Far'ata, Imatin

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Saraleh A., Dafna A., Lilka F., Adam R., Dvorka A., (Reporting) Translation: Bracha B.A.

We arrived at Farata to the hill overlooking Chavat Gilead.  We were hoping to meet the store owner whom we had met in the past to hear what people knew in the village regarding the three settlers from Chavat Gilead who were caught by the authorities after burning cars and harassing in Farata.   The store was closed, but as we stood on the hill looking out W. talked with us.  He was building a house in the outskirts of the village.  He invited us for coffee on his plot next to the storeroom where he keeps his building materials, and he proudly showed us the vegetable garden he had planted.  

He did not complain about the settlers at all, in fact he said that things had been quiet during the past month.  He reported that about a month before the car – burning incident someone broke into his storeroom that we were sitting next to.  The thief sawed the lock and stole all the building materials, which were worth NIS 3,000, opened the gas balloons that were stored there, and closed all the windows.  He assumes that the thief expected that the entire building, which also had electrical wiring, would explode at some point, perhaps when its owners entered with lit cigarettes.  When W. approached the storeroom at night he smelled the gas and discovered the break-in.  He repeatedly said that he did not know who did it.    

We arrived at Imatin at 14:30 to teach the children English as planned.  We were amazed to discover that there were about 90 girls waiting there!  The head of the clubhouse and the mayor of the village have been asking us to teach the children English for several weeks.   This week we managed to make arrangements for this.  Adam arrived last week and was the first person to begin, and gave an introductory lesson with the high school girls which pleased everyone.  There followed an assertive request to teach the younger children. 

When we arrived we wondered how we would be able to teach such a large number of children.  It then became apparent that the organizers had already thought about everything. Within a few minutes the girls divided themselves into four groups, led by the organizers and a Koran teacher and another teacher from the school.   Each group had 20-30 girls.  The 10th and 11th graders went to one class to be taught by Adam, and the 8th and 9th graders went to two other classrooms with Lilka and Dvorka, and the youngest girls went to the courtyard with Saraleh and Dafna.  The organizers each sat in on a class to ensure that things went smoothly.

The lessons were wonderful.  The girls were eager to learn and they were adorable and the lesson was pleasant and exciting.  It was a little more difficult with the younger girls because of their age and because the organizers were not present in the classroom as they were in the others. Their level of knowledge was better than we expected, but still relatively poor.  At the end of the lesson with the 8th graders one of the girls approached and asked that during the next lesson we have a discussion about their families.  That is what we will do.  It was wonderful to see how seriously the organizers here relate to our informal studies, and apparently to learning in general.

 We were unable to accept the organizers' invitation to have coffee at the end of the lesson, but we promised to continue next week and said goodbye.  The time passed by quickly!  At 16:30 we left to drive back.