The tractor was built during the Muslim month of Ramadan when the heat, hunger, and thirst make it impossible to do anything. Most Palestinians think Caterpillar tractors are death machines. I asked myself why they blamed this machine, when after all it is the person who renders the machine good or bad. I drew sketches of this tractor on large rocks and on paper. I may have seen one once or twice in my life, but really I remember seeing it on the internet. I thought carefully about how to build it correctly. I like these tractors, how they move, their size… This tractor is made from sawed iron pieces. I requested the iron scrap from somebody in my village, who told me I was crazy and could take the scraps. It was difficult to cut the iron as my tools were not good enough. I felt this tractor in my body and my soul.
The tractor took a month to build. The most difficult part was making the plow that picks everything up. The wheels were also difficult to make. I made them from foam board used to make the walls in the nearby Israeli settlement of Carmel. The foam board flew in the wind to Umm al-Khayr’s wadi (valley) where I collected it for the wheels. I cut the wheels according to a plastic circle and heated up iron rods to make holes. I used twisted wire to shape the form board and to make the grooves of the wheel.
When I find something I can use for my art, I am very happy, as if I found gold or something expensive. My art is my channel for coping with the hardships of life in the South Hebron Hills and under occupation.