'Atara, Qalandiya, Sun 6.11.11, Afternoon
Translator: Charles K.
Eid al-Adha, the festival of the sacrifice. The tradition on the first evening of the holiday is to visit daughters who married and, according to custom, moved to live with their husband’s family.
Large numbers of people, almost all of them men, massed at the checkpoint. We couldn’t see the end of the line of vehicles stretching along the road from Ramallah to the checkpoint.
Most shops were closed for the holiday. Only the little peddlers have no holiday or vacation. They wretchedly continued their efforts to sell their meager offerings to anyone who happened to come by, as they do all year long.
Yazn (in the photo with Jibril), the tiniest of all, a boy who never smiles, whose face is marked by illness or by the scars of fists – that Yazn, who up to now has held back and avoided contact with us, perhaps now, when his father, who’s been in jail for a week, no longer inspired fear, stopped and whispered, eyes bleak and voice hushed, not flinching from a touch or caress, when asked, “Are you doing anything on the holiday?,” replied: “I’m working…”
It must have been the cold west wind that kept the soldiers huddled in the tower rather than coming down as they usually do – to ask/rebuke/yell/threaten.
Only one head appeared suddenly from the window, photographing us photographing him.
Palestinians driving by waved hello, calling out greetings. None dare stop within range of the checkpoint. They know why, know what they’re afraid of.