Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Netzarim in Shiloh

The Netzarim refugees spent the afternoon in Shiloh today. Since their expulsion from their homes and community, they have been housed in the student dormitories of the college, (or is it already a university?) in Ariel. We're not far away.

A couple of the adults even spent part of their childhoods in Shiloh.

The activities were for the children. Lots of animals and even snakes and a parrot. Nosherei that I didn't go near, but the kids loved it. They had pitah baking over an old-fashioned "oven." All sorts of arts and crafts and tee shirts to be dyed.

Kids are kids, and the Shiloh and Netzarim ones mixed well.

The adults still sported that haunted look.

I asked if they needed anything and and was told that people have been very generous. They don't know where they'll be living. I shouldn't have said that their community was destroyed, because only the material/physical was. They are still a community of people who care about each other and want to stay together.

For some it's not the first time they've experience such destruction; they were in Yamit and some descend from the Jewish refugees forced out of the Old City of Jerusalem in 1948.

They've had their own school up to the 8th grade, and then the kids go off to high schools. The teachers are also from the community. When the principal contacted the Ministry of Education to try to get organized for this year--wherever they may be--she was told that her school "code" doesn't exist. Therefore there's no official school. So now they not only have to find all the minimal equipment like blackboards, office supplies, books etc. According to the officials, it's just a phantom, without rights of course. Officially school opens in less than 36 hours.

But for a few hours, they had fun, enjoyed the Shiloh breeze and saw the most incredible sunset.

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