Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Threat

Having lived in the Middle East on and off for the last 5 years, I'd like to think I've become accustomed to most unusual occurrences. Especially the more one travels, the more bizarre you see.

Tonight however, was different. Some friends and I went to the Western Wall to see the end of Shabbat, said our prayers while touching the wall and went to eat dinner at a little hole in the wall restaurant in East Jerusalem. We had chicken kebabs and practiced our Palestinian dialect of Arabic. While hopping back on the train to get home for the night, an older man approached us asking for money to buy him a ticket. We politely told him no, but he continued for about five minutes. After saying no politely for the first 4, I had it. I simply said, no, yet firmly. He became quiet, looked at me and said (in English!), "you are a bad person. I would want to shoot you in your head. If I ever find you alone, I will hurt you." My friend Rachel went off on the guy, bravely defending my honor, while onlookers watched in awe. Mind you, he was about 60 and clearly not right in the head. Still, death threats aren't exactly welcome, nor do they give you peace of mind wandering about a city you generally feel comfortable in.

This, is no way, reflects the reality of the life I live here. This is the first time in 5 years I have had anyone threaten my life, crazy or sane. I usually feel quite at ease in the Middle East, especially in Israel and am comfortable enough to walk alone at night. I wasn't quite sure why I wanted to share this story with my blogosphere. When I finished writing it, I considered deleting it. I don't want to scare people, nor encourage the stereotype that the Middle East is more dangerous than anywhere else in the world. I wrote this blog because my blog reflects my life. The reality. How I live it, what I experience. And this particular experience frightened me. Life, no matter the location, is full of ups and downs. The fact that I experience both is merely a reflection of living life fully.

Tonight, I was scared. But less than an hour earlier, I had prayed at the Western Wall. I had prayed for world peace, and a little more love in this world. Guess we all have a long way to go.

In other news, I went to an amazing Bat-Mitzvah on Thursday. News and pictures to come on that next...

1 comment:

  1. So glad you're safe. It's entirely true, that could happen anywhere and in no way makes the country you're in worse than the country I'm in. Keep taking good care of yourself! :)


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