Obstructed Vision 1: Hebron

20150606-IMG_6071crvlvlcrpThreshing is difficult work.

20150606-IMG_6134lvlcrvcrpWe cannot see what we are doing.

20150606-IMG_6120lvlcrpWe cannot see each other or the people we came to help.


20150606-IMG_6119lvlcrp We may wonder why they need help. The whole family is working with us. 20150606-IMG_6082crv

20150606-IMG_6104-lvlunless we turn from our work and take a moment to study the background

20150606-IMG_6106lvlcrvcrpThe field sits on the edge of the illegal settlement of Kiryat Arba, one of the oldest settlements, founded in 1968. If the wheat is not harvested, threshed and stored quickly, residents of the settlement  are likely to come and burn it as they have done before. The anxiety about the settlers made   the harvesting of the grain the most strenuous part of the process. Some of the volunteers for Ta’ayush harvested last week and this morning, carrying the wheat to the upper field where settlers are less likely to molest it. Others came for the threshing, which is bad enough. I make a mental note to bring work gloves and a mask.


20150606-IMG_6113-crpWe feed the machine that separates the wheat from the chaff.

20150606-IMG_6135lvlcrvWe fill bags with the grain


20150606-IMG_6202crvlvlcollect the bags and move them to a safe place.

20150606-IMG_6216crvWhile we thresh, the settlement hides beneath a screen of flying wheat.

20150606-IMG_6145lvlBut wheat is tiny and so is the field where it is threshed.

20150606-IMG_6211lvlThe settlement looms over the field. When we are done threshing we eat  sun-drenched food on a terrace. While we eat, the settlement emerges from hiding and dominates the view. There are no terraces in the settlement, as someone points out. We wonder what the people there see from their windows.

20150606-IMG_6057-crvlvltext and photographs © Margaret Olin 2015

on Ta’ayush, see http://www.taayush.org

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