Happy Hours in Murad
As in previous summers, in August 2019, Humans without Borders hosted the families of the Palestinian children in our care for a summer outing, a day of fun and relaxation. Initially we had planned on continuing a tradition of annual trips to the seashore but, unfortunately, the military government demanded that we comply with untenable conditions in order to receive permits for the families. So instead, the Murad Resort in the town of Beit Sahur was selected. It is a lovely location with several swimming pools, playgrounds and an excellent dining room and, most important, reachable from both the north and the south without having to enter Israel.
By 9:30, three buses and several private vehicles brought more than 70 excited kids tumbling into the swimming area. Our volunteers had already set up tables with cold drinks, fresh fruit, just-picked strawberries donated by kibbutz Ramat Rachel, and cakes which were all dealt with in short order. One of the fathers told me that not only did they have to get up at 5:00 in the morning to reach the meeting point in Ramallah on time, the children woke them a half dozen times to ask it was not yet time to leave. Not very much sleep that night. Excitement was ubiquitous and totally contagious.
We ensured that every kid had a swimming ring both for fun and to ensure some peace of mind. Water cannon fights had them screaming with pleasure. And there was complete joy at seeing our volunteers, with absolute abandon, chasing the kids through the shallow end of the pool, splashing each other and laughing like a bunch of delinquents.
In Humans without Borders we treasure the bonds created between Israeli volunteers and their families and the Palestinian children and their families. Such connections are well beyond the scope of providing technical assistance. Lasting friendships stand firm against the terrible strains of the occupation.