Encounter 216 – 29.4.2022

On the way to the sulfur factory (Shmulik, Nahshi, Moshe), we thought of placing the table on the hill, under a tree. In the distance we saw a loving couple, we parted and smiled with a look, and went down, to our drinking stone.
Nahshi began preparations for the coffee, and the ideological discussion heated up with the coffee, around the question of how to cook it. Lucky that Ofek arrived and made sure to hang the peace kite. And with the completion of the set and the preparation of the coffee, Roni joined.
Will we win guests today, after “Night-al-Qader”?
The pair of lovers on the hill finished their work and were invited to join our forces but politely refused (perhaps angrily at the fact that we had disturbed their loneliness).
Suddenly, crowds of hikers flocked to us: the joy of their arrival mingled with fear of a shortage of benches and mugs, but the lighthouse vision transcended any distress.
It was a battalion of travelers, most of them from Ashdod and the southern region, led by a guide named Shlomi. Due to their (lack of) time, most critics were unable to answer the question “What is Gaza for me?” But the spirit of things reflected a mixture of longing for the days when some of those present walked the strip, and feared another “round” of fire.
Meanwhile, the round, the good round, resumed: Shmulik served coffee and reiterated everyone’s right to self-determination. In his case: a communist-individualist.
Roni told about the personal bond that was forged between her and residents across the fence, about the possibility of helping people who want to work, about understanding and friendship in times of hostility and anger.
Mark arrived and Shmulik dedicated a song to him, ahead of his upcoming birthday.
Malki, Bella, Dina and her brother Yossi, and later Limor, Maharan and Arieh, also enriched the circle with songs, flowers, references to Holocaust Remembrance Day, as well as interesting insights into the place of Gaza and the difficulty of creating other communication between the two sides of the fence.
Speaking of communication, a moment of joy: Roni managed to connect us with our Gazan friend.
When it was Ofek’s turn, he chose to sing another piece by Shmulik that Ofek composed and garnered applause.
All of those moments of sadness and joy was watched by Avi, a docu-filmmaker who documented the meeting and also took care to challenge the circle with poignant questions.
We were: Shmulik, Ofek, Roni, Mark, Malki, Dina, Yossi, Limor, Maharan, Avi, Arie, Nahshi, Moshe.
Wrote: Moshe, helped by Nahshi, who also made coffee (until he was fired by Shmulik), completed his bread and made an observation from the smoking area.
Photographed by: Nahshi, Limor and Avi.