Permaculture in Palestine: Guest Blogger Craig Mackintosh
Many thanks to Craig Mackintosh for the permission to repost a portion of his blog entry, enhanced with his own beautiful photographs, describing some of his Middle-Eastern travel experiences and the West Bank’s first PDC, which Murad Alkhuffash, David Spicer, and I just finished teaching. Visit permaculture.org.au/2010/06/30/letters-from-the-west-bank-seeds-of-hope-scattered-from-the-west-banks-first-pdc to read Craig’s blog entry in its entirety.
by Craig Mackintosh June 30, 2010
The view at sunset, westwards from Marda, Palestine
All photographs © copyright Craig Mackintosh
This is now the second time I’ve had an automatic weapon aimed at me. I hope it doesn’t become a habit….
I was heading back from a short visit at a permaculture demonstration site in the Salfit district of the West Bank, via Jericho, returning to Jordan over the King Hussein/Allenby Bridge crossing. Being on a bus full of Palestinians taking the same route, I ended up funneled through the security process reserved for them instead of the usual tourist path held for non-Palestinians coming out of Jerusalem or elsewhere. The first of several stages of border control had us all off the bus to pass through a body scanner. The woman with the Galil kept it trained on the queue, reinforced with a serious look of concentration on her face. Being last in line as I collected my gear after passing through the scanner, I was the only one left to point the rifle at, so the barrel kept pace with me as I began my walk back to the bus.
Realising my vulnerability in this situation, and the tragedy of circumstances that created it, I felt a strange desire to reach into the soul of this particular soldier. This woman, at that particular moment, had me within a finger’s twitch of finalising my life, should she choose to do so – but, being a fellow human being, I still wanted to catch a glimpse of who she really was, inside.
[Here] I will … shift focus to the productive labours of Murad Alkufash towards putting his community onto a more sustainable platform, where such work has enormous potential to reduce the need for contention over land and resources, whilst inspiring others in the region – of any race, religion and creed – to do likewise.
PDC instructors (left to right): Brad Lancaster, David Spicer and Murad Alkufash
To read Craig’s blog entry in its entirety and see many more photographs of the region, the Marda site, the course, the students, and some of the work that was completed, go to: permaculture.org.au/2010/06/30/letters-from-the-west-bank-seeds-of-hope-scattered-from-the-west-banks-first-pdc