Goody Two Shoes 'In The Hood'
I think it is time for some encouragement. Something good and positive.
Something to smile about. Something to share.
My neighbourhood has an Arab side, a Jewish side and THE Green line running through it.
An initiative has begun to bring the two sides together, to promote peace and well being between the two sides that live either side of the invisible 'Green Line'.
It is called Good Neighbours. The good neighbours that want have begun a joint Jewish/ Arab children's football team consisting of Israelis and Palestinians. These children train together every week and enter tournaments.
A plot of land has been dug and planted to encourage working and unity together watching plants grow (the onions look great).
Meetings have been held about the real estate and the seizing of it by outsiders who want to turn an empty patch into luxury apartments without permission of the neighbourhood residents.
Language classes in Arabic and Hebrew have commenced for whoever wants to learn which.
From the language classes the ladies got organised forming a Whatsapp group called Everybody Together.
I was asked to join the group so I did. My first activity was visiting an organic farm outside of the city with approximately 15 women. We toured the farm, used the organic no flush toilet, picked beans then ate together. I felt people were a bit puzzled by me even suspicious after all I live on the Jewish side but have a Palestinian husband, I dress as a westerner, uncovered hair yet wore a necklace with my name on in Arabic, I can speak basic Arabic and understand the customs yet sent my children to Israeli school ( see : Goody Two Shoes on Choosing Schools) but the most surprising for me was I have lived in the neighbourhood for almost 25 years yet nobody had ever seen me even though I walk the streets frequently...my car yes but me no.
I decided to offer to be a driver on the next trip which was to the Botanic gardens in Jerusalem. I still felt odd but less so.
My car was a mixture of ladies from both sides. I observed the ladies talking and experiencing something new as we went around the gardens.
Our group got a few stares especially at the group photo. We were an assorted bunch in dress and age and religion and language.
On our train ride around the gardens we got a Hebrew explanation immediately translated to Arabic...that turned a few heads as we went past.
I think these neighbours from both sides are very brave, willing to take risks and be friends in a politically charged atmosphere where people are encouraged to separate, be enemies not friends.
I might look and feel a bit odd, as yet I am the only Christian in the group but I am determined to keep turning up and joining in with a smile.
Moral : Galatians 6:9 let us not become weary in doing good.