Ar-Ram, Qalandiya, Sun 10.5.09, Afternoon

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(Guests (on Sunday): Martha from Austria and Siegrid from Switzerland. Rony I., and Tamar F., (reporting and taking photos

Qalandiya Checkpoint: 15:30 (on Sunday): Three lanes were open. The soldier sitting in the inspection post where we pasted, had nuts in one hand and was signaling people to pass with the other. Waiting

At the vehicle post an ambulance from Mokased was waiting for the arrival of a babyinfo-icon who was born in a premature labor in Ramala that very day. He weighed 2 kilos and was suffering from a heart problem. After 15 minutes the ambulance arrived from the other side of the checkpoint, with the baby and his father. The baby was in a glass box (incubator) that protected him from the wind.

The separation between a mother from her new born child- This is the "Humanitarian" trade marks for the occupation?  

In the mean while another ambulance arrived with a man who had been staying at "Sheari Tzedek" hospital after he suffering from a stroke. He was now being transfered back to his family at the West Bank. They waited 25 minutes for the arrival for the Palestinian ambulance. A strong and cold wind was blowing the whole time.

This is how they transfer sick people in the "back to back" routine: While moving them from one ambulance to another they expose the patients publicly when they are at their weakest, they privacy is not a factor, they do this under all weather conditions and in an unhygienic environment. 

Anything can be done in the name of "security".   

One of the ambulance drivers asked me: "when will the Christians' Rabbi arrive?" And said that since the ambulance station was closer to the place where the pope was to stay, he was worried that there will be disturbance in there work routine.  

Our guest (from Switzerland), who had only been in Israel once before, seven years ago, summed it all up and said: "I have a feeling that the country is bleeding". 

The world longest graffiti writing- the separation wall at Ar-Ram 

Ever since the wall had been under constructions we had been documenting the graffiti paintings on it.

About a month ago we had first come across the beginning of an inscription on the upper part of the wall at Ar-Ram. We returned to see what had become of it and tried to find out who was writing it.

Linda (a German journalist and writer) helped us resolve the mystery by connecting us with the activists that were painting it.

We learned that what had started out as a business opportunity for a group of Palestinians and Dutch, had materialized under an ideological principle and turned out to be an expression of the protest against the occupation.  

Farid E. from South Africa, a friend of Nelson Mandela, that had been to Israel and Palestine several times, was the one to come up with the text, that is composed of over 2000 words and is two km long: it starts at the gate that separates Ar-Ram from Dahiat El Darid, and ends at the military vehicle passage at Qalandia checkpoint.

There is no precedent for such a long inscription. The activists are trying to find out whether they can enter the Guinness Book of Records. This group of activists include young Palestinians and people for other countries, they are a group of interesting and enthusiastic people.  

We were lucky enough to meet them a day  before they finished their project, and document it.

We arrived again on the next day (Monday the 11th), and witnessed the writing of the last sentences on the wall. We also took part of their closing ceremony, during which the secretary of the Palestinian government held a speech.

The Palestinian members of the group are full for creative ideas, and wish to keep in contact.  

Fares (who is leader of the group) told us that they were planning to hold another project that has to do with the wall. The plan to hang piece of cloth which will be about half a kilometer long, and artists from all around the world will be invited to paint on it.

They had yet to decide what will become of those drawings.

We promised them (and they us) to keep in touch.  

We highly recommend you to make a diversion from the main road and enter Ar-Ram to look at this most impressive work.  

We felt it was important to document this project, as we know that the paintings on the wall don't usually remain untouched for very long.