May 25th 2005
24 women and one day - a Trip to Hebron
Actually it is almost a small miracle. Already twice some of the Jahalin women had wanted to go on a picknick-trip. Already twice they had agreed on a destination and a date. But only at the third try the idea would come true! A bus is booked, we are going to Hebron, 22 Jahalin women, three generations in the age from 19 to 78 years, meet in the early morning of May 8th at the small women-center in the camp. The bus is already there, some missing passports are quickly picked up at home, the youngest are taken care of by sisters, mothers, daughters, and friends – it should be a day only for the women – and it was.
By bus we travel though the most beautiful landscapes, the women stay for more than two hours at the Ibrahim-Mosque, our walk through almost empty streets in the old city of Hebron and the view of less and less small shops and merchants that are still existing leave a sad impression, again and again the barbed-wire barriers remind us of the absurdity of the political situation here in Hebron.
It is a trip with very ambivalent impressions. We leave the dreariness of the old city and just a few kilometers away we find a new big street market. It is pulsating with life, it is colorful, it is loud, and the eyes don't know where to put the attention first. The women like it...
A lunch at a small restaurant, a visit at a traditional pottery and a glass blower and in the afternoon a last gourmandizing with sweet oriental bakery let hours pass like seconds and soon the day is over. Today the bus seems to us like an island. It is told and especially laughed a lot. Also Deema, my colleague from PARC, enjoys the day and she has „a thousand and one stories„ to tell. It is already dark, when we arrive back at the Camp in the evening – much later than we had actually planned.
But what was the reaction of one of the women (I think she was even the oldest of all), when we proposed the schedule and anounced the return back to the Camp in the afternoon. She just looked at Deema and me quite astonished, and said with a smile on her face,
„That early? - No, later, much later!„