East Jerusalem


Alarm, wake up. beepbeepbeep. My hand hits an unfamiliar bedside table, no alarm. My mobile phone. Groggy with not having slept properly in days, feels like weeks. But alert - the exhaustion of adrenaline pushing through my veins, coffee and wine dried on my lips. I can hardly remember what my own bed feels like. 

Just another day

Like if it is just another day, I arrive at the office in East Jerusalem. The a-Ram checkpoint was calm this morning after the demonstration of yesterday, ‘only’ about 45 cars were waiting to be checked. My identity was checked like every other pedestrian crossing the checkpoint on foot. 

When Malek Called

We have no bread; I need milk for my two month old baby; I need medicine because I have diabetes; I need medicine for my high blood pressure; I’m scared - I’m alone trapped in a restaurant in Ramallah and the Israeli snipers are on the rooftop of the building I’m in; I don’t know what to do - my children are scared; I’m a doctor - there are 38 apartments in the building I work in and the families here need bread, water, milk - I also need medicine to treat some of the people here. 

Deadly Rumours?

Rumours are flying again. The IDF told the ICRC and UNRWA that the military curfew would be lifted at 2pm. To allow people to leave their houses to pick up bread, water, food, medicines. A friend from the UN calls me with this information; Representative Offices in Ramallah has also been in touch with the IDF, confirming it. So is it true? Can people leave their houses without being shot? Can people get out of Ramallah? 

The phone line went dead

The phone line went dead. The land line. Cut. The battery on her mobile phone went dead hours ago; she hasn’t had electricity for two days. Before the lines cut we could tell her where the tanks are in Ramallah. Where they tanks were moving. Ask her how much food she had left, how long her supplies might last. She could call other people in Ramallah, and find out where the Israeli troops were. The loud noises, the shelling, how close is it? What has been hit? Where are they?