Photos by JC-Tordai, 2010
The family home of Amjad and Asma’ Taryaki and their three children was demolished in 2009.
Shortly after, Amjad told us: ❝On 12 October 2009, at 7:30 in the morning, while my wife was taking the children to school and I was still sleeping, the Border Police woke me up and ordered me to get out.
❝When my wife came back and saw all the police and the bulldozer she knew what was happening.
❝The police wouldn’t let her enter the yard and she started panicking, thinking that I was sleeping while our house was being demolished.
❝She knew that the pills I take for my heart condition make me fall into a very deep sleep. She tried to call me but the police had confiscated my mobile phone…
❝[W]e had an emotional breakdown. The hardest thing was to protect our children. The youngest of them, Tasneem, wet her pants while watching the demolition.
❝Our son, when he came back from school, was asking about his chocolate which was buried in the rubble. He is having a very hard time recovering from the shock and I’m afraid he’ll lose this school year…
❝[W]e put up a tent in the yard and spent a month and a half there, but as winter was approaching it got very cold.❞
UNRWA video showing the demolition of Taryaki's home, 2010
Amjad added: ❝One night we decided we couldn’t go on like this any longer and took the children to my brother. Since then, we’ve been going from relative to relative, and sometimes we split the family up as we can’t all fit into one house.
❝My wife was suffering from the lack of privacy and, as there were constantly a lot of people around her, she always had to wear her hijab.
❝The rubble from the demolition is still here, but getting a bulldozer to remove it requires a permit, and is very costly. Next to our house there is a little wooden stable where my brother keeps his horse. The police didn’t demolish that. I feel that animals are treated better than human beings.
❝Three months ago, we decided to build a small wooden room on the site where our house was located. We’ve put some mattresses and a little TV there.
❝This Saturday we’ll bring some of the furniture that survived the demolition from my wife’s sister’s house. We’re also building a little bathroom next to the room. Our cooking stove is outside but mostly our families provide us with food.
❝If our new shelter is demolished, we will build it again. We have nowhere else to go and no money to rent anywhere else.❞