15 July 2007

Summer Camp

Yesterday was the first day of summer camp for over 100 Palestinian kids, agess 7 - 14 years, at the Qurtuba school in Tel Rumeida, Hebron. We organized the kids into 5 groups of approximately 20 kids each. It's great to see so many kids coming out. The camp takes place outside on the school's campus. Tarps were used as tents and makeshift classroom and sprawled across the street tied to Palestinian homes. My yoga/ESL classes take place up the hill near the school's basketball court. I'll post pictures later.

The settlement is right across the street from the school. Although an Islamic cemetery and a high wall keep the view of the settlers limited, the settlers do pass by and stop and stare. Well, last night some of them decided to try to tear down the tents that are on Palestinian land. Fortunately no major damage was done and camp was held today with only one minor gliche in the morning.

In order to enter the camp/school Palestinians must either walk down the hill through the olive groves or down Shuhada Street and pass a checkpoint manned by armed IDF soldiers and sometimes armed settlers. Yes, that is right. Settlers, who are civilians, are allowed to carry weapons freely and walk the streets. However, Palestinians are not allowed any weapons at all. I'll blog on that later. Back to this morning. Children have to walk up a steep flight of stone steps from Shuhada Street to get to the school. Settlers were sitting on the steps trying to prevent the kids from going to camp. EAPPI support teams and ISM intervened. The principal even had a brief conversation with the settlers which consisted of establishing that arabs hate settlers and settlers hate arabs so they are equal. And that the school has done nothing to the settlers so they should leave everyone and everything alone. Camp continued for the day without a problem. Eventually the settlers got tired and left. You see it is our job to wear them out. Internationals are only here to help the palestinians so we have all day to sit and stare and wait. And fortunately this time the internationals were able to outwait them.

I taught one yoga class to girls and boys around the ages of 7-9 years. Then one class of basketball to all (wild) boys ages 7-14. They don't know the rules but seemed to have a really good time. And in the end, that is all that matters.

1 comment:

Little Flower Designs said...

hey! your flickr pics are so great - do you have one of the kid pyramid? looks like a great camp for the kids : ) hooray for you, they look like they love you and I love you too! miss ya!