On Thursday, August 9, 2007, we drove - Umar, Amaya, Kusozo and I - to visit the summer camp of the displaced residents of Bir'em village. This is the 18th year they have held the camp! This year about 100 youth participated. On Tuesday and Thursday youth from refugee camps in the West Bank came to visit. The occupying powers prevented another bus from entering from the area of Tul Karm. Riad Ghantous led us down the paths of this enchanted village. The place is so beautiful and pastoral, standing opposed to the difficult story of those displaced from the village. Riad was among the organizers of the first camp in 1982, to which he came with his son George who was then 6 months old. Today George is the coordinator of the camp.

When we arrived everyone had gathered at the central open space, between the church and the school. They played different team games and later held a mock-wedding. Everyone participated and enjoyed the experience very much. The youth from the camp near Nablus watched from the side and later joined the dancing. There was a very joyous atmosphere.

It is encouraging to see that the displaced villagers of Bir'im are strengthening the memory of the village in such a vital way -- the struggle to return to the village and the connections in the community itself. It gives hope to the belief that one day George's daughter will be among the planners of the new village that will be rebuilt there.‎

Birem Summer Camp 2007

Birem Summer Camp 2007(20)

Birem Summer Camp 2007(21)

Birem Summer Camp 2007(22)

Birem Summer Camp 2007(23)

Birem Summer Camp 2007(24)

Birem Summer Camp 2007(25)

Birem Summer Camp 2007(26)

Birem Summer Camp 2007(27)

Birem Summer Camp 2007(28)