Saturday, October 3, 2009
I’ve been doing translating work for some of the midterm grant reports here at Ibdaa with R a lovely women who is studying dentistry at al-Quds University. Really, R translates while I type and together we try to negotiate some of the many Arabic-English language discrepancies that prevent direct translation, health-smooth video anyone?
Anyway, R is a member of Dheisheh’s championship volleyball team and she invited me to come watch their practice the other evening. So, a bit weary that I might be asked to join in and having not played volleyball since middle school gym class, I donned flip-flops and a skirt and trekked over to the gym where they practice. Once at the gym I was engulfed by R’s teammates, 11 young women between the ages of 14 and 21 wearing a mixture of uniforms, jeans, converse sneakers, headscarves and ponytails who practice 3 times a week a standard school gym, albeit with broken lights, crumbling siding and under the watchful gaze of former president Arafat, that is the only space available for all of the areas sports teams.
Watching the girls practice was great. There was a huge range of abilities and interest among the team members and their coach, a middle aged man in a tucked in striped polo shirt: the absolute essence of a school coach, spent much of the time yelling at them in a good natured way to pay attention. ‘They like to talk too much’ he told me with exasperation in his voice and a smile on his face.
Posted by Jo Ehrlich at Saturday, October 03, 2009