Rahag Ajway

I was born in 1937 in al Samu’a village near Hebron. My father was killed when my mother was pregnant. Afterwards, she remarried the nicest man. My own husband was killed in the 1969, after we had four children. They didn’t find his body, only his ID. I worked for fifty years at a school. I lived there during the First Intifada, in order to help the students. Now they are grown. They’re engineers, teachers, and lawyers. In the street, they will kiss my hand like a mother. Maybe it is strange, but I’m friends with the snakes here too. Once when I was sleeping, I put my hand down and felt one. At first, I was scared and said “go, I won’t hurt you.” I didn’t see her for a long time. Now we’re good friends. I talk to her like a human and say, “good evening” to her. I don’t need so much, just to be close to God and to use my misbaha [prayer beads]. I’ve seen so many things in my life. But at eighty years, I’m still happy. I have my family.

- Rahag Ajway