Palestinian Christian farmer to bring message of peace to event
Published on 4 May 2023 2 minutes read
A Palestinian Christian farmer with a message of peace will speak in Edinburgh about living under the threat of having his farmland, which is situated in the occupied West Bank, confiscated by the Israeli authorities.
The event will be hosted by the Friends of St Andrew's Jerusalem and Tiberias and will take place in St Cuthbert's Church on Friday 19 May.
Daoud Nassar's family have owned and worked the rocky Tent of Nations site, where they grow vines, olives, and also run the Olive Grove Chapel, for three generations.
However, since 1967 the area has been occupied by the Israeli military.
Mr Nassar will discuss the struggle they have faced in the Israeli courts to keep the farm, and how their faith has sustained them through their difficulties.
He will also focus on his family's commitment to non-violence and explain what life is like for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.
At the entrance of the farm a sign by the road reads 'We refuse to be enemies', an ethos the deeply religious family continue to adhere to in the face of adversity.
The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has repeatedly highlighted the rights of the family, who originally bought the land in 1916 when it was under Ottoman control.
Since then the Nassars have been impacted by the changing geopolitics in the region, a common experience for those who live in the occupied West Bank.
Very Rev Dr Andrew McLellan, convener of the Friends of St Andrew's Jerusalem and Tiberias, said: "It is a real privilege and joy for the Friends to host this meeting with Daoud.
"Many of us have been able to visit him and his family on their farm and to admire their steadfastness in the face of legal challenges to the ownership of their land in the Israeli courts.
"As it happens, they have a court date on 15 May 2023, just a few days before the meeting; we shall be thinking of and praying for them then, and hope that he will have good news to share with us.
"This will be the second speaker event organised by the Friends this year; we shall continue to look for opportunities to allow our members and friends to hear at first hand from Palestinians and Israelis working for justice, peace and reconciliation."
The event takes place on Friday 19 May at 1pm in St Cuthbert's Church, Edinburgh.
Admission is free but donations to the Friends of St Andrew's Jerusalem and Tiberias are welcome.
Palestinian Fairtrade products from Hadeel will be available for purchase at the talk.