Few hours in Haifa

12 janvier 2013

Temps de lecture : 4 minutes

Today, my mother told me that I have the permission to enter Haifa and Akka from the so-called “Israeli government”. I was really excited and started preparing myself while imagining the sea in front of me. The words started to form sentences in my mind: “Finally your dream came true, you are going to see what others had taken from your country, the precious Mediterranean Sea.” I didn’t sleep, I just waited for tomorrow. I told my sister that I would wake her up because I would be the first who’s awake. The sun started to shine and we were ready to go. We went to the center of the city to meet other people in a bus. I was searching for the bus until I saw it. It was purple and white and there were about 100 meters between it and us. I don’t know how, but I got inside it like the wind. The bus driver drove us to the wrong checkpoint or in other words, to a very difficult one! If you asked me what I mean by difficult, then feel and imagine this: I entered a dark, dirty, big, hot place feeling like I’m in a prison. One fan was working and while looking around and above, I noticed many cameras! There was no sound but the fan chick chick chick… I expected to see soldiers, but on the contrary, there were turnstiles. My bus group was surprised, too. We had been walking for a long distance so far and suddenly we arrived into the main door, which was locked off because it only works for Israeli soldiers or official employees. Women became tired from waiting and no voice was heard! The children were crying painfully and one of them was sick and his father didn’t know how to deal with him or how to make him quiet. A sick black man came and we allowed him to pass and take our turn because we sympathized with him, but the problem was ignoring us all the time so, we were whispering”We allowed him to pass, but what about them, would they react? “The first hour was finished and more people came so my bus group started complaining and other people started shouting. We wanted to release our anger on them! By the second hour, a man came and said, “I’m a worker in Israel and they don’t have the right to close the door!” He was shouting in Hebrew and we couldn’t understand him. My head was going to explode from the children crying, the people arguing who’s going to pass first, and who has the priority, the man’s shouting and the only thing which made me laugh sadly was that they didn’t care. Finally, the door opened, but it allowed only one or two people. It depended on their mood. It took time for them to check every person’s bags and belongings with the machine; they were giving orders in Hebrew and no one understood what they meant which makes their mission more difficult and us bored and fried like chicken from the hot place. We wanted to help each other by guessing what they say. However, the confusing thing was why they were not speaking in English! Wouldn’t that make it easier for them and us? But it seemed they intended to do so because after two hours, when it was my turn, I entered and asked them to speak English. One of them did and the other ignored me and was speaking in Hebrew and some Arabic. Using her gestures, she said, “What’s in your bag,” and I responded by opening it, but she was scared as if I’m a terrorist. She played the machine and told me to put it on it. I did so and everything was ok. I entered another door as she said “wakhad.” She meant door number one, but the door was locked . I waited five minutes until it was opened. There were another two doors. I felt like Alice in Wonderland. Finally, I reached the place where they checked my ID and the Israeli permission card. Suddenly, the soldier (she was a girl and I could imagine her as my friend) asked me in Arabic, “Wen shanta?” which means “where is the bag?” I didn’t understand what she said at the beginning. Then, I realized that I forgot my bag on the machine. I went to take it, but I was trapped between doors number two and three! Nobody cared. I know that there was a camera above my head and they should have opened the door! Again, we as Palestinians have to suffer for nothing. 15 minutes passed and the door opened. I took my bag, but the soldier was suspicious so she checked it again. Finally, I went out from the scary prison and waited with the others from the group for another hour. We called ourselves the luckiest! It was then the time to enter the other bus, whose driver was waiting too! We forgot what we went through and were excited that we’re going to visit Haifa! However, the bus driver was in a bad mood and didn’t want to drive us because according to him we had two extra kids! I was silent, but thinking, “They are babies and not going to sit on the chair!” The trip manager was upset and angry. She called the bus company and was shouting. We were really tired; we didn’t want to say so and be pessimistic! We told the bus driver “twakkal Al Allah,” which means trust God and whatever he has chosen will happen. After one hour, the blue, big sea appeared. I felt like the happiest person in the world, all of us were pointing to it and mothers told their children to look at it. After eating breakfast in the charming garden, we went to the beach and the guys started swimming. 10 minutes and a policeman on a motorbike came and said, “ You are not allowed to stay here, go to the bus,” and said in Arabic with the Hebrew accent, “rokh al-bas.” I said, “What?”There was a translator with him who explained that we had to talk to the mayor of Haifa! I felt sad not only for me but for my nephew who were in the middle of the sea. I called upon them several times until they understood what I meant. We went to the bus again and most of my group was angry with the bus driver because he knew they wouldn’t allow us to stay there and didn’t tell us! Again, we never know the Israeli soldiers’ orders and decisions and we can never do anything. All of us were mad and wanted to go home immediately, but the bus driver took us with a frown to a deserted beach with some Jewish people. “A bird in the hand is worth than two in the tree.” This is what I convinced myself. We stayed there and swam though it was dirty! At least we satisfied our desire!

Salam – Texte / Text
Histoire écrite en anglais / Story written in English