May 30th 2005
About Desires and Hopes
In the name of Allah the Merciful:
For us, the Arab-Al-Jahalin, it is a great delight having a website that bears our name. In the name of all Arab-Al-Jahalin, I want to thank our german friends, who have made this possible for us, especially Dr. Anneliese Butterweck and Anna Crummenerl (who is with us at the moment). With 15.000 people the Arab-Al-Jahalin are one of the largest tribes in Palestine. About half of us have been evacuated to Jordan in 1967 because of the Six-Day-War. Before that, we had led a quiet and peaceful life, we lived mainly on cattle breeding, partially also on agriculture. We lost our peaceful and secure future. Our problems have started in the last century and continue on until today. Here a short historical summary:
1. The first tragedy we suffered in 1948, when we lost our land in the Negev. We were expelled from our native land by the Israeli army. There has been founded an israeli city, called „Arad„, and the land our cattle grazed on, was declared a military zone, all the way from Arad to the Dead Sea. We were driven away towards the Westbank, were we settled between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea.
2. The second tragedy happened during the Six-Day-War, when the Israeli army invaded and occupied the Westbank. In 1980 the big israeli settlement Ma'ale Adumim was founded, taking away the land , we lived on and our cattle grazed on.
3. The third tragedy was caused by the Israeli military police in 1997. Again, they expelled us by force from our land, destroyed our huts, and took us on trucks to the hill, where we are living today. Since then we have been living only 300 meters away from a waste disposal site. Here we don't have any land for our cattle to graze on and our territory is very small.
As nomads we had always lived very freely and were able to move on great areas of land (from east of Jerusalem to the Dead Sea). We were able to move freely with our flocks. At the moment we are forced to change our way of life. For example we can only keep a small number of sheep and goats. We have following expectations for the future:
1. House construction: Because we have to live settled down at one place now, we need help with the house construction. We already have the permissions that are necessary in order to built houses. We hope for a better future for our families and especially for our children, that we shall not be expelled once again.
2. School: We urgently need a larger school-building for our children, in order to provide them with the education, they need for a better future.
3. At the moment we have a school with 5 classes and 160 students. Every year about 35 new students attend this school. The current class rooms are too small. The walls are made of sheet-metal, that can neither protect from heat in the summer, nor from cold and rain in the winter.
4. Electricity: One of our greatest concerns is the electricity. Can you believe, that we still don't have electricity?
5. Streets: Our streets are bad and hardly developed. We need better, broader asphalt-streets.
6. Sewerage system: Here on the Jabal we have to live very close together on little space. We suffer from new problems, which we didn't know before, for example where to put our garbage. We also need a sewage system, in order to protect us and our children from deseases. Most of all we need garbage cans, garbage disposal, and a sewerage.
7. Youth-Center: A center for our boys and girls has to be set up, so that they have a place for their freetime-activities.
8. We need a kindergarten for our little children (for the same reasons as the school).
We, the Arab-Al-Jahalin, so far have felt neglected and seperated from the outside world. With this website, now we are closer to the public, the whole world and of course our friends in Europe and especially in Germany. We are very confident that with this website, we will find many new friends and listeners that care about our problems and want to help us. We also have great hopes and expectations, to get to know people who want to help us collecting the amounts of money that are necessary in order to pay for the projects mentioned above. We are especially interested in establishing a partnership with a twin town or community in Germany.