Qalandiya: If he was a free man he would not sell vegetables at the checkpoint

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Tamar Fleishman; Translator: Tal H.

Of all the people I met near and opposite the refugee camp, I chose to tell about my meeting with Raed.

Time and again I leave meetings with him moved by his personality and broken hearted by his fate.

Like many of the Palestinians bowed by the cruel Israeli occupation, Raed too hardly makes a living for his family.

With his wisdom and knowledge, had he been born free he would no doubt find his place in an academic institution, contribute to his society and provide his family and himself with a respectable life.

Reality, however, has pushed him to the margins, and he lives as an occasional vender, with the help of two of his four sons.

The plenty in this fruit stand should not mislead you – when Raed’s home closes at night, it is still ruled by poverty and the fear of invasion and arrest.