What? The beach? I love it, I love swimming and skiing. Oh, that’s wonderful!!!
The hell!! What wonderful is in that? Why in God’s sake is everything bound to gloom with me? Should I blame myself for not being one of the “chosen people” to enjoy the bright and joyful side of life? But I am a damn hellish Palestinian!!
I can’t believe why I feel so sad when I remember the beach. Why should the beach be part of my gloomy history? A childish Bedouin boy trying to be normal in this damn “holy” land!
That was a long time ago, not really a child at this time but a kind of a working teenager (later on, I had to translate a draft law and found out that – the hell!! – I shouldn’t have been working like a bull at such an early age.) But who would have cared? And what law we are bound to? I never was really a child. I was born a man to endure all that hell of life!
I was a working-child of 15, a child that was smiling at the occupiers face and worked heartedly like a bull. Ages ago, when we were still sleeping before any intifada or uprising would wake us from our dream. “Shalom Boss!!” the child used to say to his recruiter, such a human hard-worker Jew, crushed too by this tough life. He was a simple sweet man, he treated me as a child, never yelled, and I was a smart child-worker.
Shimon!! Do you still remember me? I am that little bedouin “helper” from ages ago. Dear Shimon, I still remember your deep-hearted smile, just like me, a little childish smile! Shimon, I am not mad at you at all, we worked together like you were my elder brother. I remember all this so fresh and clear, we toiled like horses both crushed to death to serve our bosses!!
One morning as I arrived (on time, as usual, although I had to walk a long winding road in the bushes to reach work), I saw that Shimon was there waiting. He looked sad and a bit angry. As I approached I heard him mumble: “Son of a b*tch, he didn’t bring the materials.” That meant we had no work that day. “So what, Shimon! The hell with him, that son of a b*tch! If there are no materials what can we do?” – He walked around thinking, mumbling again something I didn’t hear, he looked sad, probably he had nothing at home and felt bad. Then he turned and said: “I don’t know Sami but there is no work today.” ‘So what!’ I thought, it will be great to have a day off!! … (The f*ck!! A child should have all his days off!!) And he left walking home silently.
Oh, great!! The beach!! I could go to the beach and have a lovely day there!!!
I walked joyfully along the street heading to the beach! A day off! What a lovely day!! I went down the cliffs to step onto the lovely glistening yellowish sand, just like that of the desert, fresh and clean, and was happily smiling for the lovely scene of the long beach. I came closer to the lingering waves. I touched the fresh water and the heavy smell of the sea filled my nose deep to wash my soul. A great sunny day for swimming!!
“Hey! What are you doing here?” a hoarse voice of a man in his 40s shouted at me. “Come over here!” he ordered, and I had nothing to do but to walk frightened towards him. “What the hell are you doing here?” he asked. I explained to him that I worked nearby and had a day off and that I was just coming to swim, but he dragged me violently to the small caravan of the swimming rescue team. He pulled me inside and called his mate to come down from the rescue tower. I was frightened to death. He pulled a whip that was hidden inside there, probably for that purpose only, and came back. I started crying, me, the little child- worker, and the other man came in.
They were having their regular, sadistic parties away from the sight of the (Jewish) swimmers!! They didn’t want to hurt the feelings of their fellow Jews by seeing their party of whipping an Arab child!! They were so human to avoid other Jews the sight of a sadistic whipping!!! Damn! Why in God’s sake do I remember the beach? Such a lovely beach of “israel”!!!
I was tied, whipped, (out of sight) screaming, crying, and two men of 40s yelling at me not to raise my voice!! So human not to hurt the soft feelings of the other Jews!!
Those two brave men gave me a lesson that I would never forget: Don’t come to OUR beach again!! – I went home weeping, limping and bleeding alone!!!
What a lovely sunny beach for a day off! !!
Sami, the bedouin.
PS: My very granddad, the father of my mom, had had vineyards directly by the beach before the zionists ethnically cleansed our tribe and stole our land in 1948.