Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Dear all,
i'm experiencing some kinda "stage fear" now that i know that so many people are expecting what i have to say. so i decided the easy thing would be to tell you two stories.

the first story took place last Saturday while i was making my way back from work in Bethlehem home to Jerusalem. i got to the crossing and walked through the (door in the) wall, showed my ID to the soldier at the entrance and went inside the crossing's building. i arrived to the scanners (where everyone passes through a metal detector and passes their bags through the X-ray machine. i was wearing the clothes i'm wearing in my profile picture (Italy sweatshirt and my kaffiyyah)
suddenly i heard the soldier inside asking me -in Italian- whether i spoke Italian. i said no, and he was very nice, asking where i was from and if i liked Italy. i said yes and wished Italy good luck in the coming Mondial (Forza Italia!).

the second story took place a bit longer than three months ago in the same crossing. i arrived to the metal detector, passed my bag and all my stuff through the machine and was about to continue towards the exit when the soldier called me: "hey you! you understand Hebrew?"
-yes, i understand Hebrew.
-take the baskets (the ones people put their little metal things in, such as watches and coins) from the end of the belt and put them in the beginning.
..(and trust me, i know when someone's not being nice!)
-no. you come put them there.
-so you don't wanna do a favor?
-not when you're ordering me to do a favor and not asking me to. No.

so she sends me to another small room where two other soldiers start checking my stuff (wallet, cell-phones, keys). this process was done twice while i was waiting for almost 20mins, asking why i'm being checked and receiving annoying silent as an answer.

after that i was told to go into another room, tiny with a little window open to another one next to it. fealthy floor and big-thick-sealed-doors. there i was told to strip!

next i was taken to the offices block, where i was -again- told to wait. after waiting around an hour and a half and hearing from soldiers whispering around me (for no one would give me an answer for my questions) that they were waiting for the Shin Bet's (intellegence services) answer, i was taken to the commander's office. he asked me to sign a paper saying i wasn't physically harmed while being detained in the crossing. (of course the Shin Bet's answer was to let me go) then i was given my ID back and allowed to leave.

i found it worthwhile to mention the first story because i rarely meet nice soldiers. ones who despite all factors, find it possible to still be human.

as for the second story, i told it in order to point at a serious problem i see beside it all here, and that's systematically and repeatedly using power in order to make it clear who the boss is.
and if you ask me what i would do next time i'm being ordered to bring the baskets back to the beginning, you should know i would still act the same..

18 Comments:

At 2:17 AM, Blogger ontheface said...

I kind of thought that you might be feeling the pressure. ;)

Perhaps some people will be offended by your stories; perhaps others will use them to support or advance their own agendas. As you wrote, it's hard to find sanity around here.

But I am sure that most of your readers will simply appreciate your honest voice.

And hey, no matter what - *I* know you're a star. :D

 
At 2:46 AM, Blogger fayrouz said...

thanks dear.
i realise that many people would disagree with the things i have to say. but that's exactly why i'm doing this!
i would love to continue discussing any issues i write about here with anyone who feels offended.
and those who don't..

 
At 3:09 AM, Blogger bronxbob said...

While trying to remain neutral here, there is certainly a lot of pressure incurred on everyone -- and I mean everyone, citizen and soldier. And like anywhere else in the world we are bound to meet people who lack certain communication skills. Even here you will find at least one lemon who feels he has to show who's "boss". I shrug it off and take it like a grain of salt. And try not to let it ruin my day~LOL!

 
At 3:10 AM, Blogger bronxbob said...

Just to clarify: when I say "even here", I am of course referring to even here in the States.

 
At 12:39 PM, Blogger Liza said...

Hi Fayrouz.

Your first story makes me happy, and that alone makes me sad, because civilized, humane treatment should be the norm and not the exception. Your second story made me feel ashamed to be Israeli.

Thank you for writing so honestly, and showing us the beautiful and the ugly.

 
At 2:12 PM, Blogger The Miner said...

nice writing! keep posting deear.
I have wanted to know more about Palestinian territory since afew years ago and I believe that you can show us this by your posting dear Fayrouz.

 
At 2:34 PM, Blogger jonathan riley said...

test

 
At 2:35 PM, Blogger jonathan riley said...

good to hear your voice from the frontline!

 
At 3:10 PM, Blogger nrg said...

"you should know i would still act the same.."

Good for you. I admire your strength.

Welcome to your new blog! I look forward to more stories.

 
At 4:05 AM, Blogger Original_Jeff said...

Hey, Fayrouz, I have a question for you. In Bethlehem, what percent of the population speaks Arabic? What percent speaks English? What percent speaks Hebrew?

 
At 1:34 PM, Blogger fayrouz said...

Jeff,
People in the office estimate the percentage of English speakers is around 17%, while Hebrew speakers are thought to consist around 27%
(mostly from jail)

 
At 11:08 PM, Blogger Michael Stein said...

"i'm experiencing some kinda "stage fear" now that i know that so many people are expecting what i have to say. so i decided the easy thing would be to tell you two stories."

If these are the "easy" stories to tell, I tremble to hear the hard ones.
--Michael

 
At 1:37 AM, Blogger rinat said...

hi Fayrouz,

im from tel aviv and both your stories made me sad :(

come 2 visit my blog

take care

 
At 4:44 AM, Blogger Fayrouz said...

Hi Fayrouz,

I just wanted to say hi to you as my name is Fayrouz too.

Keep up the good work,

 
At 6:49 PM, Blogger Will said...

Fayrouz,

Keep blogging. I look forward to your posts.

We linked you from my blog, www.kabobfest.com

Salaam

Will

 
At 2:18 PM, Blogger AuslaenderQueerPunk said...

Salamaat Fayrouz,

Not sure why anyone would be offended by a story of a continuing suffering that has lingered for 58 years.

Either we Muslims/Arabs have been painted by a color of being hypersensitive to anything connoting to our culture that we have actually started believing what the other side is saying about us, or some people believe that the human condition is only a privilige of white people living in ivory towers.

In any case, allah ma'aki and keep up the good work. In a way, you are a connection to a society and a culture I only grew up hearing about. A place I yearned for in the midst of all the craziness a Palestinian can go through.

From a fellow Palestinian in the diaspora.

AngryQueerPunk.

 
At 3:08 PM, Blogger AuslaenderQueerPunk said...

Salamaat Fayrouz,

Not sure why anyone would be offended by a story of a continuing suffering that has lingered for 58 years.

Either we Muslims/Arabs have been painted by a color of being hypersensitive to anything connoting to our culture that we have actually started believing what the other side is saying about us, or some people believe that the human condition is only a privilige of white people living in ivory towers.

In any case, allah ma'aki and keep up the good work. In a way, you are a connection to a society and a culture I only grew up hearing about. A place I yearned for in the midst of all the craziness a Palestinian can go through.

From a fellow Palestinian in the diaspora.

AngryQueerPunk.

 
At 11:47 PM, Blogger jerusalemgypsy said...

Occasionally, there are people from Bethlehem coming to our interfaith dialogue group in Jerusalem - if you can, and are interested, you are welcome.

 

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