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A story from Dheisha

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 04.06.2006:

A Moslem woman of Dheisha refugee camp near Bethlehem, Rabiha, tells about the time when her family was forced to leave their village in 1948.

“We arrived in Beit Jala where the (Christian) community came out and greeted us with open arms. We were forty refugee families who were given shelter, food and drinks by the people of Beit Jala. They would not accept any money even for bread. Whenever the meals were cooked we were always included. On the day of my wedding, I was taken from our Christian friend’s house as if it was my own house. Their sons escorted me as if they were my own brothers. My favourite events took place during the religious holidays when we all would visit one another. The Christian boys from the Abu Saba family would fast with us during Ramadan. We never felt any obstacles between one another as Moslems and Christians. I remember at one occasion, when my young son suffered from dehydration, that he was admitted to hospital for treatment. A local Christian nurse who treated him took him into her arms as if he was her own son. She breastfed him into health. We became best friends and both our sons, too.”

(From: Arab Educational Institute, “Bethlehem Community Book: Discover the Palestinian Religious Culture.”)

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