30:07:2014 Shalom TelAviv

Arrived safe and well. Was dreading re infamous grilling upon arrival…. Instead I got handed a complimentary chocolate and a bookmark.
3 questions a smile and welcome to Israel.
Ben Gurion is a beautiful airport you wouldn’t think it’s a stone throw away from a place that is being beamed across the world as being demolished to dust.
As you step out the warm air greets you like welcome home let us make you one of us….
We start driving towards the one place so sacred to millions.
Apparently it used to be a direct road from Yaffa all they way here lined with Palestinian villages… Now there are less than a handful and they are not signposted.
All of a sudden we hit traffic jams at 22:30 pm … Has there been an accident? “No perhaps someone hit missiles or rockets” he replies casually.
Oh okay. I respond just as ‘it’s the norm”.
Flags …. Flags everywhere.., why though the World Cup is over I think to myself ….
So tired. Finally when I fall asleep amidst the street noises of cats fighting a cock crowing it feels you could be anywhere in the world.
Then a few hours later you hear it and you hear it loud and clear…
The AdhanAlQuds…. This is Jerusalem AlQuds.

Don’t go mummy

That was his message to me. Broke my heart. Yet I know he will soon run off to his bedroom kitted out with all the latest gear and be happy & safe in his world.
Xavier: one day I will ask you please don’t go and you will say I have to go.
I offered my salah before my cousin arrives for the drive down to London … I can feel it as I stand in front of him… Tears
I try to control it so the boys don’t realise …. I fail.
Quickly trying to disguise my anxiety I ask the eldest “go get the surprise gift for your brother.”
Trying to distract him from the fact I’m about to walk out of the front door.
Hani can’t decide whether to drive down with us to London or not..
I’m sure glad he did… I feel a sense of security and pride with my new home grown ‘Mahram’ and what a fine one he is indeed.