October 02, 2016

Ali Baba and his four daughters

My good friend Ali studies for a Masters degree in English translation at the AlQuds University in Abu Dis, a suburb of Jerusalem. At the same time, he makes a living as a building contractor in Israel. He is a bright, ambitious and lovable guy. However, that’s not the whole story

Ali is learning to believe in himself. June, 2016

August 21, 2016

Checkpoint bluff

Israeli army checkpoints are present on all roads around Jerusalem leading to or through the Palestinian Authority. They are the official and regulated holes in the wall separating between “us” and “them.”

Can it keep out danger? Checkpoint near Jerusalem, Nov. 2015

July 27, 2016

It's not that I'm a traitor

Recently, I posted on Facebook info on a campaign against Israeli police violence, including this picture. I considered that almost anyone would be able to support this call. However, only three of my Jewish Israeli friends "liked" it.

Ethiopian protest against police violence. Tel Aviv, May 2015 (Activestills)

May 26, 2016

Jabal Al Baba - Not ready for evacuation!

This tragic story is about the Palestinian Bedouin village Arab Al Rass ("Arabs who came from the village Rass"), located on Jabal Al Baba ("Hill of the Father"). 

Jabal Al Baba is home to about 40 families, close to 320 people, mostly children, from the Jahalin Bedouin tribeThe village is built of huts made of aluminum and wood, though in the last years the European Union has provided basic housing structures. Living conditions are poor. Villagers live primarily from their flock of animals. The separation barrier hampers their life severely, but since it is not yet closed, they still have ways to go around. 

May 19, 2016

Jailed without offense

I was shocked to learn that Muhammad's life had changed from one moment to the other...

Muhammad is a Palestinian Bedouin from Al-Zaim, 52 years old, with two wives, who have a bunch of children each. He is a quiet and peaceful person, trying to make his living from a simple petrol station. Most of the day he sits at the station and drinks coffee and tea with friends. Unfortunately, in recent years he suffers from health problems and he had to go through surgery several times. Though as a Palestinian he suffers badly from the occupation, he keeps away from politics or anti-Israeli activity, at least as far as I can see. Muhammad and I are friends for over eight years. We live only about 3 km. (2 miles) apart. I visited him many times; at the petrol station, in his home, and in the hospital. He, like many of my Palestinian friends, cannot visit me, since he has no entry permit to Israel.

May 11, 2016

Hizma - Example of oppression

The Palestinian village Hizma, where I have several friends, is the location of many of the events in my posts. Though yesterday there was a bomb attack at its entrance in which an Israeli army officer was seriously wounded, it's mostly a quiet village. 

On this Day of Remembrance, I want to tell you a bit more about Hizma; a village suffering badly from the occupation. With the imposed hardships, it is not surprising that anti-Israeli sentiment is on the rise, in this village like in many others.

April 30, 2016

Gone with the phone...

A few months passed since my last post. It's not that I didn't have anything to write; things were too delicate to share. However, here I have a story I can tell you...

My car was in the "Bedouin Garage" - this time not since it needed repair, but because I came to fetch something from Ali, the garage manager. He hadn't arrived yet and in the meantime I went to buy some vegetables next door. For some reason, I left the car open; something I usually don't do, but the car was at the entrance of the garage, surrounded by people I knew and I considered it pretty safe. On exit of the greengrocery - just minutes later - I saw a small crowd near my car. I hadn't even realized that I left my telephone inside; now it was gone. I couldn't believe it. Someone stole my phone from within the garage.