Tent of Nations
Trip Start Apr 01, 2013
10Trip End Apr 11, 2013
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Our bus came to pick us up at 9:00
When we reached the Alrowwad Cultural and Theater Society. First we saw two films about Alrowwad (Beautiful Resistance) and the second one was about the Nakba. Then the General Manager, Abdelfattah Abusrour, spoke to us about his experience being born in the Refugee Camp and how he came to cofound the Center. The center uses drama, music, art, theater, dance and much more to get across the suffering of the Palestinian people. The children who participate in the program have performed all over the world. Abdel is highly educated with a degree from Paris in biomedical engineering.
When we left Aida, we stopped in downtown Bethlehem to have Shawarmas for lunch
Tent of Nations is a farm with olive, fig and almond trees. They are on the highest hill in Bethlehem district and are surrounded by settlements. It is owned by the Nasser Family and they still live there. They are also in danger of losing their farm to the settlements and have been fighting in the courts, both military and now the Supreme Court since 1991. They are doing lots of things environmentally soundly and have solar panels and composting toilets. They have lots of visitors from all over the world. Shortly after we arrived we went for a short walk to see the accommodations – tents. It was and still is very windy as I write this blog. Later on we discovered there are also caves we can stay in. The chapel is in a cave and the family lived in a cave until the last uncle died in the 1989
We went into the meeting cave and Daoud (David) Nasser told us about his family’s situation with the 100 acres of farm. He is a man who lives non-violent resistance every moment of every day. He is doing everything he can to save his farm by opening it up to groups like us and he also gives Peace Camps for children in the summer. His wife teaches computer courses to the local women. Daoud speaks in the US and will be coming to Ohio in May.
After the lecture we staked our claims in the tent and in the cave where the family formerly lived. We moved our luggage and got pillows, blankets, and sleeping bags. Then Daoud took us on a walk through the property to show us everything. It is a beautiful farm with great 360* views.
We ate supper with people from Canada and France and volunteers from all over. Daoud’s brother was there and his sister who prepared the meal. It was a simple meal of salad, rice with chicken, yogurt, and pita bread. After supper Daoud suggested we use his house instead of the tent as it looked like rain, it was getting colder and more windy. The straw that really broke the camel’s back was when one of the volunteers told us to tie the tent shut at night so the dog’s would not get in and sleep on your bed. So all of us except Larry and Ted ended up at Dauod’s house. Larry and Ted slept in the cave. We had a debriefing meeting before going to bed.