Two long-time friends (from the mid 60s), both teachers and former Peace Corp volunteers, have been involved with a project for a number of years called “Tent of Nations,” (TON). Kay and Bill Plitt have talked with me about Daoud Nasser, his family farm outside of Bethlehem, and the impact their involvement with Daoud and TON has had on their lives.
Tent of Nations is the story of the lives and struggles of the Nassar family who live on a farm and peace center just outside of Bethlehem and whose motto is “We Refuse to be Enemies.” The Nasser family bought this 100-acres almost a 100 years ago (1916), then registered it and have been living on it and farming it since the Ottoman Occupation.
For most of these 100 years, Jews and Arabs lived side by side and were able to get along reasonably well together. With the various outbreaks of war between the Arabs and the Israelis from 1948 on, and with the expansions of Israeli settlements, the Nasser farm has increasingly been the focus of dispute and tension.
Now the farm, Dahler’s Vineyard, is led by the grandson of the man who purchased the land in 1916. He, Daoud Nasser, a Palestinean Christian, has struggled to make this plot of land support his family and also serve as a peace center and educational project for “People from different countries to come together and build bridges of trust and hope.”
Daoud Nasser will be in Washington, speaking about his grandfather’s dream, his father’s vision, and his own struggle to find a way of peace in a land filled with conflict.
Thursday, Nov. 1, at 7 PM Daoud will speak at The National Cathedral on Wisconsin Ave., NW, Washington, DC in the Perry Auditorium, (take tower elevators to the 7th floor).
Some links to further info:
Bill Plitt’s blog “Peace with Justice,” includes posts on his various trips to Tent of Nations
2012 Conference on Israel & Palestine, NYC, Nov. 10 – “Education: How Can We Embrace Our Common Humanity?”