Spring is not here quite yet in Palestine, more rain and frost are expected for the region this week, but that doesn’t stop me from hitting the fields whenever I get the chance. In Palestine one does not need hiking trails, they’re already carved out by sheep that have been sheparded in these fields for thousands of years. One just has to find the beginning of the path, and follow it to the next, and so on.
What saddened me during today’s walk were signs of new construction around this pristine area called Ein Kinya, just outside of Ramallah. This is essentially one of the last remaining ‘prison courtyards’ left around Ramallah, where many families go to picnic during the weekend as the only nearby green escape from this polluted and noisy city. Instead of hearing song birds what I heard today was the sound of bulldozers gutting out the bowels of this red earth. Off in the distance I glance burning tires filling up this beautiful blue sky with black smoke. Along the tiny road that runs through Ein Kinya I see construction waste piles rising up on both sides for as far as the eye can see, poisoning the lush landscape with the bright industrial colors of red, blue, and yellow. Oh how I could picture the nearby olive trees helplessly looking at this pollution with disgust and dismay!
We have long been good custodians of this land, but something is changing. Greed and short-term gains are clouding our vision. We must wake up before it’s too late, part of our strategy to gain back the rest of our homeland must lie in preserving what little we have left.