Writing to Break the Pattern

Majed presenting the pendant hanging from his neck. (Photo: Tamar Fleishman)

By Tamar Fleishman – Qalandiya, West Bank

A week after taking a photo of Majed presenting the pendant hanging from his neck with the engraving of the face of his good friend Ali Kalifa, who had died from a shot fired by soldiers on one of the allies at the refugee camp over a year ago, I came back to the usual place, at the usual time when the youngsters of the refugee camp meet.

I wanted to give Majed his portrait.

I didn’t find Majed and his friend.

A person I know and who works there said: “Leave it with me, I’m part of his family”. I left it there.

The days passed and I started to worry.

I was struck with the memory of my encounter with Ali Kalifa and of his fate, it seemed as though a pattern had formed, as though there was a wheel that impels a chain of events over there where the cycles of life entwine with the cycles of death, as though without noticing I had become a link in the pattern that might determine Maged’s fate.

For I had also only met Ali Kalifa once on an afternoon at exactly the same place where I met Majed.

I had also taken a photo of Ali and when I came back to give it to him, he wasn’t there.

And Haled a friend of his that worked there offered that I leave it with him. And I did.

And that was the last photo taken of Ali Kalifa.

The photo I took was placed by his parents on a table at the center of the mourning tent, they displayed the portrait of their son before all the many that came calling on them in their time of grief.

And I worried that perhaps I couldn’t stop the galloping events, and I thought that in this story, which is a story within a story, I mustn’t stand on the side lines, I have to intervene and take action.

And I have nothing but words. And so the words are the action.

In a culture wherein the world was created by the word and reality is determined by words, it must be possible to make a change with words and break patterns with words and perhaps even cover, wrap and protect Majed and his friends with words, thoughts and hope.

(Translated by Ruth Fleishman)

– As a member of Machsomwatch, once a week Tamar Fleishman heads out to document the checkpoints between Jerusalem and Ramallah. This documentation (reports, photos and videos) can be found on the organization’s site: www.machsomwatch.org. The majority of the Spotlights (an opinion page) that are published on the site had been written by her. She is also a member of the Coalition of Women for Peace and volunteer in Breaking the Silence. She contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.

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1 Comment

  1. lets hope, that words will bring a change. lets hope. we, in MachsomWatch write soooo many words and transfer them to the world wide. and the world is silent!!!
    may the word be spoken loudly.

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