Tuesday, November 6

Ahmad was released from prison 2 days ago

Ahmad is 20 years old. A bit stocky. Always smiling. The neighbourhood's prankster. Playing practical jokes on everybody, all the time.
I have slightly known Ahmad for many years. "Hyperactive", they said about him at school. Always on the move, always doing something, always causing everybody to laugh. The neighbourhood's clown.
And then a joke went wrong. Very wrong.
Had Ahmad lived in north Tel Aviv, the fancy lawyer his parents would have taken for him, would have gotten him off. Perhaps a few hours of volunteering somewhere, as an educational punishment.

No one could believe it, when Ahmad was sent to jail for playing a practical joke on a taxi driver. The least of all, Ahmad himself.
But Ahmad, with no previous criminal record, a good boy from a nice Jaffa family, was sent to jail. For playing a practical joke. Ahmad, the innocent clowning kid with the smile on his face. Playing football in Rifat Turk's soccer school, participating in educational camps, in spite of his learning disability. A good and positive boy, growing up under difficult conditions.

Not to an "easy" jail, for first-time offenders, but to one of the tougher places of Israel's prison system, Atlit (or Carmel Prison as it is called these days, as if a fancy name can hide the misery behind the high white-washed concrete, barbed wire covered walls).

Why? Hell knows, or perhaps the shabak.
i wonder what prison has done to him. He looks older, more grown up. He's become religious. But he still has that same smile, that makes you laugh, the minute you see him.

This evening there will be a party for him. Mabruk, kid. I hope i can still call you "kid".


4 comments:

ee said...

Yudit,
Glad to see you back and blogging again - it's a good sign.
Sorry to read about Ahmad. A harmless prank lands someone like that in prison. On the other hand, there's Lihi Gluzman, who gets away with murder - literally.
Go expect justice from the courts...

Akiva said...

I know that in many countries "practical jokes" can land you in prison.... eg.. imagine this scenario...a person is at an airport waiting more than an hour in a long line to be searched and a person saying "bomb" can land that person a long sentence regardless of "clean police record",however "joking" it was said.

It would be interesting Yudit to hear what:
a)exactly what was Ahmad's "practical joke" on the taxi driver?
b)was there a court case and if so,what were the charges against him?

yudit said...

Akiva, i doubt if in any country a young person with no criminal record would go to jail for almost 2 years in a high security prison for a mere prank.
Yes, it was stupid, no doubt about that.

But still, i don't think a Jewish kid in the same act would have be punished so severely.

J.P. said...

I have to agree with Akiva, I also would like to know what the joke was all about, I neither want to extend my next vacation from two weeks into two years.