One of our Villages Group’s strongest connections is with Yasmin Gebara, a very special young woman from the village of Salem near Nablus. Yasmin is blind from birth. A younger brother, Muhammad, is also blind. In September 2004, Yasmin’s father Saael, a taxi driver, was killed in cold blood by Yehoshua Elitzur, from the nearby Itamar settlement. Elitzur was sentenced in an Israeli court for eight years, but then fully exploited the pro-settler leniency of the Israeli justice system who let him go home before reporting to jail, and has probably escaped the country without serving a single day.
In the meanwhile, Yasmin’s Mother Muna was left on her own with six children in the ages 9-18. We started to visit Yasmin’s family regularly after Saael’s murder. During this period of five and half years we accompanied Yasmin in her long way from the senior year in Salem high school, through four years term of academic studies in the Nablus university.
In January, we celebrated with Yasmin her graduation from university in the field of English Literature. During this celebration, Yasmin read for us from the Braille a poem of her in English, written especially for this occasion. Erella from the Villages Group read to Yasmin our greetings, praised Yasmin’s unique personality and great achievements and her supportive family (especially her late father and her devoted mother). Yasmin applied to be an English teacher in the Ramallah School for blinds. Hopefully, she will be accepted for this job.
Also last month, we sent an email plea to our list of friends, if anyone can help Yasmin continue and develop her English by sending her CDs of English poetry and English literature – and especially an English-English Braille dictionary and/or Arabic-English\English-Arabic Braille dictionaries.
Before we had time to post this plea online, it was already answered. Jamal and Georgina from London sent Yasmin the “Little Oxford Dictionary” in Braille. Since this dictionary has 39 volumes, I assume that if anyone wants to send Yasmin the “Big Oxford Dictionary”, you will need to hire an entire ship! Also, Yasmin can enjoy now from Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream on CD’s sent to her by Edna from Herzliya.
We wish Yasmin success in her future plans, and thanks again to all who pitched in to help.