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Valley of thorns works to become a valley of peace

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Friday, 28 August, 2009

Fahmi Manasra, a resident of Wadi Fukin in the West Bank, expresses his hope that the village will one day enjoy stability, peace and prosperity alongside its neighbours - both Israeli and Palestinian.

My village, Wadi Fukin, is a rural Palestinian village seven miles to the South West of Bethlehem. Its name comes from Aramaic and means 'valley of thorns'. According to archaeological remains the village has been continuously populated for thousands of years. We live in great harmony with our fertile land and water turning the place into a green paradise in the hills.

We are 1200 people living in the village with many of us still depending on farming the land for our living. Today we face great challenges mainly due to the settlement of Bitar Illit which took over a great part of our land. The proposed building of the wall was another great threat to the future of our village. However, our community, with joint efforts from our neighbouring Israeli community of Tzur Hadassah, managed to stop the construction of the wall, which was designed to separate us from Tzur Hadassah.

We continue to push towards finding more cooperation with our Israeli neighbours from Tzur Hadassah for a better future for both communities and to minimise the destructive impact of the illegal settlement activities and projected walls, both of them endangering our region.

We want to thank Friends of the Earth Middle East and all people of good will for their ongoing support to protect the future existence of the people of Wadi Fukin who are simply seeking a stable, peaceful, and prosperous life with their neighbours.

Fahmi Manasra is a resident of Wadi Fukin village in the West Bank, and is a tour guide and hotelier active in ecological issues. He believes in dialogue, cultural exchange and peaceful activities.

Views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Elders or The Elders Foundation.

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