South Hebron Hills

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Mira B. (reporting), Muhammad (driver, interpreter and participant); Translator: Chana S.

Aim:  Musical activity

Subject  of activity:  Winter, wind, expressed in music.


The route goes through route 317.  At the entrance to Tawani – soldiers with guns drawn; below Susia – olive picking by Palestinians accompanied by foreign activists;  the hilltop outposts – considerable expansion at Asha’el and Avigail (the caravans spill over from the other side of the hill, and there are permanent buildings).

At the kindergarten there were about 30 children, with 3 or 4 teachers: Ikhlas, Dallal, Na’ama. Present were also David, a youth Dani who is a folklore musician playing various flutes. This week he is in Um-el-Khair (lives with Eid and his family ) and will spend a week in Susia. He has visited also the kindergarten in Huda. David is in contact with the villages group.

The kindergarten is undergoing considerable renovation. A fence is almost complete, and repair to the wall in front is planned.  This is necessary because, as we have seen in the past, without a fence it is impossible to organize anything, to leave materials, to hang decorations – the local youth break in, destroy, steal.  Apparently, with the encouragement of the villages group a team has been formed of local residents who have taken on themselves to strengthen the kindergarten.  Let’s hope they will persist – it’s not easy (to put it mildly) when dealing with a village all of whose houses, tents and shacks are under demolition orders.

We started with some of the older children.  We brought the book “Father’s umbrella” (in Arabic).  They sat on the floor and Ikhlas read the story. They listened intently -  it seems they don’t have many similar experiences.  Afterwards we “produced” the story:  the child who was principal actor wore a raincoat we had brought, got under the umbrella we had brought and started gathering friends for a walk in the “rain.”  The kids were very excited, gathering under the umbrella.  David accompanied the action with pleasant rain music.

In the second half of the story I sang a song about light and strong winds (in Hebrew, to my sorrow), and asked them to express the two kinds of wind, being careful to do so, listening to the music - the playing and  my singing (of course not the words which were in Hebrew).  Each child demonstrated his percussion instrument.  The last item  was the game of a sheet blowing in the wind – which is always a winning card. The children hold the sheet and shake it according to the type of wind they hear in the song. Afterwards they return to play with the ball in the centre of the sheet and, afterwards, with one of the children.  Great excitement!

In the middle of the session Na’ama and Dallal went out to cook rice.  Apparently nowadays they serve “lunch” every day at the kindergarten, which includes rice and onion (and maybe something else that I have forgotten).  At the end of the session the teachers arranged tables behind the kindergarten, where the children sat and ate.

We sat and chatted with David and with Eid who arrived in the middle of the session.The main question was how best  to invest in the kindergarten – in building and equipment, or staff and content.  To me it is clear that the second option is more important.  After we finished, Ezra (from Ta’ayush) arrived with a team of photographers, who wanted to film our activities.  Of course we couldn’t repeat what we had done but they managed to film some activity with David’s musical accompaniment .   

Pictures of the activity – album of 12.11.2015: