Far'ata, 'Izbet alTabib, Jayyus

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Tami C., Tamar A., Dvorka A., Nirit H. (reporting), Nadim (driving, translating) Translator: Charles K.

Far’ata.  We arrived at 14:00.  R, the women’s representative, welcomed us.  About 18 Palestinian women awaited us at the club for the first meeting with activists; most were young.  Dvorka explained what Machsom Watch does.  One of the women asked what motivated us to come to villages, meet with them, teach them.  We replied that we believe getting to know one another on a personal level breaks down walls of hostility, and because the Israeli regime wants to divide people, separate Israelis and Palestinians, we view our activity as opposing the occupation.

Each of us then introduced herself and described herself briefly.  Some of those present were students, some had finished their academic studies and were unsuccessfully looking for work, the rest were housewives with small children.  H., a wonderful older woman, told us she taught herself Hebrew and English (successfully), and when the meeting was over asked us to bring her a book to read in Hebrew next time!


During the second half of the get-together we split into two classes.  Tamar took those who knew no English at all; Dvorka those who knew the language.  After teaching basic words, including colors and articles of clothing, Tamar, with Tami’s help, taught them a song in English; they wanted to sing it again and again.  Dvorka conducted her class as a conversation, questions and answers in English.


Each class lasted more than an hour; the women participated actively, were very interested and enthusiastic.  Both groups enjoyed themselves greatly and laughed a lot.  But at the end, both groups asked us to teach Hebrew, not English.  We promised to look into it and get organized for next time.  The two women who were leaders wanted us to teach crocheting.  We said we’d look into the possibility.


The women, as usual, were lovely, cooperated with delight, and some even hugged and kissed us when we parted. 


While the classes were underway, Tami and Nadim drove to view Gil’ad's ranch outpost.  We met a resident of the village who told us that settlers from Gil’ad's ranch wander around the village in the middle of the day, openly provocative.  At night they come to set fires, cause damage and spray Stars of David on fences and buildings, as well as stealing tools and equipment from building sites.


We passed Izbet Tabib on our way back; the entry to the village is still partly blocked. 

Jayyus is open.  There was no sign of the jeeps that had been parked this morning along Highway 55.