August 01, 2007

The end of frustrations?

Finding a home in Jerusalem. 961 meters from and to the Lev Smadar cinema: I am happy to announce that I signed for an apartment! I love the small house in pinkish stone, the neighborhood, Katamon, and nearby German Colony, the terrace and it's view, the quiet street with trees on my side of the apartment. I'll be sharing the apartment with a young Israeli, Liran. I think I learnt a lot in the process of looking for an apartment: how and where students live, how to judge , how people segregate according to . At least I like to see it that way. Fortunately, there are still many things I have to learn in my new life in Israel and the neighboring countries.

The Borderline. I can't say I really noticed anything special about the bar in itself but, as it's name suggests, it has a great particularity: it is located almost on the (former?) Green Line, north of the old city. Which means? That neither those who live East nor those who live West need wonder how they will get home. The public? Expats, Palestinians (technically residents of Jerusalem, I guess), left-wing Israelis (and your servant unless you want to put him in one aforementioned categories).

Abu Issa. My friend Cheyenne lives with two other expats in a house in Ras El-Amud, a district of East Jerusalem overlooking the Mount of Olives and the Old City. I was invited to join them and meet their landlord, Abu Issa, who was offering dinner. In the course of the conversation, the wealth and customs of the various peoples of the Middle East were compared. Syrians, Lebanese, Egyptians, Jordanians, even Yemen and the Gulf States got into the conversation. The Israelis were not mentioned once. The 48 and 67 wars were indeed mentioned as such but the Israelis as a people with their customs, psyche, successes: not a mention. On the other side I could very well imagine a conversation between Israelis on the compared merits of the Israelis of German, Polish, Moroccan, Iraqi, French or Russian descent without a single mention of Palestinians. Israelis have to realize that they live in the Middle East. If a European or American visits Israel and feels at home something's wrong. Arabs also have to get acquainted with their relatively new neighbors. The food was delicious; I'd love to meet Abu Issa again and exchange with him.

A good man. I think it has to be written: some people are really gentlemen. Background: When you come to Israel and want to work, you need to become a citizen or get a work permit. If you are Jewish and can prove it, both can be arranged very quickly by applying to the Jewish Agency, which is what I did. If you are not, it's another story. Your employer should apply to the Ministry of Interior and the approval procedure takes about 12 weeks, if everything goes well. I know an employer who chose the long procedure, for a Jewish employee, because he didn't want the employee to be in the situation where he needs to prove that he's Jewish. A gentleman.

1 comment:

vlad said...

Je crois que je le connais aussi... C'est un "very great man" de ceux qui essaient de faire evoluer ce pauvre monde en quelque chose de bien.