Visit to Villages: Khasham-Al-daraj, South Hebron Hills, Thursday, 22.9.2011, Morning
Purpose of the day: the first art workshop of the year took place under Eid’s direction according to the plan developed by Suha.
There were new earth roadblocks along the road: this is perhaps a hint of a change in approach
because for a long time we haven’t seen the army blockades and new barriers. There were newly hung Israeli flags on the poles at all the intersections – perhaps Israel is celebrating the Palestinian Independence Day. At the entrance to the Tawani, the villagers built a low stone wall on both sides of the road – the road is a dirt road that only after 50 meters becomes an asphalt road because the administrative authority doesn’t allow an asphalt road at the road entrance (even though every entrance to every illegal outpost is well paved from day one).
As we approached, we saw many women with their babies – it turns out that this is
day the UNRWA medical and well baby clinic was open. Electrical poles now reach Huda’s preschool but there still isn’t electricity there. The first floor of the new preschool has been constructed but it isn’t clear when the building will be finished because the plan is to build a second floor for local administrative offices and work on the second floor has barely begun. In the meantime, Huda and the children remain in the old rundown preschool.
Today, there were 16 children attending preschool and also a couple of mothers. So far, the number of children is less than last year because of a large number of them are now in first grade and those from nomadic families haven’t yet returned to the area.
Workshop program: The topic was Ramadan – reading a book about Ramadan and making of an Eid lantern (a holiday lantern). Suha bought many books for the preschool last year one of which was a book on Ramadan. We came with materials for the lantern project.
Eid and Huda read (told) the story and talked to the children about the holiday. The children listened with much interest. After the story, Eid and Huda explained the purpose of the workshop and what materials would be used. Eid held up a lantern to demonstrate the project. Eid, Huda, and Mohamud organized the activity. We helped where needed. As usual, it was exciting to see the involvement of the children in activities that are unfamiliar to them. All of the children scribbled or drew pictures on the lantern paper. A couple of the older children learned to use scissors to cut out the lanterns. At the end of activity, we strung the lanterns on a long ribbon and hung it along the rafters (see picture). Once the project was completed, the children helped us to clean up school room.
Pictures from the workshop (Judy)
The next workshop: After the children were released for the day, we sat with Eid, Huda, and Mohamud
drinking coffee and talked about the day’s activity and the next workshop that will take place on Oct. 6. The topic will be olives. Huda and Eid will prepare some of the materials that will be needed (such cutting out leaves and olives for pasting onto to paper olive trees).
It is our intention to hold an art workshop every two weeks on a Thurs. It is important to stick to a schedule to convey the feeling of a continuous professional commitment. Our plan is that eventually Eid and Huda will initiate the workshop activities. At the end of each session, we will have a staff meeting to talk about the next workshop activity.