Wednesday, December 23 2020 December 18, 2020 Al-‘Auja and Taybeh: David Shulman

Abu Isma‘il promises me that if I come every day, he’ll teach me the language of the sheep. In time, I could become fluent. It’s an offer that’s hard to resist. Those throaty clucks and clicks and lengthy grunts and warbles—to my ears, it’s like some rustic dialect of Italian.
But I can’t go there every day, and anyway the corona virus has finally reached Nu‘ema, where we start the day with Samir. Today is the first time that I’ve seen the shepherds fully aware, and concerned, about it. A girls’ school in Nu‘ema has been shut down after three of the teachers were infected. Palestine has apparently received large reserves of the Russian vaccine, but Abu Isma‘il, like others, is skeptical about it.

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