Haris, Kifl Harith, Kufr alDik, Za'tara (Tapuah), Wed 5.10.11, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
We arrived at Kafr ad Dik a little after 10:30. We divided into two groups: Tovah, the bead princess, and Hagar, who runs the yoga, remained at the Kafr A-Dik club, where 20-25 women were already waiting. Hagar immediately began clearing all the chairs from the room and spreading the mats on the floor. Meanwhile, Tovah took out the necklaces and beads, and a group of women gathered around her.
We met Farid there, from the society for empowering women in Haifa. He’s a pleasant, energetic man who comes to the club once a week to conduct women’s empowerment activities. Tovah’s bead necklaces impressed him; he promised to help sell necklaces the women make in Haifa, maybe at the university.
Dvorka, Nadim and I continued driving through the rocky hills toward Haris. We passed the Bruhin settlement. We had previously seen from the lower road between Kafr A-Dik and Kafr Bruqin many red roofs peeking from the hill – apparently a new addition to the Bruhin settlement; signs of construction are still visible. We drive on, cross Highway 5, pass the settlements of Qedumim and Emanuel. The sun shines on the hills. Cloud shadows play hide-and-seek on the hillsides. What a lovely land, we said to each other.
Signs point the way to all the localities except for Haris. We stopped in the courtyard of the municipality. Hadi, the secretary, welcomed us, but he faithfully answered the phone calls that arrived every minute, so our conversation was continually interrupted. There were no special celebrations in honor of Abu Mazen, he said, though we saw some Palestinian flags still flying from the rooftops. They were for a festive procession that passed by, the secretary explained. We asked about the olive harvest; he said they’re allowed to begin only on October 10, and the villagers obtain permits to reach their land in coordination with the Palestinian Authority. Dvorka again gave the secretary the list of phone numbers, this time in Arabic, in case they should need help, in particular contact with the olive harvest coalition and Jamila.
We drove on, passed Kifl Haris, but didn’t enter because we were short of time. We returned to Highway 5, to the Za’tara/Tapuach junction, and stopped. The road was open, the few soldiers standing there weren’t stopping people or cars, but we saw one Palestinian who apparently had emerged from interrogation in the structure next to the parking lot after he’d been removed from a taxi. He collected his belongings from the guard booth and stood by the roadside waiting for a new ride.
We returned to Kafr A-Dik at 12:30, as we’d arranged, and met Hagar and Tovah after they’d finished their activities. Because time was short (they don’t manage to begin before 11:00) they weren’t able to switch, so that each group of women participated in only one activity today.
Hagar’s reaction: “It was excellent. They’re so grateful.” But Tovah has a problem: paying for the beads. The women can’t afford to pay for the materials. Tovah wonders whether she can continue to pay part of the cost from her own pocket.
They told us in the village that yesterday the army arrived and demolished a two-room shed and a well that the owners of the grove had erected in preparation for the olive harvest, to store tools and olives, and to rest. A second well they’d dug escaped destruction when local people gathered to protest and were joined by journalists. When a large crowd had gathered, the army left.