March 2018
donne sabastiya

The women of Samaria

For years now, ATS pro Terra Sancta has been working with the Mosaic Center in Samaria to support the local population through restoration, enhancement, reception and development projects. Projects and activities that would not find support if there were not the strength of women who contribute their lives to make their communities live.

sebastia donneMaha Hawari from Sabastiya has been working for years to rehabilitate disabled children in her city and surrounding villages. “I started in 1995 as a volunteer with the Red Cross – she says – and then I never stopped.” Maha, a graduate in educational sciences, is not married but dedicates all her time to the care of people who in Palestine would not have any assistance from anyone. “When I started, many families did not want us to take care of their children, but then they saw our activities and now they support us”. Maha also received help from the Sabastia Guest House which is dependent on the Mosaic Center Jericho and linked to ATS pro Terra Sancta. “We wanted to invest the profits of the Guest House and the sale of products (ceramics, soap, jam) that we offer to our visitors – explains Osama Hamdan (director of the Mosaic Center) – so we decided to help the local population”.

The Palestinian territories, in fact, do not offer any public health system as they are almost non-existent facilities for people with disabilities who have no opportunity to live a normal life. So Maha together with other women from Sabastiya organized a sewing course for disabled children, financed by the Guest House. “The idea was immediately well received, an unexpected success,” says Sumud, the teacher of the course. More than forty disabled people, aged between 18 and 50, took part in the course, they also came from Nablus and other villages. The course, which took place in the hall of the municipality of Sabastiya between 2016 and 2017, saw in December, right in the great city of Nablus, an exhibition of these products also sold well.

Then a month ago in a festive ceremony the certificates were handed out to all the participants of the course. The idea of ​​helping disabled people had already started three years ago, when thanks to the help of the Mosaic Center and ATS pro Terra Sancta another course was held on the mosaic thanks to the young Mohammad who was born in Sabastiya. At the time, four girls and a disabled boy, all from Sabastiya, had learned the ancient art of weaving colored stones and had managed to produce even twenty small mosaics. “We wanted our children, despite having many difficulties, to have the opportunity to learn to build something. Now we are thinking of making food products “concludes Maha. Even this little help can help develop innate abilities of so many people who need a helping hand. In fact, already ten people, like Meryam, have continued to carry out this activity succeeding in obtaining good proceeds. Maha also organizes summer camps for young people or entertainment programs “because – she explains – These guys are like my children, they are my family”.

Lama Khalil, instead lives in Nisf Jubeil and has been working at the Ceramic Center for a year. Although not having studied, he discovered his dowry that did not know, or decorate the ceramics produced by hand in the laboratory of this tiny village of Samaria that loves so much. “In spring it is a beautiful place, all this green that colors the hills gives you peace!” He says while the youngest of his four children runs into her arms. “I am happy because my life is spent between work, home, my children and my husband”. This year Lama is attending with his colleagues an English course organized by ATS pro Terra Sancta because he hopes to welcome visitors and explain what he does with his precious hands. In the eyes of Lama we read a strong will that is to feel fully a woman as a mother, bride and worker.

Maha and Lama are examples of women who have invested in the growth of their territory, between social problems and resources to invest in.

Find out more about our projects in Sabastiya!

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