Tag Archives: mufaqra

Another Thursday (12.12.2013)

Dear friends,

Snow and thunder storms happen in our world. In cold areas, state and people are well prepared for them. In warm areas, like here in the Middle East, they are less prepared. Such a storm has now reached us. The media is working full steam, of course, to report and also to stimulate viewers’ impulses and fuel their anxieties, all for the sake of rating. We, who know the gap between media and reality (not only when weather is concerned) decided to go to South Mt. Hebron, as we do every Thursday.

Ten minutes after passing Sansana checkpoint the snow started piling. We reached the steep dirt path going down to Mufaqra. The path was so covered with snow, we couldn’t see its sides, and the entire village was concealed by heavy fog.

I called Sausan’s mobile phone.

“We are a minute away from you,” I said.

“What are you doing here today,” she asked, astonished.

“We came for our weekly visit. We thought that if you can live here in such a storm, we can visit you in such a storm. It’s just that we are not certain we should go down the snowy path, even with Danny’s 4×4 jeep,” I replied.

“Don’t risk it,” she said, her voice choking with emotion, moved that we arrived there at all.

We headed towards Susiya. The entrance to the village is shorter and not as steep as the entrance to Mufaqra. There was no fog in Susiya so we could see the damages. Tents flew and even a portable toilet, that is a bit more solid, fell on its side. This fog-less visibility (in more ways than one) made it possible for us to also see the houses of the Jewish settlement Susiya standing stable and heated, a short distance from the place where some of the families heated their tents with a wood stove (“Soba” in Arabic) letting out the smoke through a chimney. Some of the families warmed themselves around a campfire they made inside their tents, the smoke so stifling that they had little choice – freeze or suffocate. The children were quiet and crowded near the fire. It was cold. Very cold.

In another tent, where a newborn baby was napping, a fire was not lit and all the tent’s inhabitants spent their time under a heap of blankets. Everyone, with all the kinds of tents and all the ways of heating, were busy trying by every possible mean to block the leaking from the tents’ sheets, or in the walls of the portable constructions given to them by UNRWA and other aid agencies (usually after their tents were demolished for constituting a grave security threat to the very existence of the state of Israel).

Until 1967 (Occupation year) the residents of South Mt. Hebron lived in caves. In Susiya, since the destruction of many caves (for allegedly constituting a security risk) tents substituted the caves (other building is forbidden here), and the hand of the occupation demolish them too, every other day. But at the end of this month, on the very same day of Jesus’s birthday, the people of Palestinian Susiya will finally receive a compassionate answer to their plight. They won’t have to suffer anymore from the cold, the storms and the snow – the entire village stands to be demolished – by the Ruler’s orders.

Suddenly I remembered that when I was 9 years old, in Haifa, my mother came from Jerusalem, where my father was hospitalized, and said: “Dad is not suffering anymore.” I asked, happily: “So when is he coming home?” “He will not be coming home,” said Mom. “Your father is dead”…

These were my thoughts today, when I was visiting, as I do every Thursday for the last ten years, my good friends in Susiya.

Erella

On behalf of the Villages Group

IMG_4414a

IMG_4416a

IMG_4418a

IMG_4419a

IMG_4422a

Support Needed for An Enrichment Class at Mufaqra – A Letter from Ali al-Hamamde

Dear Friends and supporters,

Since the beginning of our relationships with villagers from South Mount Hebron and from the Nablus area, we have been trying to work with the people, and not instead or for the people. At the beginning, we, members of the Villages Group, took upon us to maintain the connections with people around the world. Gradually, the villagers themselves begin to take responsibility for these connections, something that is  really foreign to their culture. This and language barriers (Hebrew and/or English) are some of the challenges we are facing and so we still have a long way to go in this regard.

Last year we shared with our friends in Israel and abroad a request for assistance in funding a learning enrichment program for the children Mufaqra (see here). The annual budget of the project is estimated at 4,500 USD / 3,300 Euro / 2,600 Pound; most of the budget is needed for salary and the remainder for supplies. We would appreciate any donation; please contact us at this email if you are able to donate. We realize that we keep on sending request for support but at the end of the day this is indicative of the dire conditions in South Mount Hebron. Hopefully together we would be able to support our fellow Palestinians friends.  

With much love, 

Erella (in the name of the Villages Group)

 

In the name of God the Merciful, the Compassionate

Hello and greetings,

I would like to express my deep appreciation and gratitude to the members of the Villages Group and to everyone who helps them help us. All of you are dedicating much attention to the people of South Mount Hebron and investing a lot of effort in trying to get to know the situation in which people are living, their needs and the areas in which they need support. 

Among other fields in which we received support, the people of the Villages Group have helped us in education. One of the ways to assist in this field is to financially support university students so they can finish their degree within reasonable time (usually studies take a long time because of financial difficulties), and return to their villages and contribute to the advancement of education there. I am one of the students who benefited from your assistance. I spent six years in university, because of financial hardships, actions of the Israeli occupation and transportation difficulties. Without your help my studies would have taken at least ten years. 

After graduating and receiving my degree I didn’t find a job, like many of my fellow students. The members of the Villages Group knew that the children of Umm Fakra need support in their studies and offered me to teach them after school hours in order to strengthen their abilities. I built a learning enrichment program and we have implemented it and maintained this framework during the passing year. Meetings were held three times a week. During these meetings we would repeat the material studied in class and solve problems the children encountered. I would identify the children who are weaker in their studies and I invested in them in order to advance them. The stronger ones also got their share, thanks to the small size of the pupils’ group. I felt that this framework answers real needs – the children came willingly and made progress. I myself felt great responsibility towards them. As someone living in the village I know how much the children need learning and educational support, in addition to what they manage to acquire at school.

What enabled this enrichment were the funds we received from you. The children, the parents and I would like this enrichment program to continue. This year too – we need your help.

I thank in advance everyone who would enable the learning enrichment program in Umm Fakra to continue this year.

With much respect,

Ali al-Hamamde

Demolition in Mufaqra

Dear friends,
Perhaps you have read in recent days about the decision of the Israeli government to build more houses in settlements throughout the West Bank as a response to the Palestinian appeal to the UN. But most probably you have not heard (and probably will not hear in the media) about the actions of the occupation authorities that early today demolished a mosque in the cave-dwellers village of Mufaqra. The police, representatives of the civil administration and soldiers of the IDF (read: Israeli Demolition Forces) arrived at the village at sunrise, closed down the area surrounding the mosque and used two bulldozers to demolish the building. It is worthwhile mentioning that the mosque that was demolished today was built on the ruins of a former mosque that was destroyed roughly a year ago.
As soon as the information reached us we called Fadel, a friend from Mufaqra who described the fear among the people of the village and especially among the kids that were on their way to school when the demolition occurred. Fadel told us that he asked one of the army officers why do they demolish the mosque and the response was: “today we demolish the mosque but as soon as we get the court order we will demolish your house as well.”
Below is a picture of the mosque that we took a few weeks ago and photos that were taken today by activists from Operation Dove during the demolition.
We will visit the people of Mufaqra later this week and hope to communicate to you more information and impressions from the field.
On behalf of the other members of the Villages Group,
Ophir Münz-Manor

תמונה מוטבעת 7

תמונה מוטבעת 5
תמונה מוטבעת 6
תמונה מוטבעת 3
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 62 other followers