Jan 14 2024

Daoud & Salam Kuttab’s 2023 Newsletter

Published by at 8:31 pm under Christmas Letters

The Daoud Kuttab clan in Virginia July 2023

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Issaih 41:10

2023 was a happy yet difficult year, especially the last quarter. Two new additions to our family, baby Daoud to Bishara and Zohra and baby Ameer to Tamara and Alaa made Daoud and Salam happy grandparents now of six grandchildren. This year was Salam and Daoud’s Silver Wedding Anniversary celebrated in Europe and the UK followed by two weeks in the USA.

London, UK
London, UK

This summer provided a nice family opportunity to get together and spend quality time in a Virginia Shenandoah cabin. It was our opportunity to properly welcome then the newest member of our family, baby Daoud, the son of Bishara and Zohra.

We also spent time with Dina’s friend Jason. While in DC, Salam and Daoud helped Dina prepare to move from DC to Boston to start her new graduate studies at Harvard Law School. Jason helped by driving a U-Hall to Boston.

Of course, the last three months of 2023 were difficult and sad because of the situation in Gaza. Unsure about how the situation would turn out, Tania and her two boys spent four weeks with us in Amman and both Saleem and Karam attended Alliance Academy, being taken daily to school with the Director Miss Salam.

Ameer, Daoud, Tamara and Alaa in Jerusalem
Ameer, Daoud, Tamara and Alaa in Jerusalem

Tamara and Alaa were expecting their third child in November, so they decided to go to Chicago where they were blessed with their healthy boy Ameer. Both Tamara and Tania and their families are back in Jerusalem.

Bishara, baby Daoud and Zohra
Bishara, baby Daoud, and Zohra

The last days of this year were also special. Tania and her boys spent Christmas with us, but Tamara and Alaa spent Christmas with Alaa’s family. Also, we were thrilled to have Dina come home for Christmas along with Jason, who spent five wonderful days with us but had to leave before Christmas to spend the holidays with his family in Canada.

While Christmas celebrations were muted because of Gaza, we had our wonderful annual family event on Friday, December 29th at our home with the Jordan and UK Madanats, Tania her boys, and the Sharaihas.

Karam, Saleem taken to Alliance Academy by school director Miss Salam
Karam, Saleem taken to Alliance Academy by school director Miss Salam

Salam is in her second year serving as Director-General at the Alliance Academy Jordan. Although it is taking up a lot of her time, she is happy to be playing a role in serving the Lord and the community.

Daoud’s NGO, Community Media Network, moved to a new location, (Dahiet al Rashid). Gaza has meant that he has even more work than ever. If you are interested, follow him on X or Threads.

Tamara gave birth to our 6th grandchild Ameer in October. She has taken a break from her teaching job at the Jerusalem School for maternity. With the two girls and a nursing baby, going back to work will be a heavy load on her especially since she is hoping to continue her master’s degree in counseling in the next year. Alaa continues to teach at Bethlehem Bible College. Yasmeen and Dalia are at the same school as Tamara.

Yasmeen is enjoying fourth grade with her best friends and has started taking private Arabic and piano lessons. Dalia is in second grade while also taking private piano lessons. Yasmeen and Dalia LOVE their brother Ameer and have been helping mom and dad with him.

Yasmeen and to her right is Dalia Qasasfa
Yasmeen and to her right is Dalia Qasasfa

Bishara and Zohra are watching baby Daoud grow and at the same time working in Bishos and Le Souq market in Philadelphia. Bishara will visit Jordan and Palestine in 2024.

Sushi night in Ramallah with Samuel, Tania and Karam

Tania’s boys Saleem and Karam are students at the Friends School in Ramallah. Samuel is busy running the family business and Tania is still working at the German NGO GIZ.

Dina loves Harvard. Although the situation back home was a distraction, she tried her best to concentrate on her studies. Dina finished her first semester and then spent time in Amman with us and with Jason. Jason enjoyed his first-ever visit to the Middle East. He loved Teta Maha’s Musakhan (calling it the best meal he ever had), Salam’s Wara Dawali, and Mansaf and he loved Makdous (the stuffed eggplant pickle that is part of our Middle Eastern cuisine). Stay tuned, hopefully, 2024 will bring some good news on this front.

Dina and Jason in Washington D.C.

While we are happy to welcome new members to our family and look for a festive spring and summer, we continue to be saddened by what has happened in our region. We hope you will join us in prayer for our part of the world and that 2024 will be a year of blessing, restoration, and recommitment to life, love, and peace. We end this newsletter with a verse from Jeremiah that we hope can be a light to all of us.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Daoud, Salam, Tamara, Bishara, Tania, and Dina KUTTAB

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