Safi - taxi driver


4:16 minutes
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In Naharia we tried to get a bus up to Rash Hanikra, an attraction with limestone caverns up on the Lebanese border. There was no bus up for a couple of hours.

Cousin Michael and I had our worse spat of the trip, and thinking back on it, I wonder what it was about. The bus station was full of young soldiers, in uniforms, with guns. Boys and girls waiting for a bus. "Just think," Michael said. "In a year, some of these kids might be dead." I said he was being maudlin, and he took offense at that. He stayed mad at me for the rest of the day.

I'm not sure why I felt I had to put down his sentiment; I'm not sure why it affected him so strongly. I think that being there among all those soldiers somehow brought the reality of conflict so close to us.

As did the conversation with Safi, the cabbie who took us to Rash Hanikra.


Transcription of video clip, as we approached Israel's northern border:

Safi: There shouldn't be borders. It should be open.

Peter: One day.

Safi: It will be too late. Too late. See this guy? (Takes newspaper off dash and points to one of the pictures of the victims of an attack in Hebron .) See my friend? We were in the same class.

Peter: He was killed in Hebron ?

Safi: In Hebron . This one.

Peter: Oh. I'm so sorry.

Safi: I am a Bedouin. Do you know what is a Bedouin?

Peter: Yes.

Safi: I am a Bedouin. He is a Bedouin.

Peter: I'm so sorry.

Safi: He left two small children.

Peter: Oh, no.

Safi: Yesterday, at the funeral, his sons told there mother, "Where's my father?" It's a very bad world. Very bad world.

Voices of Israel and Palestine

Copyright 2003-2009 Peter Rashkin. Material under other bylines is copyright by the authors. All rights reserved.