Friday, September 30, 2005

Unrecognised villages in the Nagab (Negev)

The state that claims to be the only democracy in the Middle East is not telling you the whole truth.

Nevermind Israeli policy in the Gaza and West Bank, discrimination on multiple fronts is being meted out among their own citizens, particularly ethnic Ethiopian Jews and Palestinian Arabs. The focus of this entry is on the latter.

The following is provided courtesy of the Association of 40 / لجنة الأربعين :

The plight of the Arab Unrecognised Villages first began in 1948 with the establishment of the State of Israel. Even though these Arab Villages existed hundreds of years ago, consecutive Israeli governments have ignored their existence, and their Bedouin inhabitants have been denied their rights as citizens of the country.

Since '48, these villages have not appeared on any map and there is still no plan for their development. As a result of this lack of recognition, the villages still lack basic infrastructure: Today, there are approximately 100,000 people who are dispossessed or denied any basic services such as running water, electricity, proper education, health services and access roads - constituting a gross violation of human rights and opposing the values of a modern and democratic state.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Waiting for the bus

I took the bus from Haifa to Nazareth this morning.

5 minutes before the bus could make a showing, someone in uniform did. He looked at me good, made note of the beard that I'd let grow for a week and a half now, and then began speaking Hebrew.

I don't speak Hebrew, but I knew why he was saying whatever it was he was saying.

Authorities here have special units that make directed stops at various bus stations throughout the state. These units greet those waiting for the bus, and based on the reply (and accent), conclude if you're a threat or not i.e. If you're Arab or not.

"I don't speak Hebrew".
"Oh, so you're a tourist. Okay then - have a good day".

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Apple-picking in the Golan Heights

Saleem Durzi (above) from the Joolan took us to his family's apple plot to pick fruit from the earth. The Joolan is well known for its apples, and the locals can talk for hours about them - how they grow, how they're stored in mega-freezers, how they're pressed, and even how to eat them!

In this Garden of Eden were Elias, myself and Incognita (below).

في الجنة عدن

Monday, September 26, 2005

Landmines in the Golan Heights

There are landmines among currently inhabited homes that overlook the Syrian border.

Local people say that on occasion little kids cross the barbed wire, because caught in the moment, kids playing don't think of boundaries or barriers.

This is also the area where people from the Joolan come to speak with relatives on the Syrian side of the border. Reasons: its proximity to Syria, and the acoustics on offer.


Sunday, September 25, 2005

She looks to the Lebanese border and Majdl Shams

Last week was spent in the Joolan/Golan Heights.
It was beautiful, and as the picture relates, so was the company.

Saleem, a Druze like most people from the region, and resident of the Joolan, showed us around his neighbourhood and had us over for lunch at his mother's. The food was ladheedh killish i.e. real good. He spoke about identity of his people within Israel - that they don't consider themselves Israeli, but as Syrians under occupation.

It was a good Saturday, and the Joolan's September breeze had something to do with it.

Palestinian Arabs with Israeli citizenship

For those unclear about the situation,there are 2 groups of Palestinian Arabs by geographical location:

1 - Palestinian Arabs living within the Occupied Territories - Gaza and the West Bank.

2 - Palestinian Arabs that live within the Green Line i.e. within Israel, and carry Israeli citizenship. They were the Palestinians caught within Israel's 1948 borders, and include Druze and the Bedouin.

They are referred to mainly as 'Arab-Israelis' in the international media. However, the majority prefer to be referred to as Palestinian Arabs with Israeli citizenship/Palestinian Arabs living within Israel.

Most of nasrawi will focus on their struggle.


Nasrawi is from Nasereh, Israel & the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

He's here because he believes he can make change, even if it can't be seen in the immediate. And he also believes life is about opening up and experiencing; even if it makes things seem smaller after. He's NGO-ing with a Palestinian Arab organisation, and hopes to speak of his experiences in the city of Nasereh, aka Nazareth, and the rest of this land.

Originally from the T-dot and Emarat.

Watch for photos and commentary, and no further references to self in the 3rd person.