Years of Transporting Children and their Parents
During the years I have been driving, I have met many dedicated parents who deal daily with their children’s illness, with long and exhausting journeys, congestion and delays at the checkpoints, difficulties in making ends meet, and probably also with the price their other children pay for family life that has floundered.
Still, usually traveling with them is not sad, and thanks to my (reasonable) command of Arabic, I enjoy having conversations with the mothers. I learned something about the lives of Palestinians in Jordan (many of them are poor) and in the United States (afraid of assimilation . . .), how to make cookies from mamul and other holiday treats (there is no chance that I will try myself), what is the significance of names such as Ritaj (the door to the Kaaba in Mecca!) And Louie (mother of pearl), why Islam disapproves of birthday celebrations (this is a modern Western “innovation”), and how expensive it is to get a work permit in Israel (middlemen make nice profits) and what is the state of the corona in the West Bank (worst in the Hebron area).
During this period of Corona, with masks and wind whistling through the open windows, we are mostly silent, unfortunately.