By Jamie Tarabay
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Extra resources for A Crazy Occupation: Eyewitness to the Intifada
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.
One of the men jumped up from his seat and reached into the back of his 39 A Crazy Occupation 24/8/05 3:05 PM Page 40 a crazy occupation jeans. He pulled out a small handgun and started firing it into the air, just a metre in front of me. I was so shocked that I burst into tears. The others began chiding him: ‘No, no, don’t,’ but by then I’d walked away, shaking. Nasser scolded them, ‘See? You’ve upset her,’ then he followed me. ሖሗመ While we stayed in Nablus, Lefteris and I would check into Al Qasr, the Palace Hotel, every evening, then every morning we would check out.
As I sat down I looked at all the homemade food on the table. 34 A Crazy Occupation 24/8/05 3:05 PM Page 35 30 September–10 October 2000 ‘All this food reminds me of my mother’s cooking,’ I told her. I recalled my mother’s cauliflowers, crispy golden brown and wrapped in Lebanese bread with a smattering of salt. So simple yet so delicious; something I was really craving at that point. ’ Mervat asked. I nodded. We talked about the similarities between Lebanese and Palestinian food. ‘The only thing that’s really different is the bread,’ I said.