Marginalized….excluded and secluded
These are the three words that jump to my head, the moment I spot a neighborhood such as, Nabi Samuel, Khalayleh; and going to the other extreme of geography; Jahaleen Bedouin clans.
Of course, to most, these names do not mean anything, and actually they never meant anything to me…and sadly speaking there must be tens if not hundreds of such neighborhoods around the country.
The three locations I mentioned are in Jerusalem if Maaleh Adomim and its Gush were part of Jerusalem so would be the Jahaleen. In addition, if Modiin, Givat Zeev, Giv’on are in Jerusalem then Khalayleh and Nabi Samuel are.
As usual between what is and what is there, is a line of shrewd vicious reality that even geographical separation does not necessarily show.
I would rest my case on this occasion on al Khalayleh, since Nabi Samuel, which is very close, might be likely known to activists as well as Jahaleen. But to those who are likely like me and never thought of what really lies within the valleys and on top of mountains and in between walls and fences , it is worth to add aside from marginalized, excluded and secluded , that such neighborhoods not only live with absence of basic rights and means of survival.. The fact that they survive only says how resilient these people are. Practically everything is forbidden to these people. I would advise for a reference to a map ,but you will actually not find any indicator , but it is likely that with each settlement block or just a settlement you happen to encounter , there is definitely a neighborhood as such in that area.
When you are in Europe, and you take a bus or a train, you actually may not buy a ticket because they randomly inspect. However, when they do and catch you without a ticket you are damned with a fine. So most people do not even dare to think to get into a bus without having a ticket.
This is exactly what it feels like going to Khalayleh neighborhood. We went there, and I have not seen a single checkpoint all the way from Beit hanina to the location. We were deriving through the nice roads of 443 and probably others that are parallel to Modiin that takes settlers to Givat Zeev. I suddenly found myself in a road that had Palestinian plates on the cars. It felt outrageous … seriously; the cars looked like invaders to me. I was a bit of disillusioned not exactly understanding where I was. I was technically in Jerusalem. Settlements surround the area “naturally”, and for an instant I was thinking what are, these people doing here (I mean the Palestinians). Suddenly everything seemed reversed. This people actually lived there forever and found themselves secluded, marginalize, and actually imprisoned but with no gates or keepers. It is an open prison where people do not even need a wall or a gate or a fence or a soldier to give those rules or guidelines or discipline them. They know where their maximum access line is.
Being in what is called a democracy , imagining myself as an Israeli , I will not be able to raise my eyes into a human being after realizing that there are people who are practically locked in their villages so nearby and everywhere!!.
From the other side, you re officially under the partial authority of the Palestinian authority, mentioning area c here. I will also not tire you or me in further explanations. This is a community with 700 people with not a single school or ever a daycare, with not a single clinic. People can only have an access to the outside world (the west bank) through a nearby checkpoint that serves as a borderline. They have mobile clinics that may come once a week, so if they are lucky they get sick on that day. Garbage of course is never collected.
From another side, you look at the people and you see persistence their eyes… to be honest I don’t know why, I could not but think of Syrian refugees who took refuge to the see escaping Daesh, something I keep asking myself about … how hard could it be …to escape one harsh miserable reality to another that is hollow and unknown.
Living in such neighborhoods seem like the hollowness unknowns of living. From outside things, seem fine. You might likely not even notice they exist….from inside , you see people who are struggling just to have the minimum , basic of what life is ….. Living with basic rights.