Friday, September 9

Midnight fun in Jaffa

Ok, so the police brought in their forces, to show they are actually doing something in Jaffa. Present, fighting crime, "doing their thing" as it were. "Zero tolerance" or some such.

Abed finished working really late last night, at 2 o'clock. On his walk home, along Yefet street, a police van stops next to him, just opposite Fakhri Geday's pharmacy. Five policemen, "yasamnikim" (special forces) inside the van. One of them said "Ahalan", "hi" in Arabic, probably the only Arab word he knows. Abed, polite as always, answered "Ahalan" . The policeman was at that point, still in the van.
Two of the policemen came out of the car and started interrogating Abed.
"Do you have something?" "What do you mean by that?" "Do you have an ID card with you?" "What are you doing here"? I'm on my way back from work, I live here". "What do you have on you?" "Nothing". "What do you have in your bag?", pointing at Abed's black little knapsack. Abed told him he had a lot of things in his bag. The police man shouted "put the bag down, put it down right here". Another policeman came out of the car with a large flashlight. The atmosphere became tense. On seeing the flashlight Abed got scared he might get hit by the policemen and became quite worried, as the policemen took Abed to a dark corner underneath the pillars of an old building. A filthy, smelly and very dark spot which can hardly be seen from the street.
The policeman with the flashlight opened Abed's small black backpack and starting checking its contents while commenting upon each item.

One of the other policemen started interrogating Abed. Holding Abed's ID card in his hand he asked how come Abed is registered in Kalansawa (Abed's birth place). Abed explained to him that now he lives in Jaffa (He actually tried to register in Jaffa, but until now the Ministry of the Interior has refused to do so, in spite of the fact that he 's been living here for a long time. The reasons behind this refusal are totally unclear, long live Israeli democracy!). "Where in Jaffa do you live?" "In Adjami, in D. street."

The one with the flashlight kept going through Abed's bag asking the purpose of all his notebooks. (Abed is a poet and cinema director and always carries work-in-progress with him). Abed explained to him he has a diary, an addressbook and notebook. Then the policeman finds a movie cassette. Abed informed him it is a movie cassette. The policeman opened to look inside, then returned it to Abed's backpack.

The policeman interrogating him, asked Abed what he has in his pockets, placing his hand on Abeds bulging pocket. "My keys, cellphone and purse". "Show it to me". Abed got out the requested items and showed them, then returned them to his pocket.
In the mean time the other policeman searching Abed's back found Abed's passport and showed it to the interrogator. "What is this?". "My passport". It's an old passport, which was cancelled. By chance it happened to be in Abed's bag. Abed is not the most well-organized person in the world after all. "But it is cancelled". "Yes it is cancelled".

In the mean time the policeman searching the bag, found Abed's 2nd keychain, that of his parents' house in Kalansawa. It happens to have a keychain in the shape of the Palestinian map, with Arabic lettering on it.
Upon noticing the map the interrogator asks "What is this?"
"A map of the whole Israel" (Israel hashlema in Hebrew). "What does it say here?". "Jaffa, Haifa, El Kuds" (Jerusalem in Arabic), written in Arabic, which the policemen were not able to read.
The policeman returned the keys to their place, closed the bag, handed it over to Abed and said "Good night".


No comments: