As part of our Terra Nova course we had a tour around the area we live in – Mevaseret Tzion – at the entrance of Jerusalem. We went to a so called “Reality tour”, which aims to raise awareness and to bring the untold stories of this land to the surface in order to realize the complexity of the political and social situation and history of the Holy Land.
We had a sharp transition from the city bus to another realm, to what was there before and what now needs very curious eyes to be seen at all: that is the old village of Calunya, a Palestinan village which existed here until the year of 1948.
We found the hidden remains in stones that once were houses or an entrance to a water source, where the farming fields were. Instead we encountered tractors and heavy machines preparing currently a new road for cars, on the remains of the village and by doing so covering and hiding a 600 years old human residency.
In one very special situation we met one of the road workers, an elderly man from the next village who told us that his grandmother was born in Calunya village. It was a powerful reminder that the stories are still alive and cannot be buried. We got to know that the lands of Calunya, attractive for their main location and best good climate conditions, had been bought from the farmers one at a time by Raed Husseiny, who used his political power to do so.
The village of Calunya had also a complex parallel history with Moza, the neighbouring Jewish village, facing close relationships between families as well as severe violence.
Through the stories we were offered in the tour we were able to see and feel the spirit and life of the village and region, which was very powerful: We encountered the pain and we encountered how history and truth is being covered and even manipulated. We strengthen the dedication to seek and to open our eyes and hearts for what wants to be told and seen.
We thank Yahav, our tour guide, and this beautiful initiative!