Meet the people of Wadi Qana

Riziq visits the remains of his childhood home in Khirbet Shehadi

The last man in Khirbet Shehadi

 

Riziq, a farmer, poet and activist from Deir Istiya,was born and raised in the tiny hamlet of Khirbet Shehadi, on a hilltop overlooking Wadi Qana.Farmers in Khirbet Shehadi, which was once home to thirty families, have always had a close relationship with Deir Istiya, which is not home to almost all of the displaced people of Shehadi. Most of the families here left in the 1970's and 80's, to avoid harassment after the establishment of the illegal Nofim settlement. Riziq, however, remained in the village until 1995, earning him the title of the last Palestinian in Khirbet Shehadi.

 

Even though he no longer lives here, Riziq continues to farm in Wadi Qana, and is working to defend the land from illegal colonial settlements.

Full time teacher, part time farmer

 

Ibrahim lives in Deir Istiya, but he works at the boys secondary school in the nearby village of Hares. During his weekends and afternoons, he also comes to Wadi Qana, to tend his herd of goats.

Abed Mutaleb was killed on this stretch of road in 2011

Wadi Qana farmer, run down by a settler

 

Rania can still recall the devastating news she received the afternoon on fourth day of the Eid, November nine, 2011. She had been home, taking care of her mother in law and her four young children while her husband, Abed Mutaleb, set off on his donkey to visit their farm in Wadi Qana – a normal day. However Rania began to worry that afternoon, when her husband had still not returned home for the Al-Maghreb prayer.

 

Before long, Abed’s brother showed up, with the worst news she could imagine: Abed had been run over while crossing the settler road that runs between Deir Istiya and Wadi Qana. The woman who killed him was settler from the Illegal Colony of Revava, which was built on Palestinian land in 1991. This woman has remained completely unremorseful over her role in Abed’s death, even testifying in court that she made the quick decision to hit Abed head on, because she was worried she might damage her car more if she swerved and hit Abed’s donkey at a bad angle. The value of another human’s life did not influence her judgement.

 

Since then, life has never been the same for Rania and her children.