Saturday, January 21, 2006

Memories of a Tel.

As like most of you, I was shocked Thursday evening upon hearing what had occured in Tel-aviv, another suicide bombing. Days away from our elections, something this bad was waiting to happen, only to make it harder for voting and proceeding with the campaigns. Although in an earlier statement of 'checkpoints', I did not mean they shouldn't be enforced, rather I questioned why only we the Palestinians had the trouble of going through them, for every nation has the right to hold any sort of security run-throughs in order to ensure their own safety.

The city I live in was once that of a 216 resident population (under the Ottoman Empire in 1596) and in 1933, population rose to 717, and in 1942 it was estimated to be around 960. Now we are about 2500.

My Shilo friend noted earlier abut the Tel here in Turmos-Ayya. Well, it consists of many old houses, dating back (written on stone blocks) to the early 1900's and ofcourse earlier. He also said that he would love to visit this site in our city, which is impossibe. I on the other hand have the priveledge of walking through this area everyday, and I do. This is because I use this path as a short-cut to get to other places. Although very old and partially ruined, I still see and think of it as a beautiful part of our city which we can remember our past relatives and how they lived. In fact, my father and his fathers once live in these old stone houses, early in the 1950's. Whats amazing is that til this day, many of these houses are lived in, and used by the 'poor' residents.

My father and grandmother often tell me of how they used to go olive-picking on the hill which Shilo now rests on. They also would go there, in the spring and just enjoy sitting under a tree, viewing Turmos-ayya. Many of my family members lost their land due to the constructing of this settlement, and are still holding on to their documents that prove their ownership, hoping one day for a return to what they had long lost. But what is scary is that as time passes, our village will expand, and so will Shilo, and one day they will meet and seem to be as if one.

2 comments:

YMedad said...

actually, there are very few olive trees in Shiloh. and they weren't cut down either. strange. no significant groves, just a tree here or there. the answer might be that there were no trees planted here. but Shiloh now has loads of trees, planted in the last 25 years. fruit trees, mainly.

Ora said...

Hello Turmos Aya Resident,

I think this is an amazing blog, and I wish more people would be able to talk to the 'other side'.

I find it sad, though, that you need to stay 'under cover', using a fake email address and all that. Maybe not everybody in Shiloh will agree with Yoel, but he knows he can post here without fear and even tell his neighbors of this blog.

Can you send pictures of your tel?

Both of our villages have a very long history. There are those who locate the ancient village of Torma in Turmus Aya. This village is mentioned in the bible, in the book of Judges. I am not sure if it is named after the Turmus flower, or if the flower is named after Turmus Aya. The turmus is indigenous to our area, (I think in Arabic it's called the same word). These are small, purple flowers that grow everywhere around us. What do you know about the origin of the name of Turmus Aya?

I am a resident of Shiloh and I'm staying here permanently. This is my home. On a personal level I do not have a problem saying that about any of my Arab/Muslim neighbors as well. I think criminals who are involved in murder should be punished, but other than that, the right of every human being to live in his home should be recognized.

I can imagine an idyllic situation in which both you and I could live together and not only correspond from a distance.

I am not supposing to impose on you a Jewish government, I have no problem with both of us living under different autonomous political systems. If we could agree on such basics and then so would other Jews and Muslims living in our areas, I believe that this would be the real step towards peace.

Can you accept a basis for co-existence?

Ora