Azzun - preparing for the lockdown

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Rachel Afek; Translator: Hanna K.
במעלה הכביש המוביל לעזון
עזון יושבת על רצף גבעות
בתים מפוזרים בשיפולי גבעות מוריקות
בניה חדשה
שאריות בנין ושאר זבלה שלא מצאה דרכה להתפנות.
רחובות צרים

Today the third lockdown will begin and one has to utilize the morning so as not to be subject to punishments owing to deviation from the one kilometer limit. A full car which will suffice for the two or three weeks ahead.

At the entrance to Izbat Tabib there is a sudden barrier. Cars are being checked. At Azzun the barrier is open. Today, after perhaps more than eight years here, we made a tour around the village. This has been my dream for a few years.

Azzun is situated on a large sequence of hills, perhaps 13,000 inhabitants, without any town planning which could be discerned to the casual onlooker. Very narrow roads which open up to orchards and green gardens near the houses, mixed with building discards and other rubbish which couldn’t find its way to being removed. A great neglect and a lot of dirt, side by side with blooming bougainvilleas and plants which emerge from crumbling walls. Abominable poverty next to new buildings and even the beginnings of modern shops on the high road or in the alleys next to it. I drove with the three sons to "look for asses and we found a kingdom". The village is astoundingly beautiful. From certain angles one can see the houses of the village which are scattered on the slopes of the hills and in their continuation, as if they were an integral part of them, the red roofs of Ginot Shomron, and further on, seen from a different angle, another settlement, the name of which I did not catch. From another side you look up the slope and ardently wish to reach the sky from there. A road whose angle is perhaps 90 degrees. Frightening.  It is absolutely clear that with a bit of effort one could turn this place to Tuscany of the Middle East. Some of the house owners have already understood this and have painted their house in a variety of colours.

A truck with a few workers, which would have passed there some day and would collect everything that is superfluous and throw it into the nearest garbage dump, and another donation which would turn the narrow changing streets which flow one into the other, into passable roads, and more colourful houses, all this would turn the village into a spot nobody would wish to miss.

Since many years this is on the tip of my tongue. I have already talked about it with Z. and S. who said that it is impossible that Jews come up with this proposition, it has to come from us. If at all. Or something to this effect.

The only small problem is the peace which tarries. And these Jews.

So here is the treasure of pictures of today.

Photos: A. who sat next to me and held the camerainfo-icon askew.