Field visit to the village of Budrus

On November 27, 53 women from Wi’am Center in Bethlehem, crowed into a bus and headed to the village called Budrus. Budrus is a Palestinian village located in the far west of Ramallah and Al Bireh, surrounded by the apartheid wall and the villages of Ni’lin, Qibya. It has a population of nearly 1500 people. For many of these women, if not all, this was the first time for them to see this small, yet inspiring village. The struggle of this village has been captured in the Just Vision Film, entitled Budrus. On November 4th, the center hosted the representative of the Just Vision Organization, Ms. Rola Salameh who is also the director of the film. Budrus was screened for free at the Centre for a group of 35 women. This movie tells the story of a nonviolent Palestinian activist, Ayed, who tried repeatedly to unite the Palestinian political factions and pro-Palestinian Israelis to stand together to save the village from the Israeli control over Palestinian territories. The film also shows the role that women played in the struggle, in particular Ayed’s daughter who helped in the formation of the women’s groups that took to the front lines in the face of the Israeli army. Eventually the people of the village were able to prevail against the Israeli army and they succeeded in pushing back the route of the wall by 95%. After watching the movie, the women at Wi’am wanted visit this steadfast village. All the way to Budrus the women sang, clapped their hands, and told jokes. Their energizing spirit was contagious. While in Budrus the women met with the organizer of the popular resistance, Ayed, and with the women of Budrus who had also taken part in the demonstrations. Together the women of Budrus and the women of Wi’am sang and clapped their hands to Palestinian National songs. The women, from Bethlehem and Budrus, sang under one unified Palestinian voice, demanding their freedom. The occupation has tried hard to ‘divide and conquer’ and to create separations between Palestinian communities. Yet on this day in Budrus, we learnt that nonviolent resistance is not only when we protest against the wall, but also when we outreach a hand of friendship and support those the occupier are trying to separate.