CHAPTERS
    Personal stories Fatma Muhamed
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    Fatma Muhamed

    Susya

    I was born in Susya 39 years ago. My parents, grandfather, grandmother and many generations before them were also born in Susiya where they have built their home. In 1986 we were expelled from the village by the Israelis and were forced to rebuild our lives on our farmland (Susya), not far from there.

    I can still remember the long walk to the nearest school, a distance of 5 kilometers, very early in the morning, and the same distance back. I loved to study and later continued my studies at Alquds University in Hebron. Now I’m a social worker by profession, a mother of a son and live in Yata, a town near Susya.

    Life in close proximity to the nearby settlement is not simple for the inhabitants of Susya: harassments, bullying, informing the army regarding deviations in construction which leads to repeated houses demolition, etc. In recent years the settlers have been using drones to photograph goings-on for the army.

    A certain event occurred in 2000 when we were still living in Susya,  an event which was difficult for my family in particular . On that specific day, the entire family traveled to Yatta, and my oldest sister stayed at home, alone. The army came to demolish our home and my sister was scared, she shouted and refused to leave the house. After being beaten and removed by force, she stood there alone and watched the house being demolished. When we came back home all that remained was  rubble.

    As a social worker, I’m active in the organization Building Alliance. We work with the children from Susya in different areas and have also developed the field of traditional crafts with the local women. Embroidered artifacts are being sold in a shop we have set up there.

    I believe there is another way. I believe that violence can be stopped, that people can be free and that we can live in peace here.

    I had heard about Combatants for Peace from friends who told me that they have contacts with Jews (Israelis). I wanted to meet these Jews.; I wanted them to see that we are not different, that we also are people, as they are. I was glad that they believe in putting an end to the Occupation in a non-violent way.

    The forming of a women’s group encouraged me to join. As a woman, I have found the group to be a protecting and supporting place, a place where I can try to enhance what I believe in.

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