Daoud Nassar is one of the most inspiring people I have ever met. His hope, determination, and positivity are effervescent and you will find them seep into you after just one conversation with him. I visited him on his family's land which they have transformed into a sustainable farm called Tent of Nations and where they host international guests year-round for camps, projects, and volunteering. This year they will celebrate 100 years of existence on their land.
Tent of Nations has a unique story in that Daoud's grandfather registered the land when he bought it in 1916, as required when the Ottomans occupied Palestine. When the Ottomans introduced this new form of registration many Palestinians were disinclined to partake in it, especially because they did not want to start paying property taxes to their occupying power. Instead, they continued to determine land ownership through verbal agreements with their neighbors and stone demarcation for their borders, as had been their tradition for centuries. Today this unfortunately means many Palestinians cannot prove ownership of their land through the paper system the government of Israel now solely operates on. So a way has been created in which their land can be confiscated by the State and turned into “State land” or “legally” stolen by settlers (despite the fact settlers’ habitation of the occupied territory is illegal according to international law). Although Daoud’s grandfather registered their land in the early 20th century they continue to face the threat of having it confiscated until today. This is their story:
Despite their paperwork in 1991 their land was claimed as state land by Israel.
As the battle over Tent of Nations continues to rage, leaving a trail of sacrifices of property, energy, time, and resources caused by bulldozers, demolition orders, and road blocks, beautiful signs of hope also arrive—and from some of the least likely places. Such solidarity adds to the sustenance needed for the Nassar family to persist in working to attain recognition of their legal right to their land from the State of Israel and to live in peace.
One of the most recent efforts made by settlers to acquire the land was an open check, but as Daoud explained, a gift cannot be sold.
How can we join in solidarity with Tent of Nations and partner in bringing about a just peace in this situation?
How To Sponsor A Tree: http://www.tentofnations.org/support/sponsor-a-tree/
May we be led from death to life and from falsehood to truth.
From despair to hope and from fear to trust.
From hate to love and from war to peace.
May we have a vision of the world as love would have it:
A world where the riches of creation are shared, and everyone can enjoy them;
A world where different races and cultures live in harmony and mutual respect;
A world where peace is built with justice, and justice is guided by love.
May we open ourselves to receive the inspiration and courage to build it.
(Prayer adapted from United Church of Christ liturgy)
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