Morning and evening to Shushala and back
Age over 60, S., father of the family, must venture every morning out of Al Khader town to his farmland on the hilltop of Shushala, and come back.
I called him, concerned. My fear was that he would not go the hill to work his land for fear that he could not return to his home in Al Khader. This is what I imagined after hearing his fear in our last phone conversation.
An ancient Palestinian farmer tradition of moving from home in town/village to home in the fields has been cut off by a law passed by the occupier, Israel, ruling that one may not stay overnight in a house located in the midst of farmland. The heroes of Shushala have fought persistently for their right, and now comes the Corona pandemic and makes their struggle all the more difficult.
I’m on my way to the hill, S. answered me.
I’ll call again when you get there, I said. I know the harsh track and the uphill trek – after Road 60 had been blocked and from a connecting road, became a separating one. It connects Israeli settler-colonies and separates Palestinians from their farmland. I called again an hour later.
I climb up every day, usually alone, sometimes with my son-in-law.
No problems returning to the village?
And your son?
He works in Israel and returns to Al Khader every week.
No problems getting in?
I asked him to send me photos on whatsapp.
He asked that we help him with the possibility of staying overnight in Shushala, as he has a hard time going up and down the steep hills every day, the hard way.