Prepared for the absence of helping road signs, we finally reached the ruins of the demolished village of Kafr 'Inan with the Atlas The Return Journey in one hand and a tagged arial picture from PalestineRemembered.com in the other.
We parked the car in the ditch of the clearway. We stepped out of the car and suddenly realised how seldom people must stop here. No car slowed down, and the speed of every car rushing past left us reeling back. It is not clearly common to stop here. There is nothing apparent to stop for.
First amazed that there is leading a concrete path to the old village, we soon realised that it ended at a Jewish shrine. Beyond this we continued our way off piste to the „rocky“ hill. After we walked for some minutes under the scorching heat and took some photographs, we noticed an old man taking a walk too. Later we would find out that he is doing this walk three times a week. He travels from Rame, were he is living now, back to Kafr Inan, were he lived until he was 15. We had met a former inhabitant from the village by coincidence!
Until that moment we had felt that we were walking in a forgotten past. A village deprived of its population. We had felt that no one in our surrounding, the fast passing by cars, had realised what we were looking for. But the former village inhabitant, Hassan Ahmad Mansour, did not seem surprised at all that we were interested in this particular place.
When he began to show us all the locations of the former houses and to tell us which family lived were, how the village was organized and how people earned their livelihood - getting more enthusiastic with every step - we suddenly did not walk anymore amongst ruins, but in someone’s memory. A memory which seemed as alive as if he had left only yesterday.
Within a few minutes I decided to work with this village for my case study.