Visit to families in the Jordan Valley

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Sharon G. Zviya Shapira, Nurit Popper (reporter). Translation: Naomi Halsted

Zviya and I met with Sharon at Khalet Makhul in the home of Nadja and Youssef, where we left Zviya’s car. Nadja was with her infant daughter and her three-year-old son. Five-year-old Samour had gone out with his father to graze the flocks in the aria on the other side of the road. The rest of the children were in school.

From there, we moved on with Sharon to Jiftlik to visit the Ka’abneh family. The mother proudly told us that one of her daughters got married last week to a young man from Jericho. The wedding was in the bride’s home. The groom was also a shepherd. The other girls in the family along with the small children who don’t go to school gathered around us. We wanted to see her oldest son, Odeh, but he had gone to a clinic in Nablus to take care of a leg injury. His wife Sara came over to us with her small one-year-old daughter. She was born after the family has suffered a severely traumatic event after the army had evicted them from the grazing land near Hadidiya where they were spending the summer. In a fatal road accident on their way home to Jiftlik, their babyinfo-icon daughter was killed and Sara was gravely injured. After long months of rehabilitation, she was able to function again and gave birth to another daughter, who was born with a serious spinal defect that prevents her from standing upright.

The part of Jiftlik on the western side of the Allon road is a green and fertile area with an abundance of water, but the family lives on a rocky hill on the eastern side, where the grazing is poor. For that reason, in the past, they would move to the Hadidiya area with their flock during the summer, but right now, since the rains have come, there is new growth and food for the flock.

We visited Rima. We sat there for about an hour, while Sharon, who is an expert acupuncturist, gave her a treatment. In the meantime, the children came back from school and went to play in the “playground” behind their home. We could hear joyful voices and that made us happy too.

Traveling north, we stopped at a vegetable stall at Yatma junction, which to our surprise is back in action. Last year, the stall was deserted and we were unable to stock up with freshly picked fruit. The stall owner, who knows us, told us that “he was working for the Jews and that’s why the stall was closed.” A civilian car, an army jeep, and a police car were parked a few meters away. According to the stall owner, there’s some trouble with an Israel guy who had come to the nearby town of Qabalan. He didn’t know the details.