Tuesday, August 23

Adjami - for your eyes only

The early morning hours, when it's not yet too hot, are best for walking around the neighborhood. Towards dusk the light becomes more beautiful, the old walls look like gold, almost. Yet the heat keeps me in, during this time of the day and season. It's hot and humid.

Time for cold watermelon, some grapes.
Time for Jabaliya beach (or Hof Aliyah as it is called in Hebrew, these days).

Jaffa, Adjami, keeps changing. Many of the beautiful old houses are being destroyed, in order to establish fancy new housing for the wealthy. Usually in closed compounds, well guarded. The rich like their privacy and real Jaffa looks better from the distance created by the guard at the compound entrance.
There is much poverty. Large families live, right next door to the rich, in small flats. The lovely mansions once owned by wealthy Palestinian families, have been sub-devided into many apartments. Each small appartment houses a family. Twelve people in three rooms is not uncommon. The families often add a room or two, without obtaining a building permit. (In many cases, even if they tried to get a building permit, they would get it). The municipality destroys these "illegal" additions. As people need the rooms, they will rebuild them, but often from inferior, cheap materials. So it won't hurt too much if it's destroyed once more. Over time the houses start to look like patchwork. A quilt made from blocks, recycled wooden doors, pillars from other, destroyed buildings, car windows and cheap iron or asbestos roofing, a quilt that tells the history of a family.
A quilt that can be read and understood.
The drying laundry hanging outside tells the current history, the people who live there now, what they do, how they live.
You can learn a lot from laundry.
Use you eyes, your imagination, your heart.

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