Today I met Abo Abou briefly, who kind of got all over me when he knew I speak Arabic. The water has been cutting off for 5 days and he, like everyone else has been mad about it. He was like:
do you want the kids in schools to think that Syrian kids stink? Do you want them to say Syrian kids are not clean?” Do you want us to be standing in the bus and people would say Syrians are dirty people?” We’re not like that sister!”
“We had everything in Syria and we lived like kings. we had homes, water, food, and cars. We were something. We only fled our country because of the war.”
A very nice juggler came volunteering to entertain the kids. They were very happy and laughing at his games and tricks. And he was funny and patient too, trying his best to speak Arabic (which apparently he’s been working regularly hard on). I was guessing he’s French Moroccan maybe??
Amid the show one girl asked “what’s in this bottle?” The juggler said “water, soap & a special powder that comes from Israel.”
*silence and moments of awkwardness*
It only happened in my mind. The silence and awkwardness happened only in my mind. The kids only wanted to play, they didn’t pay much attention to his words really. But I did. I wondered! “how dare he come to cheer Syrian kids when he’s from Israel?”
“How date they bring in a juggler from Israel!!?”
Wait, I am from Egypt and I didn’t ask for it. I come from a fascist state, racist and oppressive to the bones. He was born in Israel like I was born in Egypt. None of us asked for it. It’s not where he comes from, it is what he chooses to do. And he chose to volunteer his time and effort to entertain those kids. He’s not like an army member or an advocate. He’s Israeli like I’m Egyptian and that’s it.