The West Bank – May 2011. We drove along the road until our path was blocked by huge boulders and we could go no further. Clambering over boulders we continued uphill by foot. On arrival, we were greeted warmly and shown into a brightly coloured cave by Daoud, our host, who told us of the history of the farm.
Situated on a hill-top south of Bethlehem, Daher’s vineyard has been in the same family since 1916, when it was purchased by Daher Nassar, grandfather of the family who now run it.
In 1991 the Israeli government declared the area including the Nassar’s land, to be Israeli state land. The family’s challenge has meant ongoing litigation. Despite this, the Tent of Nations was founded in 2000 as an educational and environmental organic farm “seeking to build bridges between different people, and between people and the land”
They have no mains electricity or running water. Solar panels have been installed and their water is collected via rainfall. Visitors and volunteers arrive from all over the world, and support groups are based in the UK and North America. They also run a number of other projects locally including projects for young people.
Our visit was part of a Holy Land Pilgrimage, when we met with local people and learn about organizations – of both Palestinians and Israelis - working for peace in the West Bank. Despite their difficult circumstances, I left with a feeling of optimism and hope for the future. A visit is a truly awe inspiring, unforgettable experience.
Atan Street 17, PO Box 28, Bethlehem, Palestine
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