In Huwwara village many homes have orange trees
and olive trees in their yards.
A street in Huwwara.
Most homes have a wall around the yard.
The Huwwara village where MPT is located is on a major north-south 2-lane highway. This narrow asphalt road is used by Palestinians, Israeli settlers and Israeli Occupation Forces [IOF]. Huge trucks and buses pass with record speed through Huwwara. Israel allows no traffic control on this highway. This village of 5,500 people, has two very close neighbor villages. [The highway is Area C – full Israeli control, but most of the village is Area B Palestinian civil control and Israeli military control, but some is Area C..]
Since MPT arrived in the village of Huwwara it has been a major goal of teams to get to know the people of the village. Visiting the villagers has several objectives:
* *** Learn to know one other in order to build mutual trust and understanding.
* *** Educate people on the mission and work of MPT.
* *** Encourage villagers to contact MPT when there is a problem with soldiers or settlers: home invasions, checkpoint problems, harassment of student nurses from the national nursing college in Huwwara or boys high school.
* *** Learn the traditions of the village.
* *** Celebrate with the village at weddings and other festive occasions.
* *** Be a peaceful presence and show moral support and encouragement in this difficult and illegal situation.
Huwwara has many small shops, but most are struggling to survive. MPT has spoken with and given out MPT business cards to many of these shopkeepers. Many English-speaking shop owners have worked or visited many different states in the USA, including Hawaii. Those who worked in Kuwait before the First Gulf War also speak good English.
The Palestinian national nursing college has recently located in Huwwara.
MPT spoke with people who have advanced degrees and those who have much less education. MPTers have learned more of the village culture/traditions. This is a strict village which is not advantageous for women, but the amount of freedom women have depends also on the family norms and openness.
Villagers are very aware of events in the country and speak their minds about the occupation and their present government. Many just wish for the occupation to go away and some have a rather fine tuned analysis of the situation and are more action oriented. There are different levels of commitment to bringing change, as there are in any society.