Siham's demolished home. Photo credit: Pastor Susan.

Sharon is a Lutheran pastor currently serving as an Ecumenical Accompanier in the West Bank. During this time she is keeping a blog to share her experiences with others. One from this past week told the story of Siham and her family.

Siham’s family lives in the village of An Nu’man, just northeast of Bethlehem. This village was annexed by Israel after the Six-Day War in 1967. Though the village was annexed, none of the villagers were granted Israeli citizenship. This has led to a difficult situation where their village is surrounded by a fence and only those who live there or carry an international passport can enter. This means that while Siham can leave to visit her mother, but her mother cannot come to visit her or the grandchildren in their home.

Part of the difficulty with this ambiguous status revolves around the construction of or addition to buildings. This situation led to Siham’s home being demolished, with only enough immediate warning for them to remove furniture from one room of the home. They are now currently renting a barn near their home, while the furniture they were able to save sits under a tent. They continue to hope for the time when they can move into a new home, and pray that it will be without fear of demolition.

To learn more about Siham’s story and Pastor Susan’s thoughts on the situation, read Pastor Susan’s blog post “Life in An Nu’man”.