Wednesday, July 23, 2008

July 21, 2008 Latifa and gathering herbs

Kholod a biology masters student and Palestinian refugee living in Jordan, at Latifa, 3 hours south of Amman, Jordan.

When we finally arrived at the site, Kholod asked some children to help her gather soil and herb samples. Without the help of locals we would have had a very hard time getting all the field work done. The locals drove us to various sites. It was a nice break and a great meeting with a wonderful woman.

I accompanied Kholod to Latifa. We met at 6am at the Ragadan Bus station near the old city of Amman. The trip took exactly 3 hours, during which time we spoke of many issues both personal and political. I had a great time, met locals who helped us in the field, explained about the herbs and drove us to two different sites.

It was hot, but amazingly Latifa is in a part of Jordan with nice cool winds. I asked about the local industry. Omad the local English teacher, told me its agriculture and that this year has been particularly dry. The farmers were not able to grow wheat. I asked him what they do all day. He said they wait for next year.

In the field I walked up a hill to take photos of some sheep, goats and donkeys. As I approached dogs came out to protect their flocks. With patience we were able to make friends, I posed no threat and they let me get on with my photo taking. Actually I was very impressed with the dogs loyalty to their job. There were no shepherds in sight.

Kholods work complete we took the 4pm (the last bus) back to Amman. On the bus I met a Palestinian woman from Hebron. The Israeli army killed her husband, and one year later her 17-year-old son was standing on their roof when an Israeli sniper shot him. She said he was waiting for his final school results. That’s what she remembers; he was just waiting for his final school results.

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