Schools that we visited were the ”problematic ones” in critical zones where the Israeli army has control. That morning I went to a school on a border between the Palestinian and Israeli neighborhoods, which is why the streets around it were full of soldiers. Kids and teachers show their teeth from time to time, soldiers get even more pissed off, and the vicious circle never stops.
The sound of morning adhan, a call for prayer from the local mosque, blended so graciously with the first rays of the sun that illuminated the room through the dark curtain cracks and a window cage. It was only 5 am and my Palestinian family was already awake, preparing to leave the house. The scent of cigarette and cardamom coffee from the kitchen gently overwhelmed the room. ''Yalla, Lidija, we go?''
Hebron (Arabic: al-Khalil), a Palestinian city on the West Bank south. City of concrete, rocks and poor land. Palestinians from other cities think of it as gloomy and are often surprised to hear a foreigner went there. ''Why would anyone do that?''. Its residents (Khalilis) are of few words and even the sweetest ones are wrapped up in a rough peasant accent. You won't find it in cities like Bethlehem or Jerusalem. Khalili mentality is the same, difficult, at least at first sight.
Memoirs tell about mosques, public wells, hamams, schools and thousands of little shops, workshops and wooden cabinets behind fortifications of Bazaar. It opened up every morning with the sound of azan and shopping was something you did by casually negotiating over a cup of Turkish coffee or tea. This, however, changed once Western ideas came to the East, along with wide avenues, modern infrastructure and new facilities in the city. The bazaar look has changed forever.
Yesterday's historical and archeological features became a nuisance. Neighborly communities have been replaced by window cages, shopping centers and metal detectors. Places that used to be public became private and commercial spots. The spectacular illusion hides the community divided between ‘us’ and ‘them’. No-go zones of the poor were suppressed by the no-go zones of the rich. All in the name of ”modern age”. And Roma, where are they today?