30 January 2008 – Yesterday, we were wishing with the children I work with that it would snow in Hebron. There were some signs but when I woke up today I could not believe my eyes. During the night, it snowed heavily and if you add the wind and the cold, the scene is really perfect. If you stay at home in front of a fireplace I mean. I know that children will be very happy, it is a chance for them to play outside, to make snowmen, to "fight" with snow ammunition.
I cannot help thinking of how things are with such weather for the people here that cannot afford to pay for electricity, for warm clothing, for transportation, for buying food in case they get stuck in. Or how enjoyable can snow be when whole families, babies and children included, have to spend 3 hours standing outside in the cold at night, without warm clothes, waiting for an incursion to end. Or how is it for the 7 year old boy somewhere in the mountain that he lives, having to walk 2 hours to go to school and to 2 to come back...
For many people here, life is difficult. Because of the conflict, lots of things are not as we from outside take for granted usually. One of them is the way people live in their own houses, many times having no control on who's entering, how the house ends up after and how many members of the family remain after the "visit". The children I work with usually suffer after such "visits" - bedwetting starts, nightmares, fear, somatic complaints.
We tried together to work on these problems, having in mind that they need to adapt to the current situations and manage them in order to continue living, playing and behaving as children are supposed to.
Snow and playing out with it, doesn't matter how cold they may feel, is one of the few things that Palestinian children can enjoy as all the other children in the world, this right of playing with at least what nature brings cannot be violated by any political situation. Conflict or not, today children play.