This post for International Women's Day is dedicated to the hard-working and welcoming women of the village of Dirijat (aka Darajat) and especially to the members of the hamula (clan) who housed and fed me for five days--Dahab, Amina, Zohara, Aisha, Nahed, and Wadina.
The village is in the Negev desert. Several times a year they offer a 5-day immersion course in spoken Arabic.
Our group last April had ten Jewish Israelis and one American lady pastor.
Each of us had a different host family. After class with our excellent teacher we went "home" to interact in our fledgling Arabic language.
One late afternoon some of the young people took us up the mountain on a hike to see the village from above. We saw the big quarry, a herd of camels, the area of the ancient Spice Route, and a desert sunset.
After breakfast of fresh pita, strong coffee, salads, and labaneh.
The matriarchs with the photo of the sheikh who started the village many years ago.
My dear hostess, in whose upstairs apartment I slept (on the floor).
Neighbor women watching the youngsters' Debka Troupe dancing for us.
Sheep milk is used to make labaneh. I asked to milk the sheep and clean the pen one morning and they let me! Kef!
All the women wanted to try out the mysterious camera of the American Pastor Suzanne (who is currently blogging about her time in Israel).
For several months a year the women are busy making big quantities of labaneh.
Scattered around the village are many ovens (taboon) that are kept warm all the time (burning dung). Two or three times a day the women come with their dough, flatten it like pizza, and put it directly on the hot rocks for a few minutes. Yum, hubez taboon flat bread!
Thank you from the heart to the good women of Dirijat who taught me so much.
Shukran ya niswan!