South Hebron Hills, Thu 27.10.11, Morning

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Judy A. (reporting), Nurit B., Mohamad (driving)


The third creative arts workshop of the year led by Eid under the direction of Suha.

Route 317

Large advertizing signs along the road depict an idyllic pastoral life, at least for some, in the Southern Hebron Hills and the Avigail settlement. 


Huda, her assistant, and 18 children were present in the preschool.  As we arrived, we heard loud crying coming from the preschool.  The crying intensified and continued as we entered. According to Huda, the crying was the result of several factors: new children who had not yet become accustomed to being away from home, children who were not feeling well, the children’s fear that we were doctors, and ultimately a contagion effect – a couple of children begin to cry and other join in.  The last two factors were responsible for the increase in the intensity of crying.  The children were seated around tables.  When we arrived, the boys were sitting at one row of tables and the girls at another but as the workshop progressed, the separation was not maintained.

Topic of the workshop

“my house” – Huda had prepared a picture depicting a house, and had cut out geometric forms for the children to use in making their pictures of houses. 

The workshop program 

The workshop began with the reading of Leah Goldberg’s Flat for Rent.  We weren’t able to obtain an Arabic copy of Yael’s House, which was our preference, in time for the workshop.  When Eid began to tell the story, several children stopped crying in order to listen but a couple of them were still inconsolable.   Others were attentive from the beginning and participated in the telling of the story by answering questions.

            At the end of the story, each child was given a piece of paper to be used in constructing a house.   Geometric forms were distributed to each table along with plates containing glue.  With varying degrees of help from us, the children constructed houses by gluing the geometric pieces on the paper.  Eid, Mohamed, and Huda wrote the children names on their creations which were then hung up.  (go to the Picasa link for the children’s pictures –  The preschool is slowly becoming filled with the children’s art projects giving it a festive appearance. 

Staff meeting

Once the children left, we sat to discuss the next meeting which will be a project on ‘my body’ and the children will make dolls from toilet paper rolls, pipe cleaners, styrofoam heads, etc.  We also brought up ideas about how to help the children realize that we are not doctors.  No doubt as the months go by, the children will recognize us and understand that when we come, there are stories and art projects.  Our next visit to Huda’s preschool will be on Nov. 17, an interval of three weeks rather than two because one of the days of Eid al-Adhafalls on Nov. 10 when we were scheduled to go.