Honors Guild Student, Erin Gillette, wrote on Daoud Nassar’s visit to Taylor:
WOW, MECA, Global Engagement, and the Honors Guild all together hosted this event featuring Palestinian Christian farmer Daoud Nassar. Nassar is the owner of a farm near Bethlehem located in the Palestinian occupied territory. Out of the farm, Nassar runs the organization Tent of Nations which focuses on building bridges of understanding between different peoples.
First, Nassar outlined some of the difficulties of living in Palestine. The Israelis have tried confiscate their farm numerous times using legal battles, physical pressure, financial pressure, and isolation. For their property, they are not allowed to have electricity, water, or building permits. These situations cause many to have one of three responses: violence, resignation, or running away. Nassar and his organization, however, have created a different reaction; they have chosen to stay with a perspective of hope. They have refused to be victims and to hate as well as living their faith and believing in justice.
Nassar and the Tent of Nations have two main goals: to invest frustration constructively and to create a place of encounter. These goals have been difficult to accomplish due to their restrictions, but they have overcome many of them through creativity and faith. Instead of electricity the farm runs on solar panels, instead of running water the farm uses rain water, and in the place of buildings they have renovated existing underground caves. Nassar’s farm has become a place of hope in a difficult land. By refusing to be victims or to view others as the enemy, Nassar has encouraged dialogue and mutual understanding. Nassar has accomplished the seemingly impossible task of bringing together Palestinians, Israelis, and members of the international along with Christians, Muslims, and Jews. This small farm outside Bethlehem has truly made their land a symbol of hope and a sign of peace in a region desperately in need of both.
7 November 2012