Saturday, May 29, 2010

Tent of Nations faces Israeli demolition orders

EAPPI and many others have forwarded an urgent email from Daoud Nassar of the Tent of Nations [], which is a project that the Nassar family started on their farm to bring youth of various cultures together to build bridges of understanding, reconciliation, and peace.

Nasser's story of "Daher's Vineyard" is familiar to many who have read Mitri Raheb's book, I Am a Palestinian Christian -

According to Susan Wilder of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Washington Office, a letter has been sent "to Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, with copy to Defense Minister Ehud Barak, from Bishop Burnside, chair of the ELCA bishops' Middle East Ready Bench, regarding the recent demolition orders issued to Tent of Nations. The letter expressed concern, asked that the orders be revoked, and asked that the Nassars receive assurances of no further interference."

Nader Hanna, Advocacy Officer, EAPPI, writes, "The farm is in the Western Hills of Bethlehem and is strategically based between three illegal Israeli settlements. For years, the local settlers have wanted the family’s land, but the Nassars have refused to sell their forefather’s land. When settler harassment and military intimidation failed to influence the family to leave, the settlers tried using the legal system to annex the land, but the Nassar family has owned the farm for generations and has land deeds from the Ottoman Era, British Mandate, and the time of Jordanian rule to prove their rightful ownership.

"Now it seems that a new pressure tactic is being adopted – one that is being used all-over Area C (an area comprising of 66% of the West Bank where Israel has total control over civil and security issues) – demolition orders. Daoud has been prevented to build on his land, so he dug underground to make a small chapel and used structures such as tents to host guests from all over the world who have come to support his family and help them farm their land. Yet, yesterday (Thursday, 27 May 2010) he was handed a demolition order for 9 ‘unlicensed’ structures on the farm that include caves, tents, lavatories, shacks for livestock, and a water cistern, which would essentially make the farm uninhabitable.

"To learn more about the Tent of Nations I recommend that you watch this video:, and read Mr. Nassar’s plea for help in the email below.

"Time is not on our side; the demolition order was handed to the Nassar family on Thursday and they were given only three days to refute it; although all Israeli government institutions are closed on Fridays and Saturdays. Thus, for your convenience I drafted the following letter that you may use or modify to send to your country’s Israeli Ambassador (click here for contact information: ... so as to demand that this grave injustice be prevented:


Dear Ambassador,

As a citizen of YOUR COUNTRY, I am writing to you concerning the Government of Israel’s recent decision to demolish nine structures in the Tent of Nations (, a project launched by a Palestinian family on their farm in the western hills of Bethlehem that aims to bring youth together to build bridges of understanding, reconciliation, and peace.

I ask that your government reconsiders this action, because it would be a violation of this family’s right to build on their own land. Moreover, such an action against a project of this nature would be widely interpreted as a proactive measure, which may make Israel appear as though it is not serious about reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians, especially in light of the current proximity talks.


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Now here is the message from Daoud Nassar []

Date: Thu, May 27, 2010 at 11:03 PM
Subject: Urgent Message from the Tent of Nations

Dear Friends of Tent of Nations all over the world,

Today at 2.00 pm in the afternoon, 2 officers form the Israeli Civil Administration guarded by Israeli soldiers came to our farm and gave us NINE demolishing orders for nine ( structures) we built in the last years without a building permit from the Israeli Military Authority. The demolishing orders are for: tents, animals shelters, metal roof in front of both old houses, the restrooms (Shelters) , a water cistern, a metal container and 2 underground renovated cave structures. One officer was writing the demolishing orders and the other was taking pictures with two cameras, Israeli soldiers were following them everywhere and pointing their guns on us.

The demolishing orders were written in Hebrew and I refused to sign receiving them. We have 3 days only to react against those demolishing orders. The timing for delivering the demolishing orders was plant properly and purposely on Thursday, in order to make it difficult for us to try to stop those orders by the Israeli court within 3 days, because of the Jewish weekend (Friday and Saturday). The idea is to make it impossible for us to act quickly. I contacted our Lawyer and he will write an opposition and send it to the military court on Sunday morning. We hope to get a paper from the court through our Lawyer on Sunday morning to stop the demolishing orders.

We would like to ask you to be prepared and alert for actions, if anything might happen. We will keep you updated and will guide you for actions but please forward this E-mail to your friends.

PLEASE be prepared for actions… Thank you for all your solidarity and support.

They are trying to destroy our spirit, but we are determined to resist and overcome the Evil with GOOD and justice will prevail.

Blessings and Salaam,
Daoud Nassar
Tent of Nations
-People Building Bridges-
P.O.Box 28
Bethlehem - Palestine
Tel: +972 (0)2-274 3071
Fax: +972(0)2-276 7446
Mobile: +972(0)522 975 985

Support in the USA for Tent of Nations:

The EAPPI website:

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EAPPI announcement of WCC Week of Peace

I was not happy with the formatting on my earlier post regarding the World Council of Churches' Week of Peace. I think this one will be better. Sorry for the duplication.

Promoting a just peace in Israel and Palestine

"Our question to our brothers and sisters in the churches today is: Are you able to help us get our freedom back? For this is the only way you can help the two peoples attain justice, peace, security and love."
A moment of truth - the Palestine Kairos Document, 6.1. []

A week for peace
Israel's occupation of the Palestinian Territories is at the heart of perhaps the world's most globalized conflict. The siege of Gaza and the colonization of the West Bank drive ideological battles that reach far beyond the Middle East. Bringing a just peace to the Holy Land is in everybody's interest.

World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel [ ]
The Week for Peace, which begins on Saturday 29th May, is an international church-led campaign for a just peace through an end to the occupation and universal respect for human rights. The World Council of Churches initiative encourages Christians worldwide to pray, educate their communities about the occupation, and advocate for peace.

“At a time when both Palestinians and Israelis continue to suffer from the occupation of Palestinian territory, the World Council of Churches has designated this week as a time to pray for a lasting peace that would secure the legitimate rights and justice for both peoples,” says Rev. John Calhoun, the campaign's convener.

Events during the week will include exhibitions, lectures, worship services and live television broadcasts.

To find out about events in your country, visit the World Week for Peace website. []

The occupation and you
The need for international action for peace in Israel and Palestine is as acute as ever. As Israeli peace activists like Gila Svirsky remind us, only by ending the occupation can Israel hope to live in peace with its neighbors. []

But Israeli policies like the blockade of Gaza continue to cause immense human suffering. Experts now warn of a “very serious” water crisis as Israel blocks the entry into Gaza of essential building materials to repair sewage treatment plants that should serve the territory’s 1.3 million people. []

Meanwhile, Israel is tightening its grip on occupied East Jerusalem, eroding prospects for a negotiated agreement over the Holy City. Palestinian Christians say Israeli policies are severely restricting their freedom of worship, preventing many of this year's Easter celebrations in Jerusalem and blocking thousands of people from reaching their holy sites. []

Nearby in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, Israeli settlers recently attacked Ecumenical Accompaniers with rocks and verbal insults in protest at our work with local families who have been evicted from their homes. EAs caught the attack on video. []

EAs also visited the site of several recent house demolitions and evictions which have seen an elderly couple and several children forced to move into their animal sheds after ideological settlers won a court case allowing them to seize the couple’s home of over four decades. []

In a tightening of regulations that could affect thousands of Palestinians, the Israeli army has issued orders that could allow commanders to define thousands of West Bankers as "illegal infiltrators." Deportations to Gaza have already begun. []

In a worrying development, the Israeli authorities appear to be clamping down harder on human rights activists, targeting both Palestinians and Israelis who resist the policies of the Israeli government. [] Civil society groups have condemned recent arrests and laws proposed by right-wing politicians which, if they are passed by the Knesset, would severely limit the work of those carrying out their democratic right to hold their government to account.

Back in Gaza, Palestinians are waiting expectantly as international civil society ups the pressure on Israel to end the siege. Activists are sending nine boats from four countries to carry 10,000 tons of much-needed supplies to the strip. Follow their progress at

Pray with us for justice
EAPPI campaigns for a genuine peace process that can justly resolve the conflict in the Middle East. You can keep up to date with our campaigns by joining our 700-strong Facebook group at

An important part of our work is exposing the brutality of the occupation - in many languages. For regular updates "from the ground" in the Occupied Territories visit - or visit the websites of our sending organizations in Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States- [].

As we enter this week of campaigning, we ask you to join us in prayer for justice and peace in the land of the Holy One.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

CMEP sees `A summer of hope'

Advocacy analysis here from Churches for Middle East Peace.

A Summer of Hope
Warren Clark, Executive Director

~May 21, 2010~

Peace talks led by Senator George Mitchell are underway again between Israel and Palestinians. The Obama administration has shown it will not tolerate actions by either side that would derail the talks again. So far the administration has shown extraordinary courage and cool, working to keep diversions in check and to keep all parties focused on the job at hand.

The March 9 Israeli announcement about housing in East Jerusalem during the visit of Vice President Biden was followed March 12 by a conversation between Secretary Clinton and Prime Minister Netanyahu in which the State Department spokesman said, "The Secretary [said she]could not understand how this happened...". And she "made clear that the Israeli government needed to demonstrate … they are committed … to the peace process".

Publicly questioning Israel's commitment to peace is very strong diplomatic language indeed. The next week a Washington meeting between the President and the Prime Minister ended without any statement, suggesting differences remained.

Easter and Passover were followed by public posturing by various parties, but peace talks under Mitchell finally did start on May 9. Despite denials, the key element of the resumption is the de facto suspension of new Israeli construction activity in East Jerusalem, a necessary step to bringing the Palestinians to the negotiating table. The State Department issued a statement saying Israel had pledged no construction for two years in the east Jerusalem neighborhood that was the subject of the controversy March 9, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had pledged to work against incitement of any sort. Israeli officials have denied there had been a decision to suspend construction in East Jerusalem, but that in fact is the case for now.

The same day the State Department issued a stern warning against any action by either party that could derail the talks again. "If either takes significant actions during the proximity talks that we judge would seriously undermine trust, we will respond to hold them accountable and ensure that negotiations continue." In other words, the U.S. is determined that the talks will go forward and will not allow either side to undermine them.

This is unprecedented. The United States has changed the game. No longer will talks go on while Israeli expansion continues into Palestinian lands, and any Palestinian incitement or other acts that could undermine confidence will not be tolerated. The United States is now actively involved in seeking an agreement rather than leaving the two sides to their own devices.

There are timelines attached to these talks. Both Secretary Clinton and Senator Mitchell said early this year they expected to reach an agreement in two years. Two years is probably the maximum time possible that pressures for Israeli expansion can be contained without an agreement. It also coincides with the end of the current Obama administration.

There is an interim deadline of September 10. That is the date when the suspension of Israeli construction in the West Bank is scheduled to expire. It is also the date that the "proximity" talks led by Mitchell are expected to end, to be followed by direct negotiations. This will put pressure on the Palestinians to be sure there is enough progress in negotiations by that time to put pressure on Israel to continue the talks and continue the construction suspension.

The second round of talks led by Mitchell took place this week. Progress has been reported, including a Palestinian offer to increase the amount of land along the 1967 border that could be swapped.

Hold your breath. With so much at stake it promises to be an interesting diplomatic summer.

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The latest from Churches for Middle East Peace - - Ask your Representative to Sign Letter Urging the President to End the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict to advance U.S. National Security Interests.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Yanoun revisited… Searching for a glimmer of hope

Pat Ochodnicky, a veteran accompanier with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), returned to the northern West Bank for a brief stint to cover for absent "EAs."

Her report, "Yanoun Revisited … searching for a glimmer of hope," can be found at this link:

Here is are a few excerpts:
"Ten months after completing our term as Ecumenical Accompaniers in the West Bank, teammates Rachel (UK), Birgitta (Sweden), and I gathered again in Jerusalem. We had maintained contact after leaving the country and dreamed not only of a reunion, but of a return to our beloved village of Yanoun."

"On the surface, the village was the same as we remembered. The children are naturally a bit taller and village matriarch Adla is a bit more stooped and now uses a cane to help navigate the uneven ground in front of their house. But it wasn’t long before we sensed a new tension and a kind of watchfulness just under the surface of the conversations and daily activities. Though we had followed the reports of the teams that succeeded us, we weren’t prepared for the changes that have taken place since we lift (sic)."

"There has been a marked expansion of the outposts on the surrounding hilltops. While the outposts are illegal even under Israeli law, they have government provided electricity, telephone lines, water and military protection. There are increased incursions into the village by armed settlers and by the military. While there has been no violence, they are very intimidating and dehumanizing. The settlers rarely speak, but peer into the homes and other buildings without even acknowledging the presence of those who dwell there. On one occasion, the men between the ages of 15 and 50 were ordered out of their homes at midnight by the military and forced to stand outside in the bitter cold for three hours because a settler reported that someone had been seen near their sheep shelter and was `thinking of stealing a sheep.'"

"In Burin, our contact family, refugees from 1948 whose home is separated from the rest of the village by a settler road, reported the same pattern of increased harassment and destruction. Twenty-three olive trees were burned during the summer. Settlers also entered their home and attempted to set fire to it. Last year there were water storage tanks on their roof, but the settlers protested and the military removed them. Whereas last year settlers came in twos and threes, they now come in groups of twenty to thirty. But there is a new baby to cuddle, and coffee and tea and fruit and popcorn … and for a brief time we were able to laugh and reminisce and put aside the grim realities."

Read all of Pat's reports at her blog:

Want to see where Yanoun is located? There's a map at this link:

The EAPPI is an effort of the World Council of Churches:
The US website is

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World Council of Churches announces World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel

The World Council of Churches calls for all churches to unite for World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel

Please visit the initiative’s website - - and click the links for resources for prayer, education and advocacy. The Education page is especially helpful:

World Council of Churches
12 May 2010

Churches and peacemakers unite in prayer, education and advocacy for peace in Palestine-Israel.

In countries across six continents, a wide diversity of religious communities, people of faith, human rights and peace organizations are preparing to mark the World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel.

The World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel, an initiative of the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF) of the World Council of Churches, will take place from 29 May to 4 June 2010. The aim of World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel is to encourage concerned communities and individuals to make a common witness by participating in worship, educational events and acts of advocacy in support of a just peace for Palestinians and Israelis.

“At a time when both Palestinians and Israelis continue to suffer from the occupation of Palestinian territory, the World Council of Churches has designated this week as a time to pray for a lasting peace that would secure the legitimate rights and justice for both peoples,” says Rev. John Calhoun, the convener of World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel. “In addition, the World Council of Churches also welcomes acts of education and advocacy that would help bring an end to the illegal occupation of Palestine in accordance with United Nations resolutions.”

The activities planned for World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel demonstrate the initiative’s commitment to peaceful action in support of a resolution to this conflict. Local church groups and community activists will advocate with government officials through seminars, public discussions, public demonstrations and open forums about the urgent need to bring to an end the inherent injustices in the situation.

Palestinians and Israelis will also initiate creative actions and tangible expressions of peace in front of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, at the separation wall that divides Bethlehem and in houses of worship in Jerusalem and across Palestine so as to affirm the human dignity and rights of all peoples.

The World Council of Churches invites member churches, religious and community organizations, and all people of faith to join with peacemakers in the region and around the world by participating in the events of the World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel.

For more information on the World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel and to view a list of events being planned by country, please visit the initiative’s website at, or send an email to Rev. John Calhoun, convener, at

At the World Council of Churches in Geneva, contact: Michel Nseir, (+41-22-7916052) or Ranjan Solomon,, (+41-22-7916398) or visit the website:

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The World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity in faith, witness and service for a just and peaceful world. An ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948, today the WCC brings together 349 Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other churches representing more than 560 million Christians in over 110 countries, and works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church. The WCC general secretary is Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, from the [Lutheran] Church of Norway. Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

ELCA Bishops Express Concern for Israeli Orders' Effect on Palestinians

Nine bishops of the ELCA wrote to Secretary of State Clinton calling for Israel's "infiltration" military orders to be rescinded or frozen. We can follow up with corresponding emails and calls to Clinton's office citing this letter.

May 3, 2010

ELCA Bishops Express Concern for Israeli Orders' Effect on Palestinians

CHICAGO (ELCA) -- Nine synod bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) expressed concern about new Israeli military orders regarding the "prevention of infiltration" in the West Bank in an April 30 letter to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The bishops asked that the U.S. government exert its influence to ensure that "the orders in question are immediately frozen and ultimately rescinded," they wrote in their letter to Clinton.

The bishops, members of the ELCA Conference of Bishops' Middle East caucus, said the new Israeli orders "would seem to work against prospects for peace."

The orders, which became effective April 13, broaden the definition of infiltrator in a way that could put thousands of Palestinians whose homes are in the West Bank at risk for deportation, the bishops wrote. The bishops also wrote that foreign nationals working, volunteering or visiting the West Bank could be affected by the new orders.

"While the previous orders from 1969 were focused on persons entering the West Bank unlawfully from Jordan, Syria, Egypt and Lebanon, the new orders appear to redefine 'infiltrator' as anyone present in the West Bank without an Israeli permit. It is unclear what sort of permit is needed, and this vagueness is of great concern. The lack of clarity leaves room for both arbitrary and sweeping implementation," the bishops wrote to Clinton.

The ELCA bishops wrote that, regardless of how the orders are carried out, "they are likely to have the immediate effect of increasing insecurity among West Bank residents." Many may fear that regular travel for work, education, medical care or visits to relatives could result in their being detained by the Israeli military, beyond "existing onerous restrictions on movement and access," the bishops wrote.

The bishops said they recognize Israel's need to provide for its own security, but they said that it's unclear how the orders contribute to that goal.

"The orders do, however, have the potential to further disrupt normal life for thousands of West Bank residents, and in this regard we are concerned that their implementation could be an additional violation of international law, including the fourth Geneva Convention, which requires Israel, as the occupying power, to safeguard the welfare of those living under occupation," the bishops wrote in their letter to Clinton.

The bishops also pointed out that the ELCA has a long history of ministry in the region, working in partnership with Palestinian Christians, including the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, and others within the interfaith community. Most members of the ELCA Conference of Bishops visited the Middle East, including Israel and the West Bank, during one of two conference trips there in 2009.

"We are devoted to seeking a just peace for all people in the land. It is out of these relationships and commitments that our current concern arises," the bishops wrote.

Bishops who signed the letter were:
+ The Rev. Bruce H. Burnside, ELCA South-Central Synod of Wisconsin, Madison, caucus chair
+ The Rev. Murray D. Finck, ELCA Pacifica Synod, Santa Ana, Calif.
+ The Rev. Gerald L. Mansholt, ELCA Central States Synod, Kansas City, Kan.
+ The Rev. Dean W. Nelson, ELCA Southwest California Synod, Glendale
+ The Rev. Margaret G. Payne, ELCA New England Synod, Worcester, Mass.
+ The Rev. Duane C. Pederson, ELCA Northwest Synod of Wisconsin, Chetek
+ The Rev. Floyd M. Schoenhals, ELCA Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod, Tulsa, Okla.
+ The Rev. Harold L. Usgaard, ELCA Southeastern Minnesota Synod, Rochester
+ The Rev. David B. Zellmer, ELCA South Dakota Synod, Sioux Falls

--- A link to the full text of the ELCA bishops' letter to Sec. Clinton is at on the ELCA Web site.

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Sabeel's Fifth International Young Adult Conference

"From the Belly of the Whale - A Palestinian Christian Cry for Justice"

Sabeel's Fifth International Young Adult Conference, July 21 - August 1, 2010, in Jerusalem. There's still room for young adults -ages 18 to 35. Registration deadline: June 1.

Do you know a young person for whom this unique international experience would be a good fit? Do you know leaders who work with youth and young adults? Click here for the flyer -

Here for the application form - nf..pdf

The Vision: To provide young adults (18-35) with an alternative pilgrimage experience that emphasizes active engagement with both the people and the land.

The conference includes visits to Palestinian and Israeli Communities, cultural activities, contextual tours of holy sites, volunteering and activism, worship and bible study, panel discussions and advocacy workshops.

12 Days in Palestine and Israel, total cost: $1100 (not including airfare or transport from airport). Contact us for info on sponsors and financial aid.

The 5th Annual Young Adult Conference, titled “From the Belly of the Whale: A Palestinian Christian Cry for Justice,” is inspired by the Book of Jonah. In the story, the nationalist prophet Jonah travels against his will to preach repentance to his Assyrian enemies in the city of Nineveh. A story of mercy, compassion, perception and responsibility, the tale of Jonah and the Assyrians will serve as a springboard for this year’s conference, giving new perspective to the Palestinian struggle by providing a humanizing lens for seeing reality that is grounded in both Jewish and Christian Religious traditions. This year’s conference, beginning July 21st, will last for twelve days. We hope to bring together a strong group of Palestinian and International participants, including but not limited to seminarians, university students, social workers, journalists, clergy members and social activists.

Take a look at our flyer and fill out an application! Here is a link to a chapter from Reverend Naim Ateek’s recent book, A Palestinian Christian Cry for Reconciliation, interpreting the Jonah story from the perspective of a Palestinian Liberation Theologian:

Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center: Sabeel is an ecumenical grassroots liberation theology movement among Palestinian Christians. Inspired by the life and teaching of Jesus Christ, this liberation theology seeks to deepen the faith of Palestinian Christians, promote unity among them, and lead them to social action.

Learn about Sabeel and Liberation Theology at
Email us at: or call 972.2.532.7136

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Bright Stars Program provides opportunities for Bethlehem kids

The Constellations newsletter from Bright Stars of Bethlehem arrived announcing activities for all ages through the Bright Stars Program, Azwaj and Ajyal.

To see all the news, go to the website:

Brights Stars is associated with Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem -

Bright Stars of Bethlehem has witnessed the bloom of spring and promise in the lives of those assisted through the support and prayers of our friends here in the US. This support, which springs from many open and generous hearts, enables youth, families and older adults to find new ways of learning and living in the Holy Land amid occupation and conflict.

And now a hope that many thought only a far-off dream, Dar al-Kalima college is “blooming” from the foundation to the top on the hillside of Bethlehem. As construction continues so that classes might begin on-site this fall, excitement and promise build for young adults and people of all ages in Bethlehem and beyond for a brighter future.

The newsletter reports:

Computer classes, field trips, yoga sessions and lectures from local spiritual leaders and social care professionals are just a few of the activities available to participants in the Bright Stars, Azwaj and Ajyal programs run by the Diyar Consortium in Bethlehem.

The Bright Stars Program provides opportunities for self-discovery and skill development for over 500 children and youth, ages 6-16, through its after-school programs, Friday clubs and Summer Academy. By giving students a variety of options and allowing them to try different activities and choose for themselves what they would like to do, the Bright Stars Program is helping children develop a sense of self and the feeling that they play a role in determining their future -

The Azwaj Program for young families focuses on education, spirituality and recreation for 18 young couples and families with young children. With the usual challenges of parenting and the added pressures of living in a city surrounded by a 25-foot-high concrete wall, parents in Bethlehem need extra support and opportunities to give their families a more “normal” life. The Azwaj Program is combating Christian emigration by making it more possible for families to stay in Palestine -

The Ajyal Elder Care Program cares for the physical, social and spiritual well-being of 500 senior citizens in the Bethlehem area. Care strategies are tailored to the activity level of the seniors themselves – there are the “go-go”s, the “slow-go”s and the “no-go”s – with community activities and group meals for the more active members and mobile nursing care for those who are home-bound. With traditional family structures shifting and many seniors needing extra support, the Ajyal community helps seniors believe in “life after 55 that is worth living” -

Together, the Bright Stars Program, Azwaj and Ajyal make up the new cluster of ministries called “Dar al-Kalima Community Building”. The programs themselves have been operating for several years, but have been newly grouped together through the recent restructuring of the Diyar Consortium - - (the collective name for Dar Annadwa, Dar al-Kalima Health & Wellness, Dar al-Kalima College and Dar al-Balad). Raida Mansour, previously the manager of the Ajyal program, is now the manager of the entire cluster of programs. Her sincere love of God and sense of call shines through in her commitment to doing God's work in her community, serving the underserved and helping people live abundant lives.

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