Women Hiking Trip

On October 14, Sabeel’s women’s group hiked through the depopulated (1948) village of Lifta, now a suburb of Jerusalem. Fourteen women participated, navigating the steep path down to the valley where the ruins of Lifta remain. The women expressed mixed feelings as they walked around the village; the beautiful scenery was breath- taking yet heart- breaking as the forcibly deserted Palestinian homes, shops, and places of worship and play formed rubble piles all around. The rocks, burned homes, and remaining structures are reminders of lives destroyed by the Zionist Para-military forces during the Palestinian Nakba.
The buildings that survived the onslaught are architecturally beautiful. Lifta is only one of about 500 villages and locations forcibly depopulated in Palestine, but it is the only one around Jerusalem not yet repopulated by Israel. Unfortunately, there is a plan in place to convert this important landmark into 212 luxury apartment buildings and shops. Rather than returning the village to its rightful owners, Israeli developers are planning to make use of it for shops and the comfort of wealthy Israelis. As it may be the last days for Palestinians to visit this area, the hike orgnized by Sabeel came at an important moment. It was the first time for these 14 women to closely experience the history, nature and fateful future of Lifta. The program ended with prayer for the people of Lifta, hoping one day they will go back and restore their lives in the their village.

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