22nd Dec, 2008

Christmas message

Greetings from Bethlehem.

It is something special to celebrate Christmas on the spot where the word became flesh and it is wonderful to be on the place where the Angels were singing: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace”.

Before more than two thousand years, at the time when Jesus was born, the situation was not too much different than it is today, the small town of Bethlehem was under the Roman Occupation; the people were having a hard time, all corners, paths and roads of Bethlehem were full of Soldiers, who oppressed the life of the people and made it unbearable. During that difficult time and hopeless situation, the King of peace was born in Bethlehem and brought the message of Peace to all nations. In Luke chapter 2 we read, the Angel said to them: “Do not be afraid; for see –I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people”. King Herod tried to kill that message, he thought by killing all the children of Bethlehem, he would achieve that, but he couldn’t.  The message of Love and forgiveness is still living until today.

Today, Palestine is still under occupation not the Roman but the Israeli. Land has been destroyed; hundreds of thousands of olive trees have been uprooted from the soil for settlements expansion, for roads and for the Apartheid wall. Bethlehem is now surrounded by a wall and in order to come into the city to celebrate Christmas one has to cross through gates and check points that are guarded by military.  The Palestinian cities are totally disconnected from each other. People are frustrated and are disappointed from the peace process; the unemployment rate is about 55% or even more. People and especially youth are loosing their hope for peace, stability and for a better future.

People are frustrated and are living day by day and waiting for super power to solve our problems, some are even giving up their hope.

Our farm is still threatened to be confiscated for the expansion of the Israeli settlements. We are in the Israeli courts defending the land since 1991. We went and we are still going through many difficulties, dangerous situations and aggressions from the Israeli settlers who came many times uprooting olive trees and damaging our infrastructure. But we are people who believe in justice and we believe that the sun of justice will rise again.

We don’t want to react in a violent way, we are against violence. We don’t want to accept the injustice and we don’t want to resign and give up. On the opposite, we want our voices to be heard all over the world and we want people to listen to our message “We refuse to be enemies’. With this message we started the Tent of Nations on our farm as a way to resist the injustice in a non violent way. We want our frustration to be invested in a constructive way and acting instead of reacting. We wanted the farm to be a place for encounter and gatherings, for people from different Nations, cultures and religions to come together, to build bridges of understanding, of reconciliation and peace. This is the Tent of Nations that is building bridges not only between people and people, but also between people and land, since there will be no future for any nation without its land and also the land will never have a future without its nation.

The message of the King of Peace was much stronger than Herod and his soldiers; we believe that this message is still very strong today and will overcome all barriers; checkpoints and walls and will reach to comfort us, wherever we are.

We pray to God to bless you all and keep you in HIS loving care. We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Please pray with us for peace, justice and reconciliation in the Holy Land.

We are looking forward to see all of you again.

Salaam and Blessings from

Daoud Nassar & family
Christmas 2008

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