Monday, January 12, 2009

Morning in the Teacher's Room

6.50 a.m. We walk towards the checkpoint CP56 to see if we can get in the Tel Rumeida area where there is a Palestinian school located just opposite a Jewish settlement. Luckily the Israeli soldiers, after hesitating a while, let us in. That means we can accompany children to school (that are often harassed by settlers), which is one of our main tasks in Hebron. But I will talk about it some other time.

Today, as it is an examination period, teachers (all of them women) gathered in the Teacher's Room. A lot of things were going on here. Someone was pouring tea and coffee - always present in any kind of gathering, others where filling in the school logs, some other teachers were correcting children's exam papers. While minutes were passing the atmosphere in the room became more and more relaxed and conversations more dynamic.

All kind of topics were touched. Of course War on Gaza was the main thing, as it is on everyone's mind and lips right now. But then topics swapped like in a kaleidoscope. Some talked about advantages of breast feeding and peoples' awareness on it, some gossiping about new marriages, some complaining on men, some showing of new piece of clothes they recently bought. After all, women are women anywhere.

It felt so comfortable to be inside this messy and loud room. It was very warm in spite of the low temperature. The only thing I could wish for at that moment was to be a fluent Arabic speaker and get involved in the conversation.

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