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  • minelbahar2007

Hebron, Old city, August, 25, 2022

Dear volunteers,

This is our last chance to thank you for being with us. We enjoyed it tremendously.

Huge thanks to every single one of you who made the effort and came, helped and worked with us to make every beach day the best ever.

I am so thrilled to thank you, it literally makes my eyes water. Each and every one of you is dear to our hearts, a part of us, and our reflection – knowing that we have a place to act, to do things and touch many people around us. You are our light and optimism, the power to believe that the world can be changed.

And now it’s over. On the first beach day we don’t believe it ever will be over, and then on the last day we can’t believe it is. These are thrilling days, hard, tiring, filled with experiences but it is all dwarfed when faced with the joy of the children and women. We are sure you share all our feelings.

This was a wonderful season. We shall soon summarize it. For now – we breathe, sleep, put our feelings where they belong, clear our desks and home. It’s time. We wish you all the very best, take the good memories with you to good places and don’t forget us until next year…

Women of the Sea – Rickie, Gili, Tali, Naomi and Rachel

The women’s circle

Participants: Gili, Rachel, Ella Vlestra – active translator, Amira – facilitation and report

At the beginning the women were gay and curious. They asked us questions and were excited. The atmosphere was friendly. Perhaps because some of them knew Rachel and me from our visit to Ribchi in Hebron, several years ago. For most of them this was their first time at the beach. Next to me sat a 57-year-old woman whose first time this was…

After our getting-top know-you circle, not much time was left. This time we wished to fly off to imaginary spheres and ask them about their dreams, but they mainly wished to share their hardships and pain. They were sorry they had not managed to bring some of their children to the beach. They actually demanded that we organize two buses for the same clan. Perhaps in winter… (It should be noted that this summer we brought 6 groups just from Hebron).

Some of their sayings:

- You took the most beautiful thing from us. The sea. It is our right to see it;

- Our religion teaches us patience;

- Are you afraid of us?

- We are besieged. We have lands and no possibility to build on them;

- We cannot purchase lands;

- We wish Palestine would return. You can stay with us. We will not take away your homes;

- We are rooted in this earth like the olive tree;

- We feel we cannot protect ourselves;

- May occupation leave our home!

- May the children learn their own history, get their rights. They have nowhere to play. They are frightened, sad, hopeless and unambitious. We wish they could get out and see the world;

- A woman came back from ten years during which her family lived in Germany. She had a home there and felt safe. In Hebron she cannot live in peace without fearing that her home will be demolished;

- We wish we could visit Tel Aviv without barriers and checkpoints;

- I shall go back today and show my children pictures from the sea, the fish and the rocks. I wish I could take it with me…

We, beach-day volunteers surrounding them with so much love and play today, separated them for a while from the oppression of occupation. One woman chose the image of a rope that binds us all together. They said they enjoyed it tremendously, and thanked us with all their heart. They applauded after Ella Vlestra, our translator today, read them our ‘Credo’.

Machsomwatchers and the Beach Day Team

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The project for 2024 is yet unknown -  hope for a voice of peace

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