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
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
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
husband, and extended family members, especially on
holidays. This year's main holiday dishes included a mouth
freekeh and Jordan's national dish mansaf.
Daoud also continues to juggle
many jobs including his work in Al Quds Educational TV station
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
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