'Azzun, Falamiya, Habla, Kufr Jammal, Tue 17.9.13, Morning
09:30 We arrived at the village of Nabi Elias to meet Hassan after Miriam and Mikki had been in contact with him. He’s the economic development advisor to 45 village communities in the area. We came to consult regarding activities with women and youths in area villages; we met in Baladiya. He’s a charming man, unusually welcoming. He suggested we begin with the Nabi Elias Women’s Club (he lives in Thult; he’s been head of the village for 14 years). If the arrangement succeeds it can be expanded to other area villages.
He immediately called and invited Wisal, coordinator of the “Nabi Elias Young Women’s Group.” While we waited for her we talked about the difficulties between Israelis and Palestinians. Neither of us wants to “put a pretty face on the occupation,” as he said, but it’s important to be aware of what can be useful to both sides, and undertake such activities.
Wissal arrived soon; Hassan translated for her from English to Arabic. She was willing to get involved. We told her what we could do and agreed to meet her again and talk specifically with the women themselves about what they’d want. We also agreed we’d try to learn/practice Arabic conversation with the help of women members of the group who are teachers.
10:30 Azzun. The checkpoint is open.
10:45 Falamya checkpoint. We drove along the fence which is to be moved soon (when?). The checkpoint is almost deserted at this hour except for a pickup truck loaded with sacks of za’atar and a few people crossing.
11:15 Kafr Jamal. We were happy to meet Nadim’s warm family, on his mother’s side. [They live both in Kafr Jamal and Tira. In ’48 his mother stayed in Tira and part of the family still lives there today.]
12:00 Habla. The checkpoint is still closed; no one is around.
We didn’t see any soldiers or military vehicles during our entire shift.