Talking about Humans without Borders
We took advantage of an event at the Murad Resort in August 2018 to survey volunteers and families, at the request of a national organization supporting NGOs dealing with children.
We recorded the discussions using pens and pads. It worked fine. The interviews were held alongside the main pool and in the dining room. Ayala, my wife spoke to people in Arabic and I handled the Hebrew and English.
We asked a single question: What is the significance of the work Humans without Borders is doing?
Suesan, mother of K, age 3, suffers from chronic renal failure (Arabic): I think there is some kind of break in communications if you have to ask this question. If you only helped us to get to and from the hospitals and checkpoints, Allah would bless you. And you do so much more. Ayala: Even if we are not Muslems. Suesan: There are special dispensations. [I am not certain if Suesan was teasing or serious.]
Mohamad, father of D, age 8, being treated for Lymphocytic leukemia (Arabic): Only God knows how difficult this disease is for my child and my wife and you people are there, whenever we need your assistance, even when I called your husband in the middle of the night when D’s temperature shot up to 41. When we are with you there is no occupation.
Sarama, mother of M, age 4, suffers from major neurological issues since birth (Arabic): I have just married off my eldest daughter to a young man from Ramallah. This gives us all great pleasure. Aside from that life is dreary and difficult. You put a brilliant spark into our lives. All my children are here. My late brother’s children are here. They will talk about today for weeks to come and then begin asking when the next event will be held.
Hanna, volunteer: (Hebrew): Years ago, it was terribly difficult for me to get up early to get the kids out to school and now, once or twice a week, I am at the checkpoint at 7 AM, full of expectation to hear the latest news about the children, the family, the village. If I am sticking a pin into the goals of the occupation, then all the better. But friendship and mutual concern – worrying about my wretched knee and me trying to help where it is most needed – are the heart of the relationship.
Tuvia, volunteer (Hebrew): I do not suffer fools well and the idea of occupying another people’s land is folly. As old as I am, I will do my part in the struggle to put an end to this crime. So, I am here doing my small part with a group of wonderful people.
Lila, Manager of Murad (English): What do you want now? [Explanation]. Oh that’s another story. I have known you for many years and know what you personally stand for, but I am overwhelmed by what I have seen today. It is such a joy to see Israeli volunteers who are just like grandparents or second parents to the children. Unbelievable.