Sansana (Meitar Crossing), South Hebron Hills, Tarqumiya
It was Yom Kippur Eve. We drove to the home of Fatma in Idna, to talk about work at Huda’s kindergarten. Together with Zada from Yatta Fatma gives professional counselling at the kindergarten.
We entered through Tarkumiya checkpoint, which was empty of course – closure begins in a few hours. The olive press at Tarkumiya has not yet begun to operate. We heard this will happen in the middle of the month.
We entered Idna. No red sign indicating this is Area A. The center of the village is all a-bustle – like a vacation day. As always, on Jewish holidays there is closure, Palestinians cannot work, and therefore the Palestinians end up celebrating Jewish holidays… Ironic.
Fatma’s home: at the village outskirts. It is a large house, nice and well-tended, and hospitality is regal. The area is lovely. The Separation Fence is clearly visible, passing through the middle of the next village, Beit Awa. Over ten years ago we were here, when the fence was being built, and residents were trying unsuccessfully to prevent the splitting of the village. It’s an idyllic landscape – if one ignores the political situation. Fatma now directs a large school in the Idna area. She wishes to work on her doctorate in education at an Israeli university. In the meantime she is blacklisted by the Shabak. She hopes that if she is accepted for studies, she would be removed from the blacklist.
Fatma explained the Hebron area’s education system: There are 4 administrations – North (Halhul), Center, South (Samua, Dahariya), and Yatta. Apparently the South Hebron Hills villages and hamlets are out of the picture.
We spoke about work with Huda and Khaula, the kindergarten teachers at Hashem Al Daraj. Fatma says that at the beginning there were objections, but with time they began to accept and appreciate Zada’s instruction – as she is the supervisor of kindergartens in Ramallah. Too bad there is no instruction during the week, when children are present. We suggested that Huda and Khaula go to observe other kindergartens, but this too ran into some cultural difficulty which is beyond me. I suggested that work be done with them on non-academic subjects that are certainly no less important for kindergarten age children – general skills, motorics, listening, expression, cooperation. Perhaps they would also try illustrating ideas in addition to the instruction.
Umm Al Kheir: Fatma visited there again. Basically, there is a center built by the villagers, with equipment. But no local responsibility – a human problem. Fatma will try to look into helping by paying a salary for a responsible kindergarten teacher.
We returned through Meitar checkpoint – closed early because of Yom Kippur. Around Hebron we saw new construction and a new winery.