Tel Aviv Diary - October 4-8,2015 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

October 4, 2015

We cancelled everything for this morning and drove up to Mrar to visit the Araidi family. Its more than a two hour drive, even for Ezi, but we didn't have an alternative. Not just because the mourning tent and open house is only officially open for the first three days after his death and we wanted to make sure we 'got in', but because we had no emotional alternative. I had to shake the hand of the family, to tell them how even a stranger like me knew how good and kind he was, how he promoted co-existence, good will, and understanding.

It was pretty clear that we didn't know Druze customs. And anyway I was all confused. I couldn't even remember exactly where the house was. Fortunately the lady we asked for directions on the street was a cousin and she pointed out the tent for men and the house for women. We went together to the men's tent, and were shown with whom to shake hands, and with whom to sit. we were given the bitter coffee traditional to mourning, and drank a glass of water. Ali, Naim's brother, explained it all, even indicating to us when it was okay to leave. We gave some spontaneous speeches that may not have been protocol, but even though i was stammering i could not help but speak. And then we went to the women's porch, where comfort was appreciated. Women share. I was relieved to tell Naim's wife how much he spoke of her ministrations to him, and to hear from her of his last days.

and now to rush to cook a holiday meal.

October 5, 2015

The news the came on tonight summed up the awful holidays - parents murdered in a terrorist attack, the children saved only because one of the terrorists accidentally shot the other, a different father killed in Jerusalem, another man killed trying to save the family, rockets falling in the south... How can this world return to sanity?

October 6, 2015

It's pretty wild in some places around the country, but so far quiet around here.

October 7, 2015

Is it an intifada? I don't care what they call it - people fighting for their freedom - violently, attacking women and children at random. They believe we are taking over the Al Aksa mosque, and if we're going to be specific about it, we have more of a right to the Dome of the Rock than anyone else, if only because Jews have only one city and the Moslems have more holy cities elsewhere, like Mecca. But if we had any brains we would leave it alone, especially now. until there is some kind of arrangement we should stay away and stop playing games. Anyway i think the Jewish terrorism is as much to blame for this situation as the Arab terrorism.

October 8,2015

You realize, of course, that I am at the front, with only my walking stick to protect me against the knives and guns of sporadic terrorists. I was abo go with my friend to Azrieli tower when I saw the news of 4 people stabbed there. So we stayed home and watched the news of more and more stabbings. Then we turned to the central channel and watched a movie in Arabic.

October 9, 2015

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