On Monday (2 Feb 2009) afternoon I went for a short visit to Hevron just 45 km from my house. I walked up Shuhada Street, at the top I turned right went over a barrier and past an unmanned check post. Here I met families and children in the street, was offered tea and oranges, smoked cigarettes and had babies forced upon me. Here is Mohamed and his grandson. I had a long chat with him in Hebrew (he doesn't really speak it), English (barely speaks it, but a granddaughter helped us) and Arabic (mine is a shocking). From here I walked back to the older part of town.
I had a good chat with the boy sitting in the middle of this picture (mostly about the passing girls and his concern over meeting his future in laws) until these boys called me over who work in this work shop. The one in the middle actually does not work here but next door !
A friendly rowdy lot who were fascinated to speak to a Jewish Israeli. The older man (the boss?) did not speak to me but didn't mind me being in his work shop (metal work), his workers or colleagues were happy to show me around - including the pictures of Hassan Nasrallah and Saddam Hussein on the wall!
Near the Cave of the Patriarchs, there is a massive effort to reconstruct the old style of housing to provide accommodation for more than a 100 Arab Hevronites. See more here and here, it is a spectacular and very encouraging thing to see.
I walked through the old market (strictly out of bounds to Israelis, had to duck under this gate when no one was looking) and spoke to lots of people there who were excited to meet a Jewish Israeli! In the centre is Jamil, a store holder in the market, talking to Samuel and Susanne and others of the EAPPI. Samuel and Susanne (both from Sweden) patrol the streets of Hevron, just keeping an eye on things. I walked through the old market (strictly out of bounds to Israelis) and spoke to lots of people there who were excited to meet a Jewish Israeli! This is one end of the market, and this is the other
Posted by Saul Davis benqish