Merry Christmas and Happy 2005

 

As in previous years, the summer vacation at the Dead Sea has become the occasion for our annual family get together and our annual family photo.  

2004 has witnessed lots of changes in our family especially our kids.
 

Tamara in her second year at Bluffton University (previously Bluffton College) has chosen her major in Early Childhood Education. The tiny Ohio town of Bluffton is getting to be too small for Tamara and she has started to experience life in big cities like Washington DC, Philadelphia and Chicago. Her attendance at a youth retreat for American Arab Christians in DC has had an influence on her life as she met new friends and realized that there are many new opportunities and challenges in the States. This Thanksgiving and Christmas Tamara spent time in Philadelphia with grandparents George and Frosina as well as with her uncle Sam and his family.
 

Bishara has been active on the musical field. His guitar playing has improved tremendously and so has his other musical talents. Together with his cousin Mano Abu Ali they set up a Christian rap band "Silver degree". With help from Dad's radio station, Bishara and rap partner Mano created and taped their own rap songs and posted them on the band's website www.silverdegree.com .His IGCSE "O" level grades came very high; 5As and 1 B, and now he is studying for his A levels while at the same time searching for an appropriate college in the States to apply to. He completes his senior year in the summer of 2006 but the search is already on for a higher educational school that fits all he wants which include: a Christian college that teaches film making and engineering and which is not too far from relatives in Philadelphia and St. Marys Ohio. Suggestions are welcome. Bishara also walked with pilgrims from Jarash in Jordan to Bethlehem, Palestine.
 

Tania has got rid of her braces and has become even more active in school and church. She has had to take on more chores at home and the IGCSE curriculum has forced her to spend much more time studying than she normally would like. Tania has also been chosen to join the Baptist School's cheerleading team. 
 

Dina is now in KG2 at the Amman Academy and her extra curricular program  includes ballet classes. Because her birthday falls in the summer school holiday,   Salam decided to host a special Christmas party for her classmates. The occasion was beautiful and rewarding as her friends from school and mothers attentively heard the Christmas story, saw a puppet show, were entertained by Tania and her friend Majd, enjoyed Salam's delicious cakes and cookies, and received gifts from Daoud acting Santa Claus.
 

Salam continues to juggle four balls at the same time, working hard at the Arab Bank, following up on the restaurant and running a household of kids, husband, and extended family members, especially on holidays. This year's  main holiday dishes included a mouth watering turkey, freekeh and Jordan's national dish mansaf.
 

Daoud also continues to juggle many jobs including his work in Al Quds Educational TV station in Ramallah www.alquds-tv.org , the AmmanNet www.ammannet.net radio station (which has now received the OK for FM broadcasting) and his latest side- kick Al Maghtas (www.maghtas.com) a magazine for Christian Arabs in Jordan and Palestine. Daoud's articles and blogs which continue to appear in many places can now be found on the web site www.daoudkuttab.com . He recently was hired as a CNN Analyst giving extensive coverage following the death of Arafat. He also appeared on BBC, Sky, ABC and other media outlets. The Jerusalem Post asked him to write again, and his columns are still regularly run on the Jordan Times and www.amin.org .
 

In addition to the above Daoud's international travel has not slowed down. This year saw him in Florence Italy, The Hague Holland, Copenhagen Denmark, Abu Dhabi UAE, Doha Qatar, Casablanca Morocco, Damascus Syria, New York. At least on two of the trips Salam also went along. The two spent time in a retreat on Wye River near Washington and in Thailand and South Korea
 

After a lot of the pain, sufferings and death of 2004, the signs in the horizon seem to indicate a more peaceful and optimistic year in 2005. Our family will continue to depend on the Lord and seek His guidance.
 

Photos Gallery
 
     
             
             
     
             
             
     
             
     
             

For more on Daoud Kuttab's page go to www.daoudkuttab.com