Jan 14 2024

Daoud & Salam Kuttab’s 2023 Newsletter

Published by 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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Jan 14 2024

Published by under Christmas Letters

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Dec 25 2022

Daoud & Salam Kuttab 2022 Family Christmas Letter

Published by under Christmas Letters

Extended Daoud & Salam family (except for Bishara and Zohra) outside their Amman home

From Amman, Bethlehem, Ramallah, Jerusalem, Philadelphia, and Washington

Salam was appointed and began working as director general of the Alliance Academy in the Amman southern neighborhood of Al Yadoudeh in August 2022.

This is a leading inclusive school where children with disabilities and learning difficulties study along with the other students. Salam, who had to step down from her leading role in her work with senior citizens is totally immersed in her new voluntary job.

Salam addressing faculty and staff at Christmas dinner

This year she had to skip the family tradition of making Thanksgiving on the occasion but promised her nieces and nephews that she will try serving the thanksgiving menu during the upcoming Christmas vacation which will also feature a visit by Dina, Tamara, Tania’s families, and Labib’s family from the UK.

Bishara and Zohra are expecting a child in and around Daoud’s birthday at the beginning of April 2023. In a happy celebration at the future baby’s great uncle Danny in New Jersey it was revealed that the coming baby is a BOY.

Dina, Bishara, Zohra, Salwa (Zohra’s sister), and Salwa’s son Axel

Zohra and her sister have started a store next door to Bishos the Le Souk in Philadelphia opened this month. Visit both if you are in the Philly Fox Chase area.

Daoud has been busy as ever. He has recently met with Prince-EL-Hassan-Bin-Talal and Prince Mired Bin Ra’ad and was invited to a reception at the Swedish Embassy to welcome the King and Queen of Sweden to Jordan.

He has been very busy with his journalistic work and adventures which have become a bit dicey recently. A short detention at the airport in Amman was unexpected as have been some of the bureaucratic problems his media organizations are facing. Daoud’s big adventure has been the creation and almost single-handedly producing a Christian Arab magazine which can be seen at Milhalard.org (tax-deductible donations are welcome here).

In the background with the blue tie is the King of Sweden and next to him is the Ambassador

Daoud ended a three-year stint as the secretary of the Jordan Evangelical Council this September giving him more time to work on the magazine. Church leaders are not happy with someone else speaking on behalf of Christians even on nontheological issues. So Daoud is now dealing with both politicians and religious leaders. Pray for him that he can have wisdom in balancing honesty in reporting truth to power while having sustainable media operations. He is vice president of the local Amman International Rotary and last month he succeeded in inviting the US ambassador to Jordan to speak to Rotarians in Amman.

Tamara, Alaa, Yasmeen, and Dalia Qasasfa have settled in a remodeled Arab house in the town of Bir Onah, Jerusalem. They are happy to be living in a neighborhood in which Dalia and Yasmeen have found friends their age that they can play with outside almost daily.

Tamara, Alaa, Yasmine and Dalia Qasasfa

Yasmeen and Dalia have joined a gymnastics class and continuously practice handstands, somersaults, and many more stretches at home. Yasmeen in third grade and Dalia in first are learning Arabic and Hebrew along with all the other subjects they learn in English. Tamara is enjoying teaching fourth graders this year a lot more than she did teaching sixth graders last year.

Alaa in Egypt

Alaa is continuing to lecture at the Bethlehem Bible College and has been enjoying some travel with them, such as his recent trip to Egypt in which he was able to visit the pyramids.

Samuel, Tania, Saleem, and Karam Dalou

Tania, Samuel, Saleem, and Karam Dalou live in the Jerusalem/Ramallah Kufr Aqab neighborhood and are fortunate to be able to send Saleem and Karam to the prestigious Ramallah Friends School. Whenever Daoud and Salam visit, Daoud gets to pick up the boys and even goes with Saleem to soccer practice.

Saleem practicing in Ramallah (photo taken by Daoud)

While Samuel is helping run the family fruit and vegetable business Tania is busy with her career at the Germany GIZ organization. Last month her work sent her to Amman, and she stayed at the Four-Season Hotel. Salam and Daoud visited her there.

Dina Kuttab

Dina has been jet-setting the US in her job at MacKensie & Company while there she contributed to this important article about parenting and careers. At the same time, she has been preparing for Law School. She took the LSAT in September and again in October and received excellent results both times (higher the second time) which would most likely qualify her for the law school of her choice. We were happy to see her in the summer while Daoud had a speaking migration event at the UN in New York, and will be happy to spend the Christmas holiday with her as well as our grandchildren in Amman. Dina is enjoying living in DC and has made close friends there (see photo below).

Dina and her friends

We will close our newsletter with a Bible verse that is the motto of the Alliance Academy that Salam leads which calls on students and faculty to:

Grow in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

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Dec 31 2020

The Daoud Kuttab family 2020 Newsletter

Published by under Articles

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Dec 31 2019

Christmas Family Letter 2019

Published by under Articles,Christmas Letters

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Dec 24 2018

Daoud Kuttab Family 2018 Christmas Letter

Published by under Articles,Christmas Letters

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Jun 05 2018

Where to find Sesame Street, Palestine book

Published by under Articles

Bishos Bakery and Café
Roosevelt Mall, Philadelphia, PA
American Colony Hotel Bookshop, Jerusalem
Educational Book shop, Jerusalem
Bethlehem Bible College, Bethlehem
Sharbain Bookstore, Ramallah
Books@Cafe, Amman
Readers, Cozmos, Amman

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Nov 30 2016

Abbas’s gamble pays off

Published by under Articles,Palestinian politics

Jordan times logo

By Daoud Kuttab

The leading speech by Palestinian president at the seventh Fatah congress was planned for six pm on Tuesday. Before he was to take the podium, a number of visitors wanted to say a few words. They included the head of the socialist international, the UN peace envoy, Egyptian and Jordanian officials. The speakers continued to ask to say a few words of support and by seven thirty, Abbas decided that it was best to postpone his speech.  The outpouring of Arab and international support was exactly what Abbas needed and he was not going to allow his own speech to restrain those who wanted to speak. Speakers continued until nine thirty to express support for Palestinians and to Fatah as the leading movement for Palestine’s liberation.

The words of support were exactly what Abbas needed after he had taken a major gamble by insisting on the independence of his movement despite tremendous political and financial pressure from friendly Arab countries that were pushing for the repatriation of renegade Gaza-born leader Mohammad Dahlan.

Abbas gambled that if he can stand up to these pressures and actually hold the seventh congress, most of the same countries will quickly change course and express support for the Palestinian leader and his movement. Continue Reading »

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Nov 28 2016

Fatah congress to usher in new generation of Palestinian leaders

Published by under Articles,Palestinian politics


By Daoud Kuttab

The 1,500-plus delegates of the seventh Fatah congress, the next generation of Palestinian leaders, will be relatively younger (in their 40s and 50s) and more representative of the occupied territories than the current leadership. The congress, to be held Nov. 29 in Ramallah, will agree on a political platform and an action plan for the Palestinian struggle and elect the new members of the movement’s Revolutionary Council and the Central Committee. Currently, the 22 members of Fatah’s Central Committee and 100 members of the Revolutionary Council are older and represent leaders who returned to Palestine after the 1993 Oslo Accord such as Mahmoud Abbas, Abu Maher Ghneim, Abbas Zaki and Mahmoud al-Aloul.

Notably, the sixth congress was held in Bethlehem in 2009 after a 20-year lull in meetings.

Congressional delegates vote using secret ballots. The once secretive liberation movement published the names of its delegates to the Nov. 29 congress, giving the world a glimpse at the next crop of Fatah leaders. The most prominent feature of the list was its exclusion of renegade Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan and his supporters.

A quantitative look at the delegates shows that about 1,100 of the 1,500 voters, or 73%, come from the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip. Less than 400 delegates reside outside Palestine. Furthermore, 167, or 11%, of delegates are women, and 33, or 2%, are Christian. One delegate, Uri Davis, an Israeli Jew, was elected to the Revolutionary Council during the sixth congress in 2009. Continue Reading »

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Nov 20 2016

Declaration of Independence barely remembered in Palestine

Published by under Articles,Palestinian politics


By Daoud Kuttab

The date Nov. 15, 1988, is a special one for Palestinians. On that day, the Palestinian National Council (PNC), the Palestinians’ parliament in exile, convened in the Algerian capital of Algiers and adopted the Palestinian Declaration of Independence. It was almost one year into the relatively nonviolent intifada that shook up Israel and the world.

PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi told Al-Monitor how the declaration had been largely drafted by distinguished professor Edward Said and Palestinian poet laureate Mahmoud Darwish, both now deceased. “Said, who along with [prominent academic] Ibrahim Abu-Lughod was in contact with the Americans, contributed to it,” said Ashrawi. “He wanted the declaration to contain a number of principles that appear in the US Constitution, but it was Darwish who drafted the final text that was read in Arabic.”

The idea of the declaration reflected the aspirations of local leaders of the intifada, including Faisal Husseini of Jerusalem. Ashrawi believes the document should not have been called a declaration. “It should have been announced as a body of principles that would define the nature of our state and the basis of our future constitution,” she said. “It was a courageous and astute statement that succeeded in gaining the support of all Palestinians.”

Ashrawi, who served as spokesperson for the Palestinian delegation to the 1991 Madrid peace conference, said that the declaration represented major Palestinian concessions. She explained, “It included Palestinian acceptance of the UN partition plan of 1947, but unfortunately it was not reciprocated with similar seriousness by Israel and the world, which continued to move the goal posts and make further demands of Palestinians.” Continue Reading »

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