Haris, Jurish, Za'tara (Tapuah)

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Sara T., Anna, Hadas C. (reporting), Nadim (driving) Translator: Charles K.


Za’tara junction, Jurish


14:50  Za’atara junction.  Border Police soldiers on both sides of the junction, from Ramallah and from Nablus.  They stopped and searched each car.


15:05  We arrived in Jurish.  Ten young women awaited us at the club, ready to begin – English and yoga.


English lesson:  Suddenly the girls saw me (Hadas) trying to arrange my scarf on my head like theirs.  They couldn’t stop laughing at the stupid expression on my face.  I wanted very much to amuse them.  S., the leader, entered the classroom and also burst out laughing and began to help me.  She wound the scarf around me, pinned it and the girls were so pleased I looked like them.  They felt I did it to entertain them, and also out of respect for their tradition.


We conversed about numbers and apples using the possessive case.  To enliven the class I surprised them with mint candies I’d brought and incorporated in the discussion.  In the next lesson, they said, they’ll surprise me…


During the second half of the class I taught them the gospel song, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…”


We discussed what the words meant.  As we sang I asked them to cup their hands to keep the light shining.  In response to my question, each told me she has a light in her heart.


They sang joyfully, moving their hands and swaying with great emotion and pleasure.


When the class was over some of the girls began yoga while others who had physical problems remained with me speaking English.  When they learned I wasn’t married they cheered!  They seem to view marriage as a loss of freedom, as being controlled by a man.


The yoga class proceeded normally, Anna and Sarah working together, allowing them to demonstrate and help each of the girls individually.  As usual when the class ended, the girls left tired and satisfied.


17:30  On our way back, Border Police soldiers stood at Za’tara junction next to the cars coming from Nablus.

Across the road the soldiers weren’t inspecting cars from Ramallah but stood in groups of at least five at the bus stop.  No settlers were at the bus stop.

At the Hars junction, Palestinian laborers were asked to get out of a car coming from Israel.  A police car stopped next to them by the roadside and a Border Police officer emerged and walked toward them.  Nadim thought that the driver might have committed a serious traffic violation, which is why the police stopped them.