Meet the Palestinian family who have tended the graves of our war dead for 60 years

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Meet the Palestinian family who have tended the graves of our war dead for 60 years

Post by Thorin on Sat May 13, 2017 10:32 am

Whenever he spends a day with the dead, which is often, Ibrahim Jaradah dresses with care. Sometimes he wears a shirt and smart trousers. Other times, it’s the navy suit he wore to propose to his girlfriend last year. His brown shoes are always immaculately buffed. The dead, of course, are in no position to judge. Even so, Jaradah has never thought of wearing anything else to this cemetery, which he has known for all of his 26 years, and where he now works. ‘I must offer them respect,’ he says, by way of explanation. ‘My boots should always be clean.’

Besides, there’s the family name to think about. His father, Essam, and his uncle, Muhammad, had already been working here for decades before Jaradah got his contract last month. And, before them, Jaradah’s grandfather – Ibrahim Sr – ran the show. Next year, there will have been Jaradahs in charge here for almost 60 years.

Ibrahim Jr, who was born in the family home, next to the cemetery (as were his father and uncle), feels the weight of expectations. ‘It’s a very big responsibility,’ he admits. Each of the 900 gardeners who work in all corners of the world for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission feels a similar responsibility. Their task – to honour the dead of the First and Second World Wars where they fell – is a delicate one. 

Few, though, must handle it more delicately than the Jaradahs of Gaza, whose mission – passed down from father to son for six decades now – has been to care for a war cemetery in what often remains a war zone. There was the time a mob armed with Kalashnikovs burst into the cemetery to protest the mistreatment by coalition soldiers of prisoners at Abu Ghraib in Iraq.

At this point I do not know what is worse.
A person who is full of envy spreading rumours and lies.
Or the people with not enough education or common sense who believe them.

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Re: Meet the Palestinian family who have tended the graves of our war dead for 60 years

Post by nicko on Sat May 13, 2017 4:39 pm

Good on him !!

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