Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Welcome Back

Dear Resident of Turmos Aiya Shalom,

First off let me express my own "welcome back". We were all a little apprehensive when you dropped off the net. In a time when people are rioting and even dying around the world over whether a Danish newspaper intended to mock the Prophet Mohammad, it was not a radical idea to fear that perhaps someone decided the very act of communicating openly with a Jewish "Settler" was a crime punishable by immediate death.

Thank you for your answers to my questions. I've been studying the demographics of Judea & Samaria for also twenty-five years and it is interesting to see how the trends I've read about translate into reality on-the-ground. What often overwhelms me is the tremendous history of the land you and I live on. There are remains from the very "dawn" of (recorded) human history, the early Cannanites, and every other period down to and including the Muslim conquest of the 7th Century, the Christian Crusaders of the 12th Century and the Ottoman and finally British in the last century. Discovering these remains, appreciating and piecing together the stories of the people who left them, is one of my life's greatest pleasures.

In reference to your response to my issue of "sensitivity", you have to understand. For almost a decade we have listened to the leaders of our "Partners in Peace" respond to every major terrorist attack, not with a revulsion against the crime and loss of life, but with some self-absorbed "Its not good for the Palestinian People ..." tripe. If these people would only get themselves a decent Public Relations consultant, their overall image would be very different. Hence your words 'echoed' this same grating one-sidedness. Forgive me if my remarks were not sufficiently elaborated.

So ... are you going to say something about the PA elections, or should we stay clear of areas that might jepordize you?Looking forward to your response!

Yoel Ben-Avraham
Shilo, Benyamin

Monday, February 06, 2006

Some Tentative Answers

Dear Yoel and Readers,

First of all I would like to apologize for the long absence. No I didn’t stop answering your questions or comments, rather I had many computer problems (keyboard stopped functioning) and unfortunate internet connections, although now everything is back to normal and hopefully will stay this way. Thanks to those who were concerned, but I couldn’t inform you what was happening. (I’m safe and sound.)

In an earlier blog entry, I expressed myself as being shocked about a Jan.19 suicide attack in Tel-Aviv. I also said “something like this had to happen, only to make it more difficult for our elections to proceed.” Yoel commented that it made arabs seem cruel that I didn’t show any sorrow for what had happened to the Israelis, rather I focused on the negative outcome that would have hit us...(maybe our elections would have been delayed, or Israel would have banned voters in Jerusalem…) Rather this being a “slip of the pen”, as Yoel suggested, I consider this more of a misunderstanding. Usually, when I hear of a suicide attack on Israelis, a smile wouldn’t appear on my face, nor any form of happiness. As a Palestinian, I don’t think that killing innocent civilians (in cases women and children) as a solution to an existing problem. Islam forbids taking the lives of the innocent in battles, wars, and conflicts.

On the other hand, attacks on military vehicles/bases/areas are admitted, (telling you by faith.) Anyways, I do have concerns about my own people and country, especially when were going through what may lead me and the Palestinian peoples future. Now when you said that this “creates the feeling that Arabs are heartless and cruel” what did you mean in terms of “Arabs?” Did you mean all Arabs worldwide or the Palestinians perhaps? Or is this a bad case of “a slip of the pen.” It’s another problem that many point their fingers at Arabs and Muslims for all sorts of issues!..........

Now also in your reply to my previous blog, you asked some questions, and here are the answers as numbered by you:

When did Turmos Ayya start building outside the "Tel" area?
1- Builing around the Tel area is unsure exactly, so I took a strole myself to these houses and noticed the dates carved in stone going back to the early 1900’s, no earlier. The more modern houses around them date to the 20’s 30’s......Mostly in the 50’s our population started rising, therefore I can answer your question as”in the 1950’s”
When did you finally receive electricity and piped water?
2- Again, unsure when exactly, but I think sometime in the early 60’s, I’ll have to get back on this one
Where do you send your children to school?
3- Our city contains 4 schools. An elementary coed from grades1-5, an all boys school (grades 1 to12), an all girls school (grades 1 to12) and a kindergarten. Our schools are not coed from 6th grade and up, beacause we don’t belive that the mixture at such age is apropriate, since Islam bans dating and unneccesary social interaction between males and females.
How many mosques are there in your village?
4- There is 3 mosques (masjids) in our city. Two are currently open to the public througout the day for prayers, but only one is used for the Friday noon prayer. The other is the ancient one first built long ago, that still stands today.
Do you have an infirmary or health clinic in Turmos Ayya?
5- Ofcourse, we have a clinic run by an educated doctor. Other than him, a hospital currently opened about 2yrs ago with good equipment.
When you go to larger urban centers to shop etc where do you go? Nabulus?
Ramallah? Some place else?
6- When I go shopping or if I need anything not available in the city, I go to ramallah, where I can find almost anything, and there’s also american goods.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Keyboard Anyone?

Dear Readers,

In light of your many comments of concern ...

It turns out that my correspondent from across the way has been "tongue tied" these past few days, not because of PA elections nor Israel's brewing civil war .... but because his keyboard broke!

Anyone have a keyboard to donate?

Yoel Ben-Avraham
Shilo, Benyamin

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