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Sarah Stern

  • In Hebron, a namesake falls short

    What it means to be named Sarah in Hebron — where the streets are segregated and occupation manifests itself in the ugliest of ways. By Sarah Stern There is a common reaction that Palestinians have when they are introduced to me by name. “Sarah! What a nice name.” It sounds light and friendly, but this is no ordinary compliment. It carries the weight of thousands of years of collective storytelling that translates across three monotheistic religions. Sarah is the first matriarch. If my name were Rachel, Rebecca or Leah, it would be different. [tmwinpost] Garnering this reaction so frequently gives…

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  • Unsure of shelter, yet praying for rain

    Spending the Sukkot holiday on a Palestinian farm highlights the stark contrast between a holiday in which Jews celebrate in temporary structures, and a reality in which Palestinians are forced into an existence of impermanence and military demolition orders scattered across hilltops. By Sarah Stern Daoud Nassar carries 54 keys on his belt loop, in rotation. His sprawling family property, on the last Palestinian hilltop in the middle of the Gush Etzion settlements, is dotted with tented structures, caves, and gated areas, all fastened with a lock. As the family orients me on the property for a long weekend of volunteer…

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  • Finding Sisyphus in the South Hebron Hills

    'I have the distinct feeling that the next time we come back, none of what we are building will be here.' By Sarah Stern I run my hands over small jagged stones, turning over rubble and finding bits of fuzz, broken marble, plastics cups…remains of day-to-day life. I realize there’s something a bit Sisyphean to what we’re doing. I scoop up a pile of rocks and dump it into a bucket, pouring these into the inside of a makeshift wall alongside other Ashkenazi Jews, bright red, oppressed here only by the sun. [tmwinpost] We are working with Palestinians from a…

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