Sheep Shearing in the Jordan Valley

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Miki F. and Rachel A. (reporting and photography) Translation: Naomi Halsted

We accompanied young Mohammad and his flock from Ein Hilwa to the pasture. Muhaned’s new son was born yesterday but he doesn’t make a fuss about it and busies himself shearing sheep throughout the time we’re in the pasture. He has special shears that cut through everything. When there are young shepherds in families, they take advantage of the situation and save themselves 6 shekels for every fleece; these are all taken by a Palestinian company. So, he and Shafiq, who comes with Big Mohammad’s flock, grab and shear a different sheep every time. This requires a lot of strength – the sheep don’t cooperate willingly.

It is apparently the last day of Ramadan, although this has yet to be confirmed by the moon-sighting experts in Saudi Arabia. In any case, everyone agrees that our shepherds are entitled to eat based on the convincing argument that Allah allows those who work long hours in the sun to eat.

We walk south west over the hills and valleys. It is a pleasant day, no enemies and everyone is content. The outpost is close by, but they’re busy with other things.

After leaving the pasture, we visit Khalat Makhoul and celebrate Rina’s 30th with balloons and sweets, and visit others as well. It’s been a long and full day.