In a valley by the Jordan River in the 1940s, Hannah comes to settle in the kibbutz that her parents have been building. She spots an Arab boy riding on a black horse, looking at the settlers with an expression that is not welcoming.
When the kibbutz is invited to a wedding at the boy’s neighboring Arab village, Hannah learns that he is Abdullah, the sheik’s eldest son. Why are the children not friends? Hannah wonders why she does not try to break the ice. She describes the relations between the Jews and Arabs in the valley as friendly but not warm. This, also, she finds incomprehensible.
When the Israeli state is declared in 1948, war breaks out. Hannah forgets Abdullah but is painfully reminded of him on the day of Israel’s victory. Leading a convoy of Arab refugees over the Jordan River, there rides Abdullah on his black horse, now head of the tribe. There is much naivety in Hannah’s reflections, but her child’s perspective refreshes one’s sense of the idiocy of war.