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.