Tuesday, October 20, 2009

At Zamn Café

So I'm sitting at this café close to where I live, and two guys walk in to order coffee to go. Being slightly naive, or maybe very unobservant, I see nothing special with them until my friend Tarek goes:

"They're from the American Embassy."

I go: "Okay." Yes, I could tell they were foreigners.

He goes: "You see they're wearing bullet proof vests?"

I look in their direction and go: "What?! Are you kidding me?!"

But he's not. They are actually wearing bullet proof vests under their shirts. In a coffee shop in Ramallah.

Tarek goes: "As if this was Afghanistan."

I get my camera and pretend to take a picture of Tarek, and here they are:



Seriously. I'm the first person to say that people don't understand what it's actually like to live under Israeli occupation--I'm the first person to tell people about the checkpoints, the random interrogations, the midnight arrests, the detentions, the house demolitions, the beatings, the confinement, the restrictions, the Jewish-settler-only roads, the massacres. But it's not war here. Bullets don't fly through the air on a normal day in Ramallah.

Look: I walk around with my normal clothes, I sit at cafés, I hang out with friends, I go for a run in the olive tree field, I take walks through Ramallah, I take pictures of Stars & Bucks (haha) and I'm completely cool. The only reason you'd ever have to wear a bullet proof vest here is if you're participating in demonstrations against Israeli occupation policies. Because then you risk being shot by the Israeli military with rubber-coated bullets (that might or might not kill you, like regular bullets).

Of course. I don't participate in such demonstrations. And I find it difficult to believe that employees at the US Embassy do.

3 comments:

Uma said...

lol I used to hang out a lot with the people from the US embassy though, when I was in J'lem or Ramallah.. They aren't that bad and I think most of them have quite a good understanding of the situation.. Those people may just carry on their security duties for something special. I mean, I actually also know some security guys from the US embassy there, and from time to time they do wear vasts.. but most likely they have a special reason for that.. :)

and btw, you are definitely not the only one who tell people what's happening there :)

Ruby said...

Hehe I never said they're bad. Just a little overly concerned about security issues. But I'm sure it's an insurance thing as well.

And also, I never said that I am the only one to tell people what's happening here, because such a claim would be absurd. :)

Anonymous said...

Star & Bucks - I love it!