foton:uk exists to support and publicise the work of the Tent of Nations project.

Background. The Tent of Nations is located on the Nassar family’s land, known as Daher’s Vineyard, 9 KM southwest of Bethlehem in the West Bank, in an area totally controlled by Israel per the Oslo Agreement of 1993 view map. Israel requires a permit for all permanent infrastructure development. Currently, such permits are only granted to Jewish settlements located in this area. In addition, the land is not connected to the power grid or to public water. Because of the concrete barrier wall that Israel is constructing, very soon the land will be totally cut from the rest of Palestine.

The Nassar family is one of the last Christian Palestinian families living and working in the fertile hill country south of Bethlehem. The family’s farm was named after Daher Nassar, who purchased the land in 1916, but today it is under threat. The Nassar’s farm is ringed by Jewish settlements and the encroaching Separation Wall, and is in a region marked for annexation by Israel. The family has been offered millions for the land and safe passage out of Palestine, but they remain steadfast. “This land is our mother,” says Daoud Nassar, grandson of Daher. “Our mother is not for sale.” Under his leadership, the family has taken the case to establish the family’s land rights all the way to the Israeli Supreme Court.

So far, the fight to save their land has cost the family over $130,000 (£65,000). While fighting their case and continuing to farm the land, and in order to demonstrate their commitment to peace and coexistence, the Nassar family has established “The Tent of Nations” providing arts, drama, and education to the children of the villages and refugee camps of the region. International volunteers and visitors are a constant presence on the land. In addition, Daoud and his family have also established a Women’s Educational Center in the adjacent Palestinian village of Nahalin, offering classes in computer literacy, English, and leadership training. The Nassars seek coexistence with Israel in a shared Palestine and are committed to nonviolence.

Mission. The mission of Tent of Nations is to build bridges between different people, and between people and the land. In pursuit of this mission, Tent of Nations has established projects to develop and protect the land at Daher’s Vineyard, and to make it a center for people from different countries to come together and build bridges of trust and hope.