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 (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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Nov 20 2016

Why Palestinians are unfazed by calls to cut off US aid

Published by under Articles,Palestinian politics


Prominent Palestinian politicians and economists in the Palestinian territories appear to be totally unfazed by threats that the Republicans in both houses of Congress and in the Donald Trump administration might cut off aid to the Palestinian government.

Mustafa Barghouti, an elected Palestinian legislator, told Al-Monitor that the United States has already reduced aid to the Palestinian government. “In the past two years, we have seen a steady decline in financial support coming from Washington to the Palestinian government. Some of the remaining aid coming from the United States is going directly to local governments, and the rest is distributed to civil society organizations by USAID [US Agency for International Development].”

A US official confirmed Barghouti’s statement, telling the Wall Street Journal Nov. 16 that US funding, which goes straight to the Palestinian government’s creditors, “has dropped from about $100 million in 2014 to roughly $75 million in 2015.”

Barghouti, the secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative, has a number of questions about the aims of USAID. “With USAID, a large chunk of the money is spent as overhead on US-based organizations, and it is not clear what their [the organization’s] goals are in Palestine.”

An editorial in the Wall Street Journal published Nov. 13 called on both the Barack Obama and Trump administrations to “stop aid to terrorists.” The conservative newspaper supported legislation in the US Congress that would “stop the flow of US tax dollars to terrorists.”

According to the British daily The Sun, the United Kingdom temporarily suspended in October some of the aid to Palestinians based on claims that “UK aid supposedly paying for civil servants in Gaza was being transferred to the Palestinian Liberation Organisation,” and is making its way to what the paper called “terrorists.” Continue Reading »

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Nov 20 2016

Liberman’s airport comment not so ridiculous, says Gaza activist

Published by under Articles,Palestinian politics


By Daoud Kuttab

Few Israelis understood why their hard-line defense minister would even talk about a seaport and an airport in Gaza.

In an Oct. 24 interview with the widely circulated Palestinian daily Al-Quds, Avigdor Liberman offered the formula for a possible Gazan port and airport. “If they make the decision to stop digging tunnels, smuggling arms and firing rockets at us, we will be the first to invest in a port, an airport and industrial areas.”

The strange thing about this statement was that it didn’t include the usual Israeli call for completely disarming Gaza, and that Liberman volunteered to talk about the port and airport without being asked about them.

Ahmed Alkhatib, a Palestinian-American aviation visionary who has been advocating for a UN-administered airport for some time, was quick to note the opening provided by Liberman in the interview.

However, Alkhatib, the founder and director of Project Unified Assistance (PUA), a registered US nonprofit organization, was frustrated when UN special envoy Nickolay Mladenov dismissed Liberman’s statement Nov. 5 as a “distraction” that avoided addressing the real issues, such as large-scale unemployment in Gaza, which is almost at 50%.

Speaking to Al-Monitor by phone from San Francisco, Alkhatib said that an airport is a fundamental need for rebuilding Gaza, adding, “It will help stabilize the Strip and will contribute to implementing tangible improvements to the lives of Gazans.” Continue Reading »

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