Sunday, August 12

Soccer Kids from Jaffa on their way to Europe

"I'm almost 11 years old!" " Me Afraid? Never!" "I didn't sleep last night, I couldn't, I'm so excited!" "Miss my mum? No, mmm yes, I've never been away from home for such a long time, I'm a bit scared but also very happy."
They are 10 - 15 years old and over the last year or so they've trained and played soccer at least 3 times a week at Rifat Turk's Soccer School.
We met this morning in front of the Muslim Scouts Club on Jaffa's Yefet Street, next to the big bus that's taking them all to the airport. The large majority come from Jaffa. They are Arab and Jewish boys on their way to Europe, to a training camp and soccer matches with their European peers in Austria, Hungary and Italy. For most it's the first time they go abroad and for all the first time they are leaving home without their parents for such a long time.
"Where's my passport?" "Make sure to call me to let me know you're OK, come on, say our phone number out loud so I know you remember it by heart". Granny wants to give you a kiss, come on!. And granny gets on the bus and embraces her grandsons.
Then the bus doors close
The excitement was catching. After the bus had left, the parents, some of them tearful, embraced each other. Proud of their kids and also a little worried.


9 comments:

Akiva said...

Thanks for sharing this Yudit and kol hakavod to Israeli city councillor of Tel Aviv-Yafo -- Rifaat Turk --- for putting this together for the Israeli kids of different backgrounds

To the kids - have a great trip - Nesiah tovah !!

Lirun said...

this is what makes me love yaffo.. the kids in my building play soccer together too.. jewish and arab (christian and muslim)..

kids with no boundaries.. love it

Lirun said...

have to add i feel strongly about sport and peace..

http://emspeace.blogspot.com/search?q=sport

have written about it a few times..

Lirun said...

seriously proud of these kids.. may their friendships grow and flourish and may their parents learn to establish the same..

Tamar Orvell said...

!כל הכבוד — more power to you!

These kids are adorable. Please keep us updated on their journey. Happy stories such as this one are too important to miss.

Thank you also for conducting your blog in English. I appreciate your comment on the next post, that you make a great effort to write in English because you want to create a virtual space for international conversations. We need this.

Last, I participated in an interfaith dialog at the Arab-Jewish Community Center about a year ago. Would you let us know what's been going on there lately? The space had a good feel and seemed to hold and offer great promise.

yudit said...

Some of the kids participated in my photography class during the last year.
They have promised to send me pictures, if and when they can.
If so, i'll put the images up

Tamar Orvell said...

Have you blogged about your photography class? I'd like to learn (and see) more. This class reminds me of work Susan Meiselas did years ago w Polaroid cameras and children in the Boston area. Powerful images and stories, and collected in a book I still consult.

yudit said...

http://yuditilany.blogspot.com/2007/02/seven-kids-two-cameras-small-stray-dog.html

yudit said...

http://yuditilany.blogspot.com/2007/02/seven-kids-two-cameras-small-stray-dog.html