Fawzia Kamel

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Valerie: OK, so same thing. With the beginning if she could introduce herself. Her name, how old she is, what grade she's in... these kind of things.

Translator: Tell us about yourself. What's your name?

Fawzia: Fawzia Kamel

T: Fawzia Kamel her name. [Arabic] Your age?

F: 10, fifth grade

[TL: Translator ignored from now on, except where significant]

V: Ask her what she'd like to be when she's older.


F: A doctor

V: A doctor? And a singer also?

T: Is that it?

F: No. I have two other ambitions: To be a journalist and a lawyer.

Jon: Like us.

V: Journalist and a doctor. Very good... [pause while apparently collecting thoughts] We were speaking with her yesterday about the tanks. Can you ask her if she's ever afraid of the tanks.

F: No.

V: And why is she not afraid?

F: They're just not scary.


V: Can you ask her why she thinks the tanks come into Jenin. What does she think that the tanks want from Palestinians. Why do they come into the... into the city?

F: It's not important to me. [/I don't care/who cares]

T: Come on, talk, it's not nice.

F: [They come] because of the resistance fighters who shoot, or else they want to take our land.

T: Oh yeah. [said as in "score.."]

V: She was telling us yesterday that her uncle [mother's brother] was in prison. Can she tell us about that?

F: Because he was with the resistance, and so he had a reckoning [/bill to pay / debt] [with the Israelis].


J: Ask her if she's seen a change in her classmates since the invasion of last year.

F: The girls now feel [/are aware of] nothing except the tanks and the resistance.

T [and mother?]: Fawzia.. talk more.

F: OH! Daddy! Also, about mother, Safad and my brother: it's true that I wasn't with them, but I could feel what they were feeling, and how they felt when they were in front of the tanks. They weren't afraid, but...

[T and mother are having a little discussion, which causes F to lose her train of thought. When T realizes she's stopped talking, he translates.]


T: ... and she added that she was very horrified when she learned that the Israeli tanks fired on the car which was in her mother and her sister and brother.

J: What do the children talk about? When they talk, what do they say?

T: [What do the girls say in class about Israeli tanks, the Israelis and the resistance?]

F: I don't understand... Oh, that they're not scary and... Daddy, I'm not going to answer you about this question.

T & mother: Why?

F [uncomfortable]: uhh.. because...

T: talk.

M: [garbled ...] loves the resistance? [Could be "who loves the resistance?" or "tell them that you love the resistance"]

F: umm.. that they feel... umm... true, with the others... and with those who are older... and that there are tanks... and that there isn't... yeah.


T: She says that her colleagues in the classmate are sharing the grants with their afraids about the situation, yeah. And she says that the girls are not afraid from the Israelis. This is an essential matter she stressed on.

V: She thinks the girls are not afraid, but the boys are afraid?

F: The boys or the girls?

T: the boys, not the girls.

F: The boys who when they're in preschool go out and throw stones [at tanks]... What's left? This is an indication that they're not afraid.

V: Can she describe to us what she remembers of the invasion last year? How does she remember it in her own eyes?


F: This is the question I want to answer, and have been waiting for.

T: Then answer it.

F: The people of the refugee camp were doing the right thing when they were resisting - that they were shooting - and it's good that they were struggling for the camp, and that the people of the camp, even the young among them, didn't become afraid, even after their homes were demolished.. even when they were being chased [by the Israelis], they were not afraid. Of course it is said that the people of the refugee camp would make you proud.


V: Is there anything more she would like to say about that? Where she was during it? or how she felt when it happened? or..

F: Yeah, I want to talk about the people of Iraq.

T [shocked]: What of Iraq?

F: That the people of Iraq, when they were bombed by the Israeli, it's true that Saddam didn't surrender, but of course he's not going to surrender, and every day, several people are killed in Iraq.

[mother laughs]

[Translator tries to make it work]

Mother: Tell them how the lives of kids are all tied up in war, and there's no...

V: Can you ask her, in her opinion, what's the best things about living in Jenin, and the worst things?

T: [Could you say what the best thing in Jenin is, and the worst thing?]

F: The best thing is when the young men sit out here. This is wrong...


T [interrupts]: The best thing.. the *best* thing.. What is the *best thing? For example visiting your family, or going and coming in Jenin... Some nice night trip?

M: You know, stuff like that.

F: There's nothing.

T: Ok, and the worst?

M: Everything.

F: Everything!

F: Oh, and then, the boys and the girls also. They have been born just like that. Look at Mohammed... Since he was born, all he's known is tanks.

M: It's true.. yes.


F: Every boy and girl also thanks their father and mother for how they were raised. Our parents taught us the spirit of struggle and about...

T: She is addressing an audience

V: Perfect!

T: Talented aurator. She highly appreciate you because you come here to see what is the palestinian people are suffering. And she thank her mother and father because they educated her to love the homeland.

J: OK. Tell her if everything is so bad about Jenin, how come she is always so happy?

T: [What makes you happy in Jenin if everything is bad around you?]

F: Nothing redeems it.

J: But what makes her smile so much?

M: Tell him "I love life, but it's not [garbled]

J: She could have fooled us. It seems that she thinks many things are happy.

F: Look. When the [Israelis] take my homeland, what is left to life? It used to be that I would go swimming or go out. But now, what is left to life?

T: [She swam from 8 - 5 in the pool back in the day]

V: She said that she's not afraid of the tanks when they come in through the city. Could you ask her if there's anything at all that she's afraid of.

F: No.

T: Not a thing?

F: I'm only afraid of dogs.

T: and ghosts?

F: I don't see them.

V: Can you ask her what her dreams are. If the future could be anything she wanted, how would it be?


F: I would want a life... [interrupted] ... enough ... that it would be a happy life, and that I fulfil my dream to be a journalist, a doctor and a lawyer.

[T mistranslates as one of the three, but is reminded by mother that it's all three. He forces a choice of one.]

F: A Doctor

J [hurt]: Not a journalist?

V: And ask her if she has hope for the future. If there will be peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis

F: There will be no peace between us and them, but we can still live. What kind of peace have we had? It's been rotten to the core. These [Israelis] for us are like ants.

T: No.. that's too much. [in English] She hopes that peace will come or prevail our region, but she express a... a wrong idea that the Jewish are nothing. But I do not accept her.

J: Ask her... she can say anything to a girl her age in Canada, what would she say? She can... tell her to speak to.. to be an aurator to the people of Canada.

V: She has a big audience.

T: ... What would you say to her?

F: "Howdy".


Uhh.. no... uhhh.. yeah.. daddy, I don't know.

T: Imagine if Val was a girl your age. What would you say to her?

F: OK, I'm gonna say this, but daddy is going to laugh at me. I want to say that they are living a happy life, but our life is... all war and tanks.

J: What else?

V: Anything else?

F: That they... I don't know...

J: We don't believe her. We think she is a genius. Tell her we think that.