BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

24 September 2014
leicesterleicester

BBC Homepage
»BBC Local
Leicester
Things to do
People & Places
Nature
History
Religion & Ethics
Arts and Culture
BBC Introducing
TV & Radio

Sites near Leicester

Birmingham
Derby
Lincolnshire
Northampton
Nottingham

Related BBC Sites

England
 

Contact Us


July 2004
Diary of an artist in Bethlehem
A checkpoint scene by Paul Gent
Paul Gent takes a snapshot of what he sees whilst in Palestine.
Leicestershire artist Paul Gent is spending the summer in Palestine working with families whilst creating some stunning art - read his diary.
SEE ALSO
Sunday June 20
Monday June 21
Tuesday June 22
Wednesday June 23
Thursday June 24
Friday June 25
Monday 28 June

Tuesday 29 June

Thursday 01 July

Friday 02 July
Sunday 04 July

Monday 05 July

Tuesday 06 July

Wednesday 07 July

Thursday 08 July

Friday 09 July
Saturday 10 July

Sunday 11 July
Monday 12 July
Tuesday 13 July

Thursday 15 July

Friday 16 July
Saturday 17 July


World Service - Middle East

Take a 360° tour around Leicestershire
WEB LINKS
The Knesset
Palestinian National Authority
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.
FACTS

Paul Gent is an artist from Leicestershire who has travelled to Palestine to work with families and children

PRINT THIS PAGE
View a printable version of this page.
get in contact

Tuesday 06 July

Worked on the Ayda camp mural today. As usual everybody worked hard. Two of the American volunteers, Grace and Heidi came to help which was very useful as they occupied their time on detail and finishing touches to character - a feat that I have no time or patience for, especially when I have children following me like I'm the pied piper and repetitively asking to paint.

With the constant sound of the construction of the separation or 'Apartheid' wall, I can't help notice the parallel of the to wall.

I am hoping that our wall will be more appreciated by the Ayda camp community, but the young men and children are soon distracted and begin to taunt the Israeli army by the other wall.

A group of about 20 ran past me to avoid a gas bomb that unfortunately landed in a house during construction. About seven builders came out choking and were in the foulest of tempers, not so much with the Israeli soldiers who delivered the unwanted gift, but with the youth who ordered it.

They began hurling big rocks at the youths. Unfortunately for Nidal and I, and several children who were minding our own business with the mural, were in the firing range.

After quite a bit of chasing, mild physical and heavy verbal violence, the builders got back to their work, and we got back to ours. The taunting of the soldiers continued throughout the day until the whole community took to the streets to say: 'this is enough - you throw stones at the soldiers for one hour, two hours, three hours, fine! But all day and everyday! We are sick of the soldiers coming here and firing tear gas and percussion grenades, and what more…!'

Parents accused other children angrily and we went back to work. I left at about 8pm feeling good about the amount of work done. Three children from the camp decided to throw rocks at me as I headed towards the Jerusalem-Hebron Road, because I refused to give them 'one sheqal.' We exchanged expletives - theirs in a New York accent.

Evening: I needed the 'tent' tonight, to smoke Agila and drink cold draught beer. Richard, my American (Holy Land Trust) neighbour was there 'studying' Arabic. A Palestinian student noticed our 'Let's speak Arabic' books and sat down and joined us. (Most people prefer not to be named as they speak about how they feel, and I can't be bothered to invent names all the time)

He was studying in Switzerland, like many Palestinians who are privileged to study abroad as soon as they leave school.

"I come back to Bethlehem for the holidays and it is so boring here, all my friends study overseas, all I do is watch TV. Since Sept 11th, you just don't know how many people have left Palestine, to America, or Canada.

"Let me be honest with you, the Palestinians don't like America, but they need work and freedom and bread on the table. But we are not happy there, Palestinians are seen as terrorists, I have been called it many times and I say, "What is this!" There is 80% unemployment in Palestine.

"When you kill the people you kill the economy - that is the problem here. There are only two choices in Palestine - you fight or you leave.

"Fighting is great, but the Palestinian fighters are dying because Israel is too strong. The 'tent' is a good place, but in two years Har Homa settlement will reach all the way here. Next year I will go to America," he says.

Paul Gent

Jun
Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Sun
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
26
27
30
       

July
Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Sun
3
14
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
 
line
Top | Around Leicester Index | Home
Also in this section
Vote of the Day
Would you pay £50 towards
your child's education
?
vote
webcams Sense of place Student life

Contact Us
BBC Leicester
9 St Nicholas Place,
Leicester,
Leicestershire.
LE1 5LB

tel: (+44) 0116 251 6688
leicester@bbc.co.uk

 




About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy