Mustafa Alami lives in the Middle East like no one does. He opens the morning (better to write, the afternoon) withbreakfast in the restaurant’s precious “American Colony” Hotel in East Jerusalem. In the Huge buffet, he chooses tiramisu with tongs, then decide whether to go east to some disco or to open a pub in Amman or Ramallah. Maybe west: Tel Aviv, usually fish restaurant and a club or pub and Haoman 17 or Rothschild 12, where the waitresses walking twenties clothes mingle with depressing business aristocracy of Israel.
Achsahachatbah be known, it will be in Dubai for what he defines as “ping, entertainment, tanning.” We went around, Lee had long nights in Tel Aviv or Ramallah bars do rounds. Every time I in Jerusalem, I send him SMS, and if he did not detail one of the Gulf or the Montreal branch of the family company, we celebrate, with a growing entourage during the evening.
Playboys like there are many in Israel, young people who just want fun and dancing until the light throw up pieces of newspaper packages supermarkets. But it’s harder to Palestinians. Most Palestinians just trying survival. While there Beleinym Ramallah, but difficult for them to move freely. I happened to go to sea with the Palestinians were in tears of excitement, because they knew there was a possibility they would not see the sea all their lives.
No one can stop Alami, with his Jerusalem identity card spoiled London accent, the result of study in Britain. It may also smile, full of kindness and generosity. Hard not to fall in love with joy.
Even without talking about the specific differences in our bank account numbers, types I and Mustafa. I’m a Monk who can survive a whole evening on a warm soda. He will take Kelamary or alcohol will invite the most expensive, and ensure that everyone around him arranged. He of course will not let me pay for anything.
Once, one of my pastimes East Jerusalem, I managed to convince a friend Likudnik scared of Arabs, without telling him we turned east. He immediately fell in love with his good temperament. Let’s say Sachsliberman says he speaks Arabic, he does not speak the language of the Alami: a sober person, who wants to live in peace with the Israelis and even pleasure around, just give him his country and he will do here the best party in town.
First stop: a cocktail at the British Council in East Jerusalem
British Council stands a few dozen steps from the garden and plucked where demonstrations left Sheikh Jarrah five hours earlier. It’s a huge castle, surrounded by barbed wire. This is a formal event and I had to send SMS your name and my passport. When I arrived, I was glad to see that my name appears next to the Italian attache.
The barbed wire, the atmosphere is of a class party, only without the songs of Subliminal, but a mixture of pop hits since the beginning Hapstiz Arab. Bartenders, dressed in kaffiyehs British cadets ridiculous, selling drinks with a bad taste comic names like ‘whore three dollars, calmed my fear of creating a diplomatic crisis. Fifty fifty participants are Arab and Palestinian diplomats yuppie geraniums add atmosphere around us smug Sakha. German diplomat junior who had just arrived to the area I heard an Israeli reporter, asks me a summary of the situation in the Middle East in a row – two.
I am with my yellow pad is too large, standing at the empty swimming pool, waiting for Mustafa, an hour late, is of course a previous party. Although only nine-thirty. When he arrives, turns out he knew the half of those present. Kissing all the girls. Second after his arrival, belly dancer costs purple clothes. Mustafa whispers to me that she must be an Israeli, that the conservative Palestinian society is almost no Palestinian belly dancers.
Mustafa speaks of love: “My first girlfriend was Jewish. We met when she was 17. We went three months, until I moved to learn. She visited us in Ramallah. My mother loved her very much. Now she’s back to back, married with children, but for me, love will remain first.
I dance a little, at some point doing the wrong step Hookah accidentally breaks one of the Germans Haoureintlastem. It’s time to escape the next stop.
Station 2: Beer Ahbordre Lane, East Jerusalem
Ahbordre Lane is one of the secret places in Jerusalem. Dance is one – bars and hot in the city, but most Ahbeleinym the West have never heard of him, that is managed by East Palestinians. It seems that only I the Haloks of the city was reunited.
It’s Pub – a relatively large restaurant and quite luxurious. Inside, you can dance to the Lebanese pop fashion. Outside, you can eat good food and breathe the air smells wonderful Harvey Flowers probably did not grow up in Gush Dan. The only thing reminiscent of the conflict is the name of the pub and the existence of many people without legs. I hope this is not related to something that Israel had done, but fear it is so. I hate to ask a question like the good atmosphere, everyone was happy, and missing lame sitting on a stool – Bar rocking the crutches with joy.
– Achbelein professional, how do you compare between Tel Aviv and the United Arab?
“Tel Aviv is more fun style. Dubai or Amman and more shiny. I really like the Tel Aviv. Is a bubble Beautiful Boxer. You forget yourself, your identity there, you forget you’re different from other Israelis. Incidentally, I met Dana Aenternsnel whiskey A – gugu Vahctlmanu together. Once, Tel Aviv was the number one city in the region, along with Beirut. But Amman also becomes a central city nightlife. serious a night that includes a good restaurant in Jordan Joy Club. Islands. According to exceed NIS 800 per night. Dubai can reach 400 dollars a night club good. ”
– I notice you always wear brands.
I love design. My favorite brand is Dolce & Gabbana. I started with affection when I had the designer clothing company with a taste and she taught me.
– How are you so poor environment, go with the Prada sunglasses?
I’m not showing off. I wear it for me. I like to look good and buy the clothes mostly in London or Italy. I do not buy to gouge eyes, but because it makes me feel good.Other rich buyers racing cars. It seems silly dusty country like ours.
Ahbordre Lane is where I met Mustafa first year and a half ago. This of course started talking to me or my girlfriend started then. Who remembers. He was delighted to see an Israeli visitor to the Palestinian areas quickly and we became friends. Mustafa rushing from table to table friendly with everyone, until he settles on a beautiful black-haired flirt. They occupy the square, and slowly becoming the only couple on the floor. It is not resting.
An hour later, I’m Chris, his cousin, who tells me that even as a child was very fond of girls, just trying to pull him to move on. But he continues to dance, it appears totally in love. Eventually, he takes phone and sailing away. “When peace,” says Mustafa. “I’d love to take to my Israeli friends in Beirut, after a breakfast at Tel Aviv Eilat day later. It’s my dream. But that after the Palestinian problem is solved. A lot of Israelis want this but are afraid. And Palestinians. Easier to be afraid and easy to control through fear” .
– Maybe instead of politicians, should Sbeleinym conduct the countries.
Yes, parties put down the walls you forget your troubles for a short time. I do not call the Israelis as an enemy.
– Will tell you not a patriot.
I am a patriot. My family helps charity, we built hospitals. Patriotism is not just holding a gun. People with you say we want to throw the Israelis into the sea. Although Palestinian do not want it. That being said 60 years ago. With peace, with Israeli technology and the young age of the people in the Middle East can create a paradise here for Jewish – Arab.
We drive the car of Mustafa hear terrible music. He once heard the hit song all day “like girls”, and now he is making me more Hebrew Dance Collection Volume Shocking Fall.
Station 3: toy, West Jerusalem
The photographer Atta complains that usually do not bring it to places west of the city.Toy pub full of local newspapers this week just chose him as number one in my life tonight. Mustafa fought to put us in front of Dorman’s frozen face cool, and finally went and embracing her.
At the entrance, Adi Talmor owner, says he really likes the Alami: “Mustafa is very old here, he knows to spend money. We have a lot of the good guys from East Jerusalem. People who know how to drink and dress.”
“I love the toy because they do not let me feel as good because I am an Arab. There is no racism in general, than Alami.
– There are places that put you because you’re an Arab?
“In places like this that I speak English.” Mustafa laughter number of cases of identity tourist walking alongside racist things said Israeli threats against Arabs, and burst out laughing.
The whole club full of toy plunging the narrow size of Greece, it seems as if the girls here are analyzed 16 Breast, and many men. Ramallah has become a cliche is vibrant, but also a passionate rant Jerusalem since no attacks. I suddenly discovers Mustafa standing at the bar trying to dance with two girls dancing like lesbians. But the other guy is too, and it remains far from them. His typical dance reminds injection Basso. And when he dances – all love. Somehow, I’m starting to get tired. It is half past two. It seems that Mustafa has just begun to dance. Mustafa I download the bar, shaking his hand and continues.
Station 4: Old City, Jerusalem
The next day, one o’clock at noon. Mustafa stood up slowly. He had shoes with a suit, glasses and Prada. We’re going Lsitadl, the hotel’s ancient city cousin Chris. Sitting on his roof, watching the Temple Mount.
Alami family is an ancient and respectable family. Already 600 years in East Jerusalem. They always were a family of peace. Musa Alami, Palestinian leader heads of families, spoke with Jews and fought to the partition plan accepted by the Palestinians. Cigarettes into the family business, now Mustafa trying to expand the project to other fields as well as other cleaning products. Mustafa: “Musa Alami had seen a vision of two states, what the whole world can see today, even 60 years ago. He said, Let’s sit down with the Jews. They will stop here. All is not appreciated in Israel. If we would listen to him, had saved the life of so many people. But then the situation was different, thought Jews would leave. which was a mistake. But you have to get used to our existence. Jerusalem is clear discrimination. We pay the same taxes, but we can not build, our bad roads. I want to have two states and build bridges between them. Occupation is destroying the value of your beautiful Israelis and Jews. ”
“I connected with the Israelis when I was in London,” he says. “I lived with a partner in an apartment. We both liked hummus and loved this beautiful country. I thought it was stupid Sachsngesoar country, did not stay friends. Palestinians want peace as you are, but also want to be treated as equals. Without barriers or settlers abusing his son. I think there’s just a lack of familiarity between the parties. I once asked in class, some were in Ramallah, Israeli and Palestinians really see? were only two, and they were there as soldiers. ”
– What would be another 20 years?
“If a Palestinian state, it will be one state in 50 years. This country will be another country, do not know which country, but certainly not Jewish.”
– What’s your crazy best tonight?
Two years ago, we were at the beach Herzliya in the morning. We played volleyball all the sea. We met there, and Israeli friends, both Palestinian and international and many. The day was very beautiful, there were no barriers between us, then in the evening we all dance.
– It does not sound crazy.
It’s pretty crazy.
– The peace in Israel are bad comments. How is Palestine?
“People do not understand – you normalize relations with Israel after what they do to us? Although the wall and the occupation? I tell if I have the ability to contact one Israeli will not be another generation to live on hatred then it is worth. It’s a way to send a message that the Arabs are not terrorists but people with dreams and goals, never gave them a state. in England I learned about the Holocaust and antisemitism, and understand completely what the Jews want a state sure, but I also understand that the Palestinians want to live in security ”
– Do you maybe you could close a deal with Bibi, but he would say that you do not represent anyone.
The Israelis are always looking for excuses. They said Arafat did not represent a problem, and Abu Mazen is weak. Look what Salam Fayyad has done. There are many like me. What do they want the Palestinians? Freedom, welfare and stability.
– You were talking to a settler?
I have no problem talking with anyone. All human beings. But I have a problem talking with someone showing me a shorter, a servant.
Station 5: Acorn bands night, Ramallah
After the bars and cafes around Ramallah, the Palestinian meal in the superb “Darren,” We go to Shadow digging. ” Instead, the Arab bands night taking place.Rising bands like “Enough”, you can set Achzi. Z Top of Ramallah, a kind of sleep – Lite. Tell Anafr, rapper from Lod, a political rap bomber. Mona, a Britney Spears of Haifa, breaking hearts. And more. Good atmosphere. Place is full of young people totally happy. Funny nice cultural visit is an offense. Has a military order prohibiting me as an Israeli to go out in the islands. If caught at the exit, I’ll be trouble. Grounds of the Order are perhaps security, but they certainly do not contribute to the rapprochement between peoples, stuck to each other and sentenced to be next to each other. To me, the fact that dancing is illegal to spend rather adds interest.
I see the Mustafa dancing, thinking but not yet optimistic conditions Playboy. Mustafa Paris Hilton is under occupation. Every second all around him could collapse. With all his Prada, he lives under occupation. It feels I’m young Israeli who was born in an independent state, do not know, really hard for me to absorb. After he spends with Israelis, he can get into a humiliating checkpoints, which are by nature often of his family.
Chris Alami described the checkpoint as a humiliating feeling a sense of who went to audition, he was not going to. ” Mustafa especially angry about the Wall. Reasons are practical. Is irritating him, that “because of the wall, instead of five minutes it takes me 40 minutes to get to work every morning. It’s going to be worse because the road to Ma’ale Adumim will be for Jews only. Because of the closure on Gaza, 40 percent of revenues of the enterprise of our cigarette disappeared in one night” .
– What smoke there now?
See the canals of cigarettes and international companies like Philip Morris,. They take advantage of the situation. We had to give up because of the closure 45 are working.It broke my father’s heart to fire people who work sometimes for decades.
– You do not smoke.
“Smoking is a personal matter”
– The fact that you make a living from something that causes cancer does not bother you?
“We do not make people smoke, but to provide the need of people who want to smoke. We for example do not advertise.”
– You try to sell cigarettes to Israel.
We’re businessmen. Palestinians and Israelis recognized, we have a plan to export to Israel. It’s a natural market with great purchasing power. We have office in Ra’anana and we Israeli employers. My vision, Jews and Arabs working together in one company, prosperity on both sides, an open market and are an example of the Middle East.
(Published two weeks ago in Yediot Aharonot)