Above: Village elder Yusef Manasra facing the illegal Israeli settlement that threatens the future of Wadi Foquin. Yusef was 25 in 1948 when the Israeli army evacuated the village, forcing residents first into nearby hills and then into a UN refugee camp. In 1972, when villagers were allowed to return and rebuild, he vowed he would never be forced out of his home again. Yusef lived in Wadi Foquin until his death at age 95 on May 11, 2017. —Photo by Jakob Schiller
COVID-19 UPDATE: In the Bethlehem district, under quarantine since early March after cases of COVID-19 were confirmed there, Palestinians have discovered renewed confidence by taking safety measures into their own hands. Read more at +972 Magazine.
New scholarship fund announced
At the 10th anniversary celebration of Friends of Wadi Foquin in December 2019, we announced the establishment of the Yousef Manasra Memorial Scholarship Fund. These funds will provide scholarship support for those wishing to participate in our pilgrimages as well as support for those coming to visit us from Wadi Foquin. Donations can be made by check to BMU-FOWF with “YMMSF” in the memo line (mail to Jean Hart, FOWF Treasurer, 730 Tree Top Lane, Auburn, CA 95603).
2020 pilgrimage postponed
Because of the global coronavirus pandemic, the September 2020 pilgrimage has been postponed. New dates are TBD. For an itinerary and contact information, click here.
Friends of Wadi Foquin turns 10
Above: Our 10th anniversary gathering on Dec. 6, 2019, featured reflections from FOWF's first pilgrimage, in 2010 (presented by cofounder José Arcellana, left); reflections from the most recent pilgrimage, in 2019 (by Kathleen Crawford, center); and an overview of the current situation in the West Bank by guest speaker Daniel Bannoura, an instructor at Bethlehem Bible College (right).
Ways to support Wadi Foquin
• Prayer - commit to praying for Wadi Foquin, its concerns and needs. Contact Rev. Michael Yoshii at email@example.com.
• Engagement - organize and promote community events that highlight Wadi Foquin and Israel/Palestine issues. Contact Rev. Emily Lin at Emily.Lin@cnumc.org or Rev. Mike Friedrich at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Advocacy - participate in campaigns prompted by Wadi Foquin. Contact Rev. Michael Yoshii at email@example.com.
• Study - organize opportunities for study on Palestine/Israel. Contact Rev. Naomi Southard at Nosouth@aol.com or Linda Weingarten at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Giving - fundraise for Wadi Foquin projects, campaigns, and needs. Contact Jean Hart at email@example.com.
In the News
• +972, July 17, 2019: "As it fights for its land, one Palestinian village fights to preserve its cultural heritage"
• Haaretz, Jan. 29, 2018: "A Jerusalem suburb's expansion threatens to flood small Palestinian village"
• Transcript of Dr. Hisham Ahmed's keynote address at FOWF's Interfaith Muslim Solidarity Dinner, Jan. 20, 2017 (Inauguration Day).
Wadi Foquin is the site of a community development project supported through the United Methodist Church's General Board of Global Ministries (Advance project #3021565). A resolution supporting Wadi Foquin was passed at the church's May 2016 General Conference acknowledging the challenges of settlement expansion and recent land confiscation orders. The resolution calls for accountability from the Israeli government for the destruction of land and life in Wadi Foquin. It also calls on U.S. officials to contact the Israeli government to immediately halt the illegal Israeli settlements and confiscation of Palestinian land.
the guesthouse project
Friends of Wadi Foquin's fundraising efforts in 2020 are focused on continuing to support the guesthouse project in the village as well as on a new scholarship fund in memory of Yusef Manasra (see scholarship information at left). The guesthouse will allow visitors to say overnight in the village and provided much-needed income for the locals. Architectural drawings of the guesthouse are shown below. Donations for the project can be made online through the General Board of Global Ministries Advance program (Advance project #3021565) or by check to BMU-FOWF with “guesthouse” in the memo line (mail to Jean Hart, FOWF Treasurer, 730 Tree Top Lane, Auburn, CA 95603).
Below: Wadi's Foquin's soccer field was largely funded by donations made through Friends of Wadi Foquin and the United Methodist Advance #3021565. According to community development director Ata Manasra, "It is the most important project we have done with Friends of Wadi Foquin." The Green Valley Club, a young men's soccer team fielded by the Wadi Foquin Youth Club, trains on the field for games with other teams in the West Bank. The nearby playground has also been expanded to the southern wall of the soccer field, providing space for large village meetings and for dancing.