Showing 1 - 20 from 33 entries
> Palestinian Women in Resistance
> Mary van Teeffelen-Morcos: Mary's anger
> Violette Lama, Rachel's Tomb area
> Talal Barham, Rachel's Tomb area
> Nicola, restaurant owner at Rachel's Tomb
> Michael and Linda Costa Halabi, Rachel's Tomb...
> Antoinette Knesevich
> Life in Beit Sahour : Jaela Andoni’s Story
> Alexandar Qamar, Aida Camp-Rachel's Tomb area
> Makram al Arja - Everest restaurant in Beit Jala
> Shliby, living at Rachel's Tomb area
> Interview with Claire, living in Rachel's Tomb area
> Marwan, living in the Rachel's Tomb area
> Melvina, on the history of the Rachel's Tomb area
> Dima, a young architect,, about the Rachel's Tomb area
> Antoinette Kinesivich about the Rachel's Tomb area
> Shafiq al-Hout's Story
> A Doctor in Galilee
> My Utopian Jaffa
> Some Personal Recollections: Sixty Years Since 1948
Interview with Claire June 2008
By Nina Koevoets
Claire is living in a house surrounded by the Wall on three sides.
Downstairs we had two shops, one gifts shop and one for spare car parts. My husband worked full time as a mechanic, fixing cars. But this is many years ago. The problems started already before the Wall was built. When the Israeli army blocked the street we lost almost all our clients. It became a ghost area here; only the army could enter. Many shops closed. My husband got injured and couldn’t work for a year; he cut his hand while fixing a car because he was in a hurry, out of fear that the army could come any minute. This was a year before the Wall was built. During a period of 1,5 year there used to be long curfews. During those curfews we could only leave the house once a week for three hours to buy food. But how could we buy food if we could not work anymore?! This was the worst time… Our house was continuously in the crossfire. It happened once that when we went out of our house a soldier put a laser light on my head and warned me that I would be dead next time I would leave my house. When I tried to leave the house another time I got inside just in time.
After the Wall was built Rachels’ Tomb became an important place for Jews. This was not the case before. They took a piece of land from my aunt who lives close to Rachels’ Tomb as well and they turned it into a military zone. It is on the other side of the Wall; you can see it from this window. After the army moved away from this place, the land was used as a parking lot for visitors. They just kept it so as to have a parking place! And we cannot do anything… It is not fair to surround our house like this! I don’t wish it for any human being.
For nine years we did not have work. There was no connection to Jerusalem anymore, where we used to buy our spare car parts. We asked help from a Dutch priest and now our shop is since a month open again. But the items we need are very expensive and we only had a few clients. It is at present not really working… We had to sell the items at a minimum price level so as to sustain our family, our children.
The years after they built the Wall were especially hard for our children. After two years or so we could not manage any more. We had to ask our family for money so as to get medical help for my husband.
I think we cannot do more than just surviving. We are upset and under stress. I think there is no solution for this conflict…We lost our future. How can we get everything back? If we stay here our future is hopeless. But it is difficult to move out of this house and we are even not allowed to sell it to Palestinians. We have built this house ourselves and it is the only thing we have left. Also, my mother in law cannot move and we cannot leave her here of course. It is a dilemma. Our children deserve to have a normal future.
Can I do something to change the situation we are in? Well, we are thinking about opening a factory, but we need help for this. It is hard to have a souvenir shop, as there is a lot of competition. We had some people in our house who rented a room for a brief stay, but these are just a few persons a year. What we in fact need is sponsors, people or organisations abroad who send us money directly. We need this money for medical ends; one of my children has medications that we cannot pay and my husband needs a new operation on his hand. Some of his nerves were cut and he can’t move all his fingers now.
I only get hope from God and I feel better, more relaxed, when I pray. It helps me psychologically. Often I feel like I can’t breath and everything inside is blocked. But we have to be strong, keep steadfast and try not to get hurt psychologically. Try to ‘think to the light’. I always tell my kids to laugh and play, to love and not think about what is happening in these times of war. When we could not leave the house we played music and sang. God saved us and helped us to let us bear all this.