Habla, Nabi Ilyas, Jinsafut, Amatein
Nabi Elias, Imatin, Jinnsafut, Kadum, Habla, Wednesday, 22.1.14, morning
Observers: Nurit, Dafna, Saraleh, Rivka, Dvorka (reporting); Nadim (driving)
Translator: Charles K.
10:00 Nabi Elias. A few women and a young man already waited in the club, ready to continue Rivka’s class in cartonnage. After helping them Saraleh used the time to talk to other women and learn Arabic from one of them who took it upon herself to teach.
When we returned to the club at the end to pick up Rivka and Saraleh we discovered a cheerful, exultant group, both because of their progress in cartonnage and because of the social and educational activities Saraleh and the Palestinian women were involved in.
At the end we talked about future plans with W., the coordinator, and some of the women. W. asked Rivka to help them make enough work to present (and sell) at the regional fair planned for May.
We agreed to hold a weekly Hebrew class taught by Nirit, and a cartonnage class run by Rivka. We strongly encouraged them to increase the number of participants, especially in the Hebrew class.
The coordinator again asked about the possibility of visiting Tel Aviv with a group of women. The challenge is to obtain magnetic cards in order to be able to get crossing permits.
10:30 Amatein. Nurit reporting.
“This time 6 women and 3 girls aged about 11 came; they listened and participated actively in the lesson. The women asked us to concentrate on vocabulary for colors and articles of dress. Later we reviewed familiar material, and when a peddler with a cart passed crying out his fruits and vegetables for sale, we switched to food and cooking. Toward the end of class, at noon, we heard the muezzin. N., who teaches Quran to a number of women, asked me to teach the Hebrew word “to pray” and its declensions. They asked me whether I pray to God and were disappointed when I said no. Nevertheless, the discussion was relaxed and accompanied by laughter. We finished a little after 12.”
11:00 At the same time Dafna and Dvorka drove to Jinsafut, the adjacent village, and to Kadum. We went to Jinnsafut following a message from one of the women in the village who said women there were also interested in our activities. Since we hadn’t made an appointment we decided to go to the municipal building, introduce ourselves and learn a little about the village.
When we entered we saw on the ground floor parcels and bags of clothing and other items, donations from the women of the village to Syrian refugees.
The head of the municipality was escorting visitors from Qalqilya. The secretary of the village explained that the Red Cross together with the Palestinian Authority transfers the donations to Jordan; they’re then sent to Syria, Iraq and other places with concentrations of refugees. In response to our question he said the village doesn’t usually suffer harassment by settlers. About four years ago there was an incident in which a car was set on fire, but it wasn’t repeated.
Their problem is that 2500 dunums of olive groves are on the other side of the fence. Farmers here, like elsewhere, receive permits to reach them only twice a year – for cultivation, and for harvest, which, of course, isn’t enough.
Another serious problem is flooding of a well and reservoir belong to Mekorot near the olive groves which makes the ground muddy, especially in the summer (!), and causes broken limbs and straw to collect and makes the trees dry out. About 450 olive trees died because of that in recent years.
We asked whether the village has a women’s club. There are a number of women’s organizations; there are two women on the village council.
This is the third village where we’ve found women on the council; that seems to be a growing trend today… We said we’d return another time to meet with the women.
11:30 We continued to Kaddum, to become more familiar with the area and try to understand what will be the route of the planned fence. Once again it’s impossible not to be shocked by the buildings of Kedumim moving closer to Kadum. On the hill facing northwest it’s easy to see the lowest row of houses, nearest to Kadum. Between them and those higher up the hill is a large open area; it’s clear that the strategy was to first take the land near Kadum and then continue building on the intervening area.
12:00 We returned to Imatin to pick up Nurit, and from there to Nabi Elias to talk to the women.
13:30 Habla. The gate is open; no one is there at this hour.