bits and pieces, Ramallah through a fascinated foreigner’s eyes.

There is an old Arabic saying that goes…

“If you mash garlic without salt, you will be haunted by your mother-in-law.”  (thanks to Teta Abla for this one)

garlic and salt to mash. Who mashes garlic without salt, anyway?

Small Details

One thing I have always loved about Palestine is the attention to small details in homes and buildings (older homes and buildings) that make them beautiful.  Floor tiles are a good example of this:

on an outdoor patio

entryway Sarriya community center

hallway to offices at Sarriya

inside the washroom at Sarriya

Another example is the color used on the steel arched doors that are everywhere in the old stone buildings

Laila and the yellow door. On a Mama date together to explore the back of Sarriya.

doors and a kabob grill behind Sarriya.

Ordinary things are interesting from my perspective

I take pictures of anything that isn’t like it was before—-in my life in America.

oddly beautiful. glass disks on a power line.

old Ramallah meets new. Old buildings and behind them the newer highrises. Everywhere the black water tanks. Sheep sometimes graze in the rocky field in the foreground.

Ramallah through the barbed wire and bramble

Fall Harvest

Ruman (pomegranate) from Teta Abla's trees. These are sitting in a basket that was handmade by an 80 year old neighbor long ago. It is made from found twigs, mainly from Ruman trees. It's really a work of art.

they often burst when ripe, full of juicy little seeds that pop in your mouth like little water balloons. Laila loves them.

grapes from Teta Abla's arbor

Laila has picked some ripe green grapes from Teta Abla's arbor.

Snippets of life from the car windows

Laila sings as Ramallah whizzes past her window (click on these--it's like we are driving through a movie set)

more singing, more Ramallah.

Above: Arabic advert for Sesame Street! ("Share3 Sim Sim") Below: kids and tanks of cooking gas for sale at that little store.




Here is a typical assortment of our groceries: (almost familiar, but not quite)

my own groceries look very different to me

One of the hardest parts about the cost (human and otherwise) of living here is that much of what you might want to buy is not made in Palestine.  In fact, a good deal is Israeli.  We have gotten rid of most of the products that are Israeli in our household, but one thing consistently has no good solution:  vegetables that my kids will eat.  We don’t get nearly enough greens in our own diets, much less in our picky eater kids’ diets.  The only green they will consent to eat and not seek to rid their meal of (picture Laila digging through cheese and pasta to find the bits of spinach to toss on the floor) is broccoli.  And there is no Palestinian broccoli that we have found yet.  So occasionally we buy Israeli broccoli.  Terrible, I know, but there is only so much supplemental greens powder I can convince my kids to drink in their apple juice.  But imagine, this broccoli is probably grown by the worst offenders of the occupation:  the settlers.  This broccoli is grown by people who hate us.  I sometimes have to wonder if the good from the vitamins and minerals in the broccoli is negated by it’s source.  If I am right about the source of the broccoli, and I may not be, it will be the first thing I have ever knowingly eaten that was prepared for me by someone who truly, fundamentally and ideologically hates me.   Pondering.

(mom thought and yoga thought back next post)


7 thoughts on “bits and pieces, Ramallah through a fascinated foreigner’s eyes.

  1. I think that last paragraph is a pretty deep mom & yoga thought of the day…… Wow. Also strange how broccoli is the only green clair will eat too. She love rice that has been died green though, go figure.

  2. Pingback: Yoga in Palestine « Piles of Laundry

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