Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A gift from Ala

On July 27, I was having tea at the home of a neighbor here in the village of Haris named Isa. Isa was shot by a soldier and is now paralyzed from the waste down. You can read a Ha'aretz article about him here.

He and another IWPS volunteer, Andjelka, discussed a friend of his who needs medical support and Andjelika's research about Physicians for Human Rights and other similar organizations. We heard from Isa about the boy's camp he recently directed. We saw photos of over 100 boys who took part in the camp- the winner of a big race they had and all the boys swimming in a pool in the nearby city, Tulkarem. Most of the time we chatted and played with Isa's children.

Isa has three children, including 3 year old twins. Heba (which means gift from Ala - named that because she was born after Isa's injury) is one of the twins. She is constantly smiling. Constantly.

Heba wants to be a hair dresser- she likes combing anyone's hair, but not her own, Isa told us as he stroked her dirty blond waves. Heba has a pink purse full of goodies. Hiding behind the door to the house, she went through and reached her hand out exposing each item in its turn - red nail polish, gold nail polish, a bag of hena, and some flowery and sparkly bows. She carried all these items out to where we were sitting and began painting her nails (and face, and hair...)

Isa told us that Heba often takes every piece of her clothing out and puts it on the floor looking for the piece she wants to wear. Today, she eventually went to retrieve a gold skirt with beads hanging off it that was a bit too big for her, and a gold shirt. She put the outfit on in order to perform less than a minute of Debka, traditional Palestinian dance. Isa said Heba likes doing the men's part of the dance.

Heba and her twin brother Mohommed took turns climbing up on to their father's lap and taking his hands around them. At one point, Heba and Mohommed got into a bit of a fist fight- which Heba engaged in with a continuous smile from ear to ear - and definitely won. Mohommed is super sweet and shy and smiled and hid in his mother's lap.

With Heba on his lap, Isa told a story about one of his friends who is fat who came over to visit and Heba punched him in the stomach and said he was pregnant. Then, Isa asked if we'd heard about the man who birthed a baby- a story about a trans guy, which got a lot of media attention lately. Several people I've met here have brought this story up, why I'm not sure, but that's a discussion for another time...

No comments: