Women Trip

Sabeel conducted a field trip to the Galilee region of Israel as one of its women’s joint programs. On the 28th of October 82 women from the West Bank, Jerusalem and Galilee toured through the region and visited three depopulated villages that are part of the Acre district. The villages of Ruways, Al Damun and Al Birwa witnessed firsthand the Palestinian exodus in 1948. The women heard stories that catastrophe (called Nakba in Arabic) and how the people of those three villages were driven out to the nearby villages or refugee camps in Lebanon for the sake of their children and their lives. They left in 1948 assuming that they would be able to return within a matter of weeks to their homes and villages.
Unfortunately, the villages were completely destroyed by the Zionists who denied the Palestinian refugees the right of return. The army deleted their lively features, and later planted pine trees over thier ruins in an attempt to erase their existence and the onslaught that happened there. Ruways has the most ruins still visible. Al Birwa was changed into a Kibbutz, and the land of Al Damun is used by settlers for agriculture.
Afterwards, the women went to the villages of Makr and Jedaydeah (also in the same Acre district). They met with Father Ibrahim Daoud from the Melkite Church of Makr. He gave them a brief history of the two villages. The visit concluded with a hymn.
The buses then headed to the village of Kafr Yasif, where they ate a delicious Middle Eastern lunch—a combination of traditional Palestinian cuisine and exquisite Lebanese cuisine—at the Greek Orthodox Church. Lunch was prepared by the women of the Arab Orthodox Charitable Society.
After lunch the women of Kafir Yasif joined us and met with Father Atallah Makhuleh, a Greek Orthodox priest. He explained the amicable Christian and Muslim relations in Kfar Yasif where Christians make up 70% of the population. The remainder of the population is Muslim; additionally there are about 250 Druze living there as well. The sojourn ended with prayers for all the families of the region, and for a safe journey home, led by Father Makhuleh.