Jamal Maraqa

I went to England to study as a jeweler for three or four years. Afterwards, I came back and settled down. I have a nice family, two sons and a daughter. My daughter is 29, and my sons are 28 and 24. My sons both do civil engineering–one of them works with the CCC and the other is a university teacher. My daughter finished her master’s in mathematics. They are really good kids. I’m spending all my time in this store, but in a way, I am retired now that they are fully independent. I’ve been coming to this market for at least 50 years to join my father at his business. We would come down from the house to pick up things for my mother. Everyone from all over the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as Bedouin villagers, used to come every morning to this market to collect whatever they needed, pray in the Ibrahami mosque, and leave in the evening. Today, we like people to come down and to see things here, because the media is not on our side. They call us a lot of bad things: terrorists, vicious, bad people. We are not like that. To be honest, we are fully educated, polite people; we don’t do anyone any harm. We want people to come down and witness things themselves.

- Jamal Maraqa