By Jamie Tarabay
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Extra info for A Crazy Occupation: Eyewitness to the Intifada
As I walked to the office, trailing my little red suitcase behind me, my parents called me on my mobile phone, frantic. ‘What’s going on over there? It doesn’t look good, habibi,’ my father said, using the Arabic word for ‘sweetheart’. ’ I couldn’t disguise my excitement; I’d never been to Gaza before and I was psyched by the prospect. ‘Is that any safer? We’re watching it here on TV. ’ he said. I told him I was fine. When I walked into the office Karin met me at the door. ‘Oh Jamie, we’ve sent someone else to Gaza, but can you go to Ramallah?
I can’t come every day,’ she told me. Another wanted to get her daughter’s marriage registered, even though the wedding was months away. After the protest we walked through the Old City. It was my first visit to that historic place and I tried to absorb every detail I could—the narrow, curving alleyways, the short arches, the names of all the different sites: the Via Dolorosa and the Seven Stations of the Cross. Could this really have been where Christ stumbled while carrying the cross to his crucifixion?
He said he knew how dangerous their activities were. He was married with children and while we were speaking his wife called his mobile. ‘She just wanted to see if I had anything to eat. I left the house without breakfast,’ he said. Lefteris couldn’t come with us—he was photographing stone-throwers and gunmen at Joseph’s Tomb and when I saw his pictures later it was obvious he’d often been in the line of fire—but he told me to take a picture of the gunmen. I wasn’t particularly confident in my skills and I also had to convince the gunmen to let me photograph them.
A Crazy Occupation: Eyewitness to the Intifada by Jamie Tarabay