To be a white woman living in the Middle East can be challenging at times.
We arrived home around 7 pm. At 8:30 both my kids were ready to enjoy their social lives and were dying to get out, see their friends and have fun. Who can blame them? I would be doing the same if I were their age, and had their energy...
Anita went to a friend's house, not too far. Lia decided her trip HAD to be longer, and she crossed the country ( about 30 min) to meet her friends.
Our watchman is a wonderful guy and he is often driving our kids. It costs more or less the same as a taxi would, he drives my car ( which is safer) and we know he is a good, careful driver. And he is reliable.
We called him, and made all arrangements. He would drop them both off, then pick up Lia. Anita would come home with another driver, because she was near by. Both girls would be home by 11pm.
Anita called and negotiated a later curfew, got hers extended to 11:30pm.
At 11:45 none of them were home and I was getting grumpy. I called Anita whoa ssured me her taxi was late, but she was coming home soon. Lia did not have her phone on her - her sim card was under her dad's care ( God knows where).
10 more minutes and the phone rings. Our watchman sounded stressed:
- Boss, problem. Accident. You need come here.
- Is everything OK? Is anyone hurt?
- Problem. Mina Salman traffic lights. Come now.
Fabio jumps off the bed and starts getting ready. i decide to go wearing my giraffe pijamas. There is no time to change.
- Inaie, you better change. We may have to talk to the police.Amram does not want to give me details, he is not talking about injuries...
I put some clothes on and run for the car. On my way down I have an idea:
- Amram. Inaie here.Put Lia on the phone.
- Lia not here
my heart sinks...
- Lia not pick up yet.
my heart sings...
Amram is talking, Lia was not there at the time of the accident. We only need to find out if there were other people involved and if someone is hurt.
Fabio drove at 100 km/h. Cars were overtaking us fast and furious from right and left. If we were above speed limit, how fast were those cars going?
When we got there, we saw 4 police cars with lights on, and my car - on the middle of the road. No other cars. Amram standing ( Thank God) with the police.
- Hello! That's my car. What happened? What is happening?
No one replied, no one talked to me, until two men weaing thobes ( arabs probably) came around and told me they were witnesses and a drunk gentleman run in front of the car, not giving time for Amram to stop or avoid the hit.
I was terrified to learn there was no other car. A pedestrian had hit my car - and the damage was quite extensive to the vehicle (i could only think what had happened to the man).
I tried to talk to the police a couple of times, but they just ignored me. At some point they asked Amram to come and get the insurance card from me and that was about all the interaction that took place with us.
We stayed there, standing on the side of the road, watching the police take measurements, pictures and do their jobs. Then they told Amram he had to take the car to the police station.
The man just had an accident - I wanted to drive the car, to spare him from the stress, but when we tried to join him, the police just said:
- I already told you you do not need anyone with you. send them home. you come alone...
Fabio and I were told to leave the scene, go home and that was all what it was to it.
I tried to ask questions, no one bothered to reply. They only told me my car would be there for a couple of days. They would call me if they needed anything. I tried to figure out what was going to happen with Amram, no one replied.
In the car, fabio and I were as silent as one can be.
Things were rushing in my head. Amram has a new born baby. What happened to the pedestrian? What will happen to Amram? What can we do? Who can we call? Do we know any lawyers? Is he going to be in jail? What now? What now?
I got home, went straight to Amram's home. His wife does not speak English. She openned the door and said:
I tried to explain, she broke into tears. When I looked inside the small room, her gorgeous baby was fast asleep, looking like an angel. My heat sunk.
I called Amram and asked him to talk to her. I offered to help, to stay with her, to do whatever was necessary. They did not say what I could do to make things better, i could not think about anything. It was 1 am.
I went home. Fabio was talking to our landlord ( Amram's formal boss and his sponsor in the country), to Amram, to the landlord again. After a while it became clear that it would be better if Fabio and the landlord went to the police station.
I offered to go. The car is under my name. Both men decided I could not help and it was better to stay home. Woman, white, Middle East? I am nothing. I can do nothing.
The landlord was worried Amram would spend the night in jail, and being Thursday, the chances of releasing him on Friday would also be very slim. he would probably be there for a couple of nights.
His wife alone with a new born.Life upside down.Too many doubts. Too much fear...
Thank God the pedestrian was not in intensive care - Amram did not have a drop of alcohol in his system and he had witnesses. Fabio and our landlord brough him home.
He is now with his family. His wife is probably feeling much better. Lia came home with a friend and I am grateful Fabio took care of everything. All in all, it could have been much, much worse.
Há um dia