South Hebron Hills, Hashem alDarij
Activity at Huda preschool, Hashem-al-Daraj
Topic of activity: olive harvest
Road 317: The roads are flanked by Israeli flags, not just at the entrances to the settlements. Soldiers are mainly stationed at entrances to Palestinian villages and on the road to Yatta. They look calm and relaxed. It turns out that there was a race in the memory of colonel (reserve) Dror Weinberg, that left from the Carmel settlement. There was settler transportation to Sussiya and along the way there were road marking indicating the number of kilometers in the race. As if it was a normal routine – for Jews only; no occupation, roadblocks, pillboxes.
Hashem-el-Daraj: Huda, Chaula, and Amna were happy to see us and greeted each of us with hugs. Twenty-five children were present. A new floor, on top of the kindergarten is being constructed. The noise is unbearable. We did not understand who builds, who funds, and for what purpose. There is a need to follow.
Zeinab is an Israeli-Palestinian from Hura. She is lecturer in early childhood education at Kaye College. We recruited Zeinab to provide educational guidance to the Hashem-el-Daraj preschool teachers during the school year. She joined us on this visit to become acquainted with the preschool; and in the coming weeks, she will meet with the preschool teachers for guidance sessions, most likely on Shabbat.
We began the activity with a conversation and the reading of a story about olive trees and their products - we brought olive oil, olives, olive branches. Zeinab organized, and in fact, read the story in a professional and impressive way. The continuation of the activity included pasting and coloring of a picture of an olive tree on A3 paper which we brought with us. A variety of materials were provided to the children for pasting, including paper olives and leaves, some leaves from an olive tree which we provided (there are no olive trees in the desert…), dirt that the children took from the yard. The children were enthusiastic. Some of the children immediately participated; others more slowly. It seemed that some of the children had never worked with pasting materials. At the end of the activity, the children were very proud of their creations and needed to be convinced to leave their pictures hanging in the preschool. We concluded the activity by giving each child a pita filled with lebana, olives and olive oil.
As usual, we had tea and biscuits with the teachers. We discussed the type of guidance Zeinab would provide. Huda and Chaula described life in the village and explained the necessity of covering their faces with a veil when they go outside. They even gave us a demonstration on how to tie the veil. We promised to check on the issue of salary payment. We have raised money to support some of the salaries.