle and hope.  We had 6,043 visitors from all over the world this year. Visitors are a big encouragement to us and are a big sign of solidarity.  Please encourage more people to come and visit the Tent of Nations; we hope to double the number of visitors in 2017.

TENT OF NATIONS EVENTS AND PROGRAMS FOR 2017:

  1. Tree Planting Campaign from January until the 30th of March – Our goal is to plant 5,000 olive and other trees. We will be doing a campaign, asking people to sponsor and give trees as a Christmas gift.
  2. Tree Planting Camp from March 20-30.
  3. Celebrations 101 from May 1-4.
  4. Apricot/Apple and Cave Renovation Camp from June 19-30.
  5. Children’s Summer Camp from July 10-22.
  6. Almond and fruit harvest camp from July 31 until August 11.
  7. Grapes and Fig harvest camp from August 28 until September 8.
  8. Olive harvest camp from October 23 until November 3.

We would love to see you participating in one or more of our programs and activities.  For more information, please check our website.

The message of peace and love that started from Bethlehem more than 2000 years ago should continue to shine out from here.  Our journey for justice will continue with faith, love and hope, carrying our cross, refusing to be enemies, transforming our pain into a positive energy that is able to change hearts, lives and build a better future.  Have a wonderful Christmas celebration and a blessed New Year 2017.

Blessings and Salaam,

Daoud Nassar,

Tent of Nations – People Building Bridges


Christmas Message 2015

January 18, 2016

in News

Tent of Nations Christmas Message:

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. They had to overcome many obstacles in order to reach Bethlehem. Their journey didn’t end but started there; they went back and shared the message of hope with all people.

Today, our situation in Palestine is not much different from the situation of the shepherds 2,000 years ago. We are still living in hopelessness, in frustration, and in fear. Many questions are left open and without answers.

With the end of this year in sight, we complete 24 years of legal battle to prevent our farm from being confiscated. Still, we are people who believe in justice and we are proud to follow a different path of creative and non-violent resistance. We will overcome negativity with positivity, darkness with light, and hatred with love under our slogan: “We refuse to be Enemies.”

The message of the Tent of Nations for the year 2016 is to continue to work on transforming hopelessness, frustration, pain, and fear into a positive power that is able to change us and make a difference. With faith, with love, and with hope, we will continue our journey for justice.

We wish you happy celebrations and a wonderful new year, a year full of hope, love, and the fulfillment of your dreams. We ask God to renew your and our strength for this coming year to carry on and continue to work together for justice and peace.

The Tent of Nations is inviting you to COME and SEE and then GO and SHARE the message of hope with all people, just as the shepherds did 2,000 years ago.

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

Daoud Nassar & family
Tent of Nations
-People Building Bridges-
dnassar@tentofnations.org
www.tentofnations.org


Tent of Nations Fall 2015 Newsletter

December 2, 2015

Tent of Nations Farm People Building Bridges Fall 2015 Newsletter Dear Friends, We would like to wish you a blessed Christmas and holiday season with your loved ones. In this deteriorating political situation in Palestine, we find comfort in thoughts of love, hope, faith, and justice. We pray that, wherever you are, you are able […]


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Tent of Nations Fall 2015 Newsletter

December 2, 2015

Tent of Nations Farm People Building Bridges Fall 2015 Newsletter Dear Friends, We would like to wish you a blessed Christmas and holiday season with your loved ones. In this deteriorating political situation in Palestine, we find comfort in thoughts of love, hope, faith, and justice. We pray that, wherever you are, you are able […]


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Tent of Nations Summer Newsletter in German

September 8, 2015

Zelt der Völker Menschen bauen Brücken Newsletter Sommer 2015 Liebe Freunde Seit längerer Zeit habt ihr nichts mehr von uns gehört, aber wir sind noch immer hier und kämpfen für Gerechtigkeit. Wir möchten euch über die letzten Neuigkeiten von der Landwirtschaft berichten, sowie über die Rechtslage und die Herausforderungen betreffend Grundbesitz, aber auch die bisherigen […]


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Tent of Nations Summer Newsletter

September 5, 2015

Tent of Nations Farm People Building Bridges Summer 2015 Newsletter Dear Friends, It has been a while since you’ve last heard from us but we are still here working hard to achieve justice. We would like to share with you the latest news about the Tent of Nations farms including the legal situation, the challenges […]


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Christmas Message from Bethlehem December 2014

December 22, 2014

Dear Sisters and Brothers, In few days the year 2014 is coming to an end, a year was full of fear, despair and darkness, and still no security, no stability and no peace. In the Middle East and in other areas of the world, we see a brother against his brother, a nation against another […]


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December 22, 2014

Dear Sisters and Brothers, In few days the year 2014 is coming to an end, a year was full of fear, despair and darkness, and still no security, no stability and no peace. In the Middle East and in other areas of the world, we see a brother against his brother, a nation against another […]


Read the full article →

Christmas Message from Bethlehem

December 22, 2014

Dear Sisters and Brothers, In few days the year 2014 is coming to an end, a year was full of fear, despair and darkness, and still no security, no stability and no peace. In the Middle East and in other areas of the world, we see a brother against his brother, a nation against another […]


Read the full article →