Encounter 149 – January 22, 2021

Again, a nice sunny day after 2 days of rain.
Nahshi, Shmulik, Rami and I fix the circle outdoors, in the warm sun.
Rami came early in order to continue his project of exposing the sulfur plant and old British army barracks next to it. His discoveries are impressive! This time another lead was found about the soldiers’ recreation time. Guidance will be given in situ…
Jaber arrives with Hitham and their 3-year old son Walid.
Nomi arrives to.
Travelers peep from above. They are invited to join us, come, sit down, have coffee. Rami explains to them in short what and why…
A circle begins. Nomi says she would be glad to be able to walk straight from here to the Gaza beach.
Hitham says she joins us occasionally and speaks of the fruits that peace could give. She was in Gaza only once, at the age of 10. She doesn’t join us often as she works Fridays. She feels good here.
Nahshi is impressed with the beauty of the area. Gaza is so close, and so far. We have forgotten the good relations we used to have with the Gazans. Here we recall them. We have suppressed our awareness of the goings-on there. This is our opportunity to remember that the past was beautiful and the future will be impressive.’
Yossi remembers that as a child he used to ride the bus with his mom from Ashkelon to Gaza. During the First Intifada he came there as a reserves soldier and did not really understand the situation. His son lost an eye in a war. He knows that everything is temporary and that contacts will arise again.
Shir is a fresh mother. She has a business in the town of Sderot: a pasta place, together with Lir and Idan who came too. She doesn’t know Gaza, has never been there. She has only experienced trouble from there, although she does think about living in this dangerous area, intends to buy a house, even.
Lir, Yossi’s daughter, grew up in Mefalsim. Now she lives in Tel Aviv. She was not aware of the defense dangers around here. In the army she realized her fears and that since the age of 3-4 she has been living in fear.
Idan, from Mefalsim. Loves the area. Prefers to regard the good side of Gaza as he got it from his parents’ stories. He thinks something should be done to improve the situation.
Rami, present at the beginning and at the end of the circle, says that Gaza is wrapped up and closed in fear. Gaza is a historical junction.
Asaf, Smadar and Noa arrive. Nomi asks Rami to tell us all about the anemone flower and we get a botanical lecture… As a bonus, Shmulik adds some details about this wondrous flower. Rami says there is a photo from 1917 of an Australian officer holding a huge bouquet of anemones. There are also photos of soldiers from the First World War who camped here and were photographed inside a field of anemones. In the past, when the area (around 10,000 dunams) was tilled, there were hardly any anemones left. Since it has been declared a nature reserve, their quantities are impressive again.
Some more Haruvi family members arrive: Mirale (Rami’s mom), Dganit and Ilan (his sister and brother). Rami takes us all to see his discoveries. Through them he explains the British army’s deploying in this area to face the German threat.
That’s it.
Participants: Hitham, Jaber, Walid, Yossi, Shir, Lir, Idan, Nomi, Rami, Oded, Nahshi, Shmulik, Smadar, Asaf, Noa, Ilan, Mirale, Dganit.
Wrote: Oded