September 19, 2015

The village Al-Za'im

Close to Jerusalem, along the highway to the Israeli settlement of Ma'ale Adumim and the Dead Sea, one can find the Palestinian village Al-Za'im.

In previous posts I have mentioned that I visited Ahmad's village. So, let me tell you somewhat more about the village itself.

September 12, 2015

Getting arrested as a normal thing

Tuesday afternoon. It's close to 40° C (over 100° F) and I feel a flu is coming up. Ahmad calls to tell he got arrested at the Qalandia checkpoint.

I immediately send a fax about his mental state to the police, in the hope this will get him out. However, the next day he's not yet released and my feeling of helplessness increases. I find out that he was moved to the Russian Compound in Jerusalem; a place where Palestinians are often treated harshly, and sometimes even tortured. After some investigation, I get hold of the name of the lawyer provided to him by the Public Defense, who tells me that Ahmad is charged with driving a car without an Israeli driving licence, use of drugs, impostering and entering Israel. My heart drops. The lawyer informs me that he will not continue with the case and it's unclear who will take over. The next morning Ahmad was supposed to take a couple of American visitors to a tour of Bedouin life, both to share the hardships about life in the West Bank and make a little money. I cancel the tour last minute and also rearrange the hours of my clients.