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The Impact of the Conflict on Daily Life

The Land Mark

Samia Khoury
September 4, 2007

"No Street names or street numbers" is something that amazes foreign guests in our area. How does one tell the taxi driver to get anywhere? Well you almost have to write an essay as you describe theway; the first entrance after the supermarket, and then the left turnafter the traffic light. No, do not take the first one; the second one, just before the check point. No, you do not pass the checkpoint. etc. etc.

At the entrance of the road that leads to our house in Beit Hanina,there is a check point that has been implanted out of no where and for no good reason at all. Not that any of them have a reason to bethere, but that one is within the Jerusalem area, and our roadeither takes you south to Jerusalem or north to Ramallah where theinfamous Kalandia check point is in control.

We had house guests lately from England, and to them the sign showingthat there is a check point ahead was the landmark to turn to the roadthat leads to our house. Ironically however, when they rented a car to go to the Galilee for a couple of nights, the checkpoint wasremoved, in the same mysterious way that it was put up. So when ourguests came back they lost their landmark, and almost missed the turn.

Thanks to the Church at the corner of the street, another landmark that I had told them about when they were trying to find their way.It reminded me of the story in our Arabic reading book in school abouta fellow who hid his treasure in the field. He went to look for it,and could not find it. And his friend asked him if he had marked thearea. He said that there was a cloud above it. Indeed that checkpoint is like a February cloud that appears out of no where, andsimply blocks the very much desired sunshine at that time. Now the check point is back again, so our guests will not get lost.

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Videos & Multimedia

Amnesty International Video:
Dina Goor, Yesh Din

Video – Soldiers Force a Palestinian to Play Violin at Roadblock

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Additional Resources

A Book Uncensored: Checkpoint Syndrome

B’Tselem Report – Restrictions on Movement

Palestine Monitor – Curfews and Checkpoints

Amnesty International – Surviving Under Siege


Machsom (Checkpoint) Watch

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