'Izbet alTabib, Za'tara (Tapuah)

Facebook Twitter Whatsapp Email
Dvorka A., Bella R., Nirit H. (reporting), Nadim (driving and translating), Translator: Charles K

Izbet alTabib, Jurish, Za’tara junction



10:00  ‘Izbet alTabib.  We met R., the coordinator of the Women’s Club in ‘Izbet alTabib, at the beginning of our shift, and her two assistants, who wanted to see whether it would be possible to organize activities for women as had been done in Nabi ‘Ilyas, the neighboring village.  Dvorka described MachsomWatch’s activities; they briefly told us about themselves, the village and their cooperation with the municipalities of of Asla and ‘Azzun, the neighboring villages.  Four years ago they established an organization whose main purpose is to address poverty in the community.


The coordinator was interested in English classes, handicrafts and doll-making for a group of some 15 women from ‘Izbet alTabib and Khirbet Asla.  We promised to see whether we could do so and let them know soon when classes would begin.

The village women’s group obtained use of an old building surrounded by a green garden.  It contains two rooms that aren’t very large in which we can conduct the activity.  We would also be able to meet in the home of one of the assistants.  When the meeting ended we drove with her to the nearby village of Asla, to see her large home.  It would be most appropriate for classes.  Most of the women are usually accompanied by their small children; there’s enough room in the house and in the yard for them also.


11:30  Jurish.  On the way we saw the access road to the village blocked by large boulders.  The only entrance to Jurish is viaKusra, requiring an eight kilometer detour.  When we got to the village we were told by A., the director of the Women’s Center, that the road had been blocked two months ago; the villagers don’t know why.

The village is located on a hilltop; the view is spectacular.  It has about 2000 residents whose quality of life is relatively good thanks to the fact that Migdalim is the closest settlement and its inhabitants don’t harass them.  Jurish and neighboring villages – Qabalan, Kusra and Aqraba - have extensive commercial ties with one another.


At the Women’s Center we sat talking with A., the director, whose English is fairly good.  She said she’d learned in Kuwait where she and her family had lived a number of years. She would like to improve.

In 2004 women from the village established a women’s association, with the help of UN Women, whose purpose is to develop the potential and abilities of women living in a patriarchal society, with economic independence as the goal.  The women set up kiosks that primarily serve school children in the area.  They prepare large quantities of food every day, which they sell.  Next month they’ll participate in a major food fair held in Ramallah.  Their kitchen is shining and runs like clockwork.  A list of tasks for each of the women hangs on the entry door.  They also weave straw baskets, make beadwork and embroidery; they want to market their products.  The Women’s Center has a well-maintained computer room where boys and girls are taught (separately).  There’s a plan to establish a guesthouse in an historic building in the center of the village.


Additional women joined the discussion; they were enthusiastic about the possibility of English and yoga classes.  We’re planning for 15 students for English and about twenty girls aged around 16 for the yoga class.  The classes will probably be held on Sunday morning.  We told them about the “Beach Day” project; they were excited and hope to go during August.  The women’s business orientation is impressive and worthy of respect.  They’re very motivated, enthusiastic and want to succeed.  The atmosphere during the meeting was very positive; the coordinator was unusually welcoming.


We parted after about an hour and began driving home.  At 13:20 we passed the Za’tara junction; the road was open, soldiers manning their positions.  Unusually, we saw no military vehicles along Highway 5, except for one jeep going in the opposite direction.



1.      Children on the outskirts of ‘Azzun

2.      The blocked entrance to Jurish.

3.    A flyer prepared by women in Jurish describing the activities of their association.