18 January 2014
A Russian, an Ethiopian, and an Arab at the doctor’s
Sitting at the doctor’s office, waiting for my turn, reading a book.
An older lady sits next to me.
An Ethiopian young woman walks past.
The older lady watches her, and as the Ethiopian woman disappears around the corner, the older lady leans in towards me, and says, in a heavy Russian accent and a broken Hebrew: “That in not Jew. That – black. She no belong here. She belong Africa. How Jew and black?”
I look up from my book, trying to think of what to reply to this, but my brain doesn’t find the words. I go back to my book.
A few minutes later, the older lady again leans towards me, this time whispering: “You like Arabs?”
I look at her, put on my best smile, and reply sweetly: “I am an Arab.”
The first shock registered on the lady as her body involuntarily jerks back from me, to keep a safe distance. She quickly composes herself, and proclaims: “Me have many Arabs in my building. Good people. Very nice. Me like Arabs.”
I just smile at her, and go back to reading. The lady keeps her distance. A few minutes pass. The nurse calls my name. I get up, walk past the lady, then stop, turn around, look at her, and again in my sweetest voice and a smile, I say, “I’m a Palestinian.”
I wait just enough to see the horror on the lady’s face before turning around and walking into the doctor’s office.
- khulud خلود