When I Shout at My Daughter in Hebrew, It Reminds My Husband of Israeli Prison

I'm an Israeli lawyer, Jewish, married to a Palestinian resident of Ramallah. After years of wandering throughout the world, we returned to the West Bank with our two children, 5-year-old Forat and 2-year-old Adam. We are trying to lead ordinary lives in an extraordinary and unforgiving reality, one that I will share with you here. (click to read all previous posts). I have changed the names of people in the blog, including my own. "Umm Forat" means "Mother of Forat" in Arabic.


“Imaaa!” As usual, Forat awoke screaming. Five in the morning. I was sitting near the front door, tying my running shoes. Osama sat at the kitchen table, sipping coffee and planning his lecture for that day. He glanced at me, got up from his chair and went into our bedroom, which Forat had snuck into in the middle of the night.

“Habibti, speak quietly, please.” There was another shout and then a furious sentence in amazingly precise Arabic:

“Inta, ismak Ima?” Forat screamed. You, is your name Ima?

Osama retreated from the bedroom. We burst out laughing.

“Are you still waiting for the day when she will want to murder you and marry me?” he asked.