Hizma, Qalandiya

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Vivi Suri, Tamar Fleishman; Translator: Charles K.

Qalandiya, Hizma


Samira, from Jenin, is six and has been handicapped since birth.



She knows only two words, but that doesn’t prevent her from talking constantly even though no one, including her mother, understands her or what she means.  But her smile speaks for itself and shows she means well.


Samira’s younger sister has also been handicapped from birth.  Her sister can’t walk or stand and is very, very quiet.  Too quiet.


Samira and her sister left home this morning with their mother and an aunt and an awkward child’s stroller and a few heavy bags, heading toward the Al-Amira Basama Center on the Mount of Olives, which treats children with special needs and their parents.  They have an appointment for three weeks of treatment:




It isn’t easy to travel from Jenin to Qalandiya with two handicapped children, but going through the checkpoint was almost impossible.  Holding the children, carrying the bags, folding the stroller and sliding it through the bars of the turnstile requires more than the mother’s and aunt’s four hands.


And at the checkpoint, after the stroller had been folded and pushed through and reopened and they all stood at lane number 1 and almost, almost…the lane closed and number 4 opened instead.  And again they stood on line, and folded the stroller, and dragged the bags, and shoved the stroller through the bars, and when they all stood facing the soldier who conducted the inspection and ensured that the documents and the permits are valid and signed, he declared:  “You can go through here, the stroller has to go through lane number 1” (which had reopened).


Why?  Because only the scanner at lane 1 is large enough for the stroller.


And the strolled was again opened and rolled to lane number 1, and again was folded, and lay on the conveyor belt that was large enough to hold it, and travelled through to the other side, and was opened again, and rolled along the corridor, and was again folded and pushed through the bars of the final turnstile and was then opened and exited, and lo, has reached Jerusalem.


Last week a pipe bomb exploded on Highway 60, near the entrance to