A big bus, in it a group of vibrant women on their way to being photographed for a special calendar. There is laughter in the air, all ladies dressed beautifully for the event.
This is definitely not a regular group of women. These are women who have all suffered great tragedy in their lives. These women belong to a forum of bereaved families; Palestinian and Israeli . These ladies will soon meet with their kindred spirits at Tali Takumi.
Just before we get there we are stopped at a check post and told we cannot proceed.
A taste of our own medicine…
Undaunted, we all get off the detained bus and go by a local taxi to our destination. Here, we are met by our Palestinian friends; a lot of hugging and kissing before settling down.
The Palestinian ladies dressed in their best ; embroidered dresses. Something is not yet complete, we have to have our faces made up.
In one corner is Aisha applying lipstick, brushing lashes with mascara , in another corner is Miri (who has lost both of her sons) doing the same. It looks like a festive gathering. Giggling, laughter, excitement – we seem to be like school girls in some way.
Later between each photograph, women are seen with their fellow Palestinians talking quietly about their sorrow, their loss, their families. Merav shows some of us an album with pictures of her beloved brother Yaal – all of us feel her acute pain when she talks about him.
Yael who lost her cherished son Gilad tells about him – we listen in silence – we all understand only too well.
I look around – Hagit is giving a lesson in Origami – the Palestinian kids who are there are avid participants in this lesson.
Later on I will sit with a group and learn (not too well) how to make stuffed vine leaves.
Here is an amazing unique group – all of us bonded and full of belief in reconciliation.
Oh what a sight!
The pictures in our calendar speak volumes!
We have lost so so much and yet are full of hope for a better future.
"Im Tirtsu ein zo agada."
The idea for this calendar arose because of our dire need and will to continue what we are doing – our activities have to be funded .
Thank you for your contribution to help us carry on what we are doing.
Photos: Mashka Litvak, Yael Misheiker