We met Ziad in the street where he was trying to decide how to best place the used “caravan” he’d bought on a piece of land by the side of the street. He planned to move all of his merchandise from the shop to the caravan because he could no longer afford to pay rent for the shop. Ziad says:

For two years now I have had my shop, before this one I had another shop on the other side of Eizarya. I have been working in here in Eizarya for thirty years, my first store was near the Kubsa entrance, then I moved here. I am indebted to the owner of my store 5000NIS, there is no work, the merchandise I have is worth 20,000NIS and I do not know what to do with it. I have not paid the rent on my house for 7 months. I have an agreement with the owner of the shop that I will leave it, and move all my merchandise to this caravan, the owner of this piece of land, where I will put the ‘caravan’ said he would rent it to me for 1400 Jordanian Dinars (JDs) per year, but now he’s changed his mind, and says he will need 2000 JDs. He says the caravan takes up more space than we agreed, Maybe if I situate it another way the price will be less! We don’t know how to live anymore, I have three sons, and the eldest is in prison. the Occupation forces are demanding that he be sentenced for twenty years, my eldest daughter works, but I still have to support the others, I have an 11 months old baby.

In the eighties I had 37 workers in my bamboo shop, during the last few years things haven become worse than anyonbe could imagine. What could make customers travel 30 kms and risk an expensive fine by the Occupation police stationed on the bypass road who are ready to give fines for Palestinians for any number of reasons or for no reason whatsoever?, I feel sometimes that they will start making us pay fines for what we wear or even just because we are Arabs. I do not know what I will do with my store, I have to leave it, in the end I may just throw my goods on the street and sell every thing I have. Even when I do sell something, I don’t know what to do with the few shekels I’ve made, get my baby’s needs, pay some of the debts…

Originally I’m from Gaza, I have been living here for more than thirty years; I have not seen my mother for twelve years, and last year my father died, and I wasn't able to see him.



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