Wednesday, July 4

Omar and Zeinab Adasi and their 4 children became homeless today

Zeinab and Omar Adasi woke up to the sound of a huge bulldozer today. Some 500 policemen, many of them from special units ('yasam"), surrounded their small 3-room home at 6 o'clock this morning.
The bulldozer started working before they were able to take all their things from the house which had been their home for the last 26 years. Zeinab was still in bed and barely got out of the house before its walls caved in into what only half a minute before had been her bedroom.
Zeinab and Omar have four children. the youngest of them (a 12 year old boy) is severely handicapped.
Omar used to be a construction worker, but today he lives of social security payments, due to an illness he suffers from. Zeinab spends most of her time taking care of their youngest handicapped son, who needs much attention.
All around the small family home close to the harbour new luxury buildings are being erected for the very wealthy. For 26 years Omar and Zeinab lived in the house which Zeinab's father had bought for them from its previous owner.Over time Omar added a small room, as his family became larger. They also developed a small garden next to their house. The garden land, so Omar admits, didn't belong to him.

A few months ago they were served with a demolition order. Apparently Zeinab's father had not bought all of the house or sold a room of it. The demolition order however, was taken out on all of the home.
Zeinab and Omar don't know how to read Hebrew very well and they tried to do what they could, to no avail.
This mornng they tried to convince the police to give them an hour, in order to run to the court and take out a prevention order. Their request was refused. The house was destroyed in a few hours and except for the mountain of rubble, it almost seems it never was there.

The older son was upset and screamed at the police, tried to stop them, and as a result was arrested Later today he was released.
The story is typical of what is happening in Ajami.
Many families live in what now it prime development land, close to the sea, with a lovely view. It's easy to remove poor people from their homes, especially when their reading skills aren't too developed. When they don't know their way around the bureaucracy.

The family members have nowhere to go. The handicapped child was place in foster care, the mother went to an uncle and the other three children each to another relative.
And Omar? Omar walks around in circles, crazed, in what once was his home.
I think there were tears in his eyes.

Jaffa, summer 2007


ee said...

מדינת סעד, עלק

iloveyafo said...

There are so many things I'd like to say, Yudit, but my heart and my mind, after reading your post, are so confused.
The first thing that comes to my mind is to thank you for bringing this story to the attention of the public.
You have already done something for this man and his family by reporting the fact so accurately.
In your opinion, what's going to happen to the Adasis next?
Will any State Agency look after their needs?
Will they be given any alternative accomodation a.s.a.p.?
Could this have been prevented and how?
Is there anything that we can do for this family?
I apologise for all these questions, Yudit; as I told you at the beginning I feel wave upon wave of sorrow, disappointment and frustration!
I have taken already enough space...!
Thanks again!