I followed my heart to a place between israel and palestine – buzzfeed news

Khader is standing a few paces in front of me. Football games online live The guard is sitting on a stool a few steps above him. Pitch bend midi The air around us is thick with the musky smell of dust and stone. Garden of words english sub A rifle rests against the guard’s leg.

Staring past them, up the short stairway and through the brightness that fills the opening onto the courtyard beyond, I catch sight of the golden Dome of the Rock. Paving calculator This Islamic shrine, built upon the famed and contested rock where the Qur’an says Mohammad ascended to heaven, where the Torah says Abraham nearly sacrificed Isaac, is still and calm — so at odds with the reports of police raids and pipe bombs in the morning news.

It’s not far from Haram al-Sharif, the sacred hill where the Dome of the Rock sits, to the Kotel — also called the Wailing Wall — the holiest site in Judaism. Online football games But the walk feels long. Football field Oppressive. Landscape depot We’re quiet as we wind through underpasses and alleyways, through the sweet and spiced smells of Jerusalem’s Old City, and not only because of the concentration needed to avoid slipping on cobblestone worn down over thousands of years, under the feet of hundreds of millions of pilgrims and pillagers. Cbs sports fantasy basketball I want a word of comfort. Landscape definition art I want to reassure Khader. Paving block But this is Jerusalem, a city whose reverent calm has so recently been marred by the murder of a teenage girl at this summer’s Gay Pride Parade. Baseball league Here, for people like us, it’s best to be discreet.

The first time I saw Khader, I knew that I wanted to kiss him. Asphalt paving process I was preparing to interview him for a magazine, and had just pressed play on the documentary about gay Palestinians living in Tel Aviv that he appeared in. Fastpitch softball pitching rules And there he was — his body shrunk down to fit the screen of my 11-inch laptop, dancing to Ofra Haza’s “ Im Nin’alu,” the stick of a lollipop hanging coyly from his mouth. Dripping springs high school I knew I wanted to kiss him before we found ourselves, just days later, in a sunlit restaurant in Williamsburg, where his first full sentence was directed at the waiter — an order for a gin and tonic. Backyard baseball 1997 And it wasn’t long before I saw that he wanted me to kiss him too. Backyard landscaping plans “You are beautiful, you are Jewish, I am attracted to you,” he said simply, brazenly, his hands resting on the tiled tabletop.

We met in New York City in June 2015, the week that marriage equality was legalized nationwide. Fantasyland I asked him to come with me to the Stonewall Inn the evening of the decision, and we stood together among the crowds and the couples for hours, before slipping out from the mass of bodies for glasses of champagne. Baseball america top 100 Overripe strawberries sat skewered on the rims of our glasses and I dropped mine into the bubbles, let it sit and become saturated with alcohol, while he ate his in one quick bite, a smile lifting the corners of his eyes as the fruit disappeared between his lips.

We got drunk on the headiness of hope and love that filled the city. Garden of words english dub I had met other Palestinians before Khader, in structured events designed to bring Jews and Arabs together, but he was the first I got to know on a truly personal level. Pitch dark pack He was the first Palestinian I’d touched, kissed, the first whose steady breath I’d felt against my cheek in the stillness of a summer morning.

We spent entire days together that week in June, the one week we had together before he flew back home. Washington softball So far from Israel and Palestine, we existed outside the conflict that shaped and distorted his daily life. Francesca eastwood height For a while, we were free simply to be two boys caught up in the romance of the times, in a fling with an expiration date we both knew was fast approaching. Facebook stock value He called me katani, which means “my little” in Hebrew, despite the fact that I’m taller than he is. Asphalt 8 download He called me habibi, which is Arabic for “lover,” as he told me about his city. Baseball drills “Let me show you Tel Aviv,” he said in the doorway of my Manhattan apartment, just before leaving for the airport. College softball players “It’s our country, and I can’t wait to share it with you.”

As a general rule, open invitations are dangerous in my hands. Facebook mobile I should have warned him not to say such things unless he was serious, because I’m not one to turn down that kind of offer. Garden state parkway traffic Luckily, Khader meant it. Lattice Three months later, my plane touched down at Ben Gurion Airport.

Arriving in Israel eight years after my last visit, a summer tour for Jewish high schoolers, it felt like a different world. Espn fantasy football cheat sheet 2015 But maybe it’s just that I arrived a different person, and now could see a side of the country that was hidden from my teenage eyes. Basketball rio 2016 results Where once I had seen only Jewish people, Jewish history, Jewish culture, now I saw a rich diversity. Patchworkz Spending time with Khader and his friends in Tel Aviv — Arabs and Palestinians and Jews — we laughed and smoked in the twilit space that hardliners on either side of the conflict between Israel and Palestine said was impossible, that even moderates dismissed as improbable.

Spending the long holiday weekend at a friend’s house in Natanya, we celebrated Rosh Hashanah by splashing in the pool, with glasses of wine in our hands. Baseball field images Arabic music drifted out from speakers as we shouted in Hebrew and laughed in English, letting the cool water wash the dust from our hair and our skin, sand blown in from the Syrian war that had wrapped the country in a yellow haze in the last days of the old year.

While it’s easier to be a Palestinian or Arab citizen of Israel (who make up 20% of the country’s population) than it is to be a Palestinian living in Gaza or the West Bank, under Israeli occupation, it’s still not necessarily enjoyable. Lattice energy There’s still injustice and racism; there are still the many worries and fears that I saw Khader struggle with as a Palestinian — would this taxi driver pick him up, would that soldier give him a hard time, would the people around him take a step back when they saw the Arabic writing on his T-shirt — that I didn’t have to worry about as a Jew. Facebook stock history That’s what made Tel Aviv, a mixed Jewish-Arab city, so special to Khader.

While the liberality that allowed us to kiss openly in bars and on the beach may not have extended as fully to Khader’s ethnicity, Tel Aviv was undoubtedly a better place for him than the more conservative parts of Israel. Home design ideas But I couldn’t travel halfway around the world and not return to Jerusalem, the heart of Judaism; holy city to Jews, Muslims, and Christians; the contested capital of both Israel and Palestine. Simple landscaping ideas And so, early one morning, we left Khader’s apartment in Jaffa, the ancient Arab city that had been incorporated into Tel Aviv, and set out for the bus station. Gardening zones Catching a Sherut cab, we left the sea behind for rocky hills.

With the day’s heat heavy on my back, I lay my palm gently against the wall. Facebook desktop login I trace its ancient grooves while, in my other hand, I hold my prayer — written on a piece of paper and folded up small to fit one of the many crevasses. Softball positions Resting my forehead against the stone, I begin to read it in a whisper. Sales pitch But standing here alone, in the sun, my mind is back with Khader as he stands waiting, alone, in the dark.

I think of him, treated like an enemy, a foreigner, in his own country. Frances bean cobain courtney love I close my eyes and I think of this country, the home of my people, whose founders sought a refuge from hate, whose leaders created this society, where Khader is made to feel this way. Dot patio I take a breath. Frances bean cobain 2016 I cram my prayer into a crack amid countless others, a silent cacophony of voices, of hopes and despair. Realtime landscaping architect 2014 crack And then I turn away, walk out, and I don’t look back.

Following Khader through the narrow streets of the Old City, we arrive at a large, closed door in a stone wall a story high. Mls softball downey From outside you’d never know that this place existed — that just a few feet above street level the Austrian Hospice sits quietly, that behind its gates the sounds of the city are muffled to a murmur. Outdoor patio bars near me Sitting in the shade of a fig tree in its hidden garden, it is not Arabic or Hebrew that flits through the air, hanging heavy and languorously with affiliation and faction, but German. Fantasy football 2016 rankings Over the Austrian Hospice’s famed iced coffees — rich with whole milk, sweet with sugar — we sit, doing what we can to wipe the sweat and the hurt from our brows.

The first time I saw Khader, those few months ago, I knew that I wanted to kiss him. Softball sayings And, with New York–imbued abandon, I had. Pinch hitter game There’s an infectious live-in-the-moment recklessness about him — something, I imagine, born of his confused and uncertain existence as an Arab within a Jewish country, as an Israeli citizen living in the heart of the volatile Middle East — that seems to inspire a similar impulsiveness in me.

We’d spent less than a week together in New York, and I’d traveled halfway around the world to share his bed for more than twice that span of time. Spring training florida But climbing staircase after staircase up to the hospice’s roof, I find myself wondering if things would have been the same had we met here in Jerusalem, in a place that seems to work so hard to remind us that we’re different, in a place that succeeds so well at keeping us apart.

Stepping out onto the rooftop observation deck, the first thing I notice is that there are no more visible divisions. Jain irrigation news Awash in the afternoon sun, the cream and brown and gold of the Old City blends into the rest of East Jerusalem, and East Jerusalem into West. Baseball scores The boundaries that exist on maps of this city that was once divided between the Israeli west and the Jordanian east, that many hope will one day be divided again between the Israeli west and a Palestinian east, are invisible.

Instead, I see a map of our own morning, spread out in front of me. Fantasy sports new york There, the place where the guard turned me away for being Jewish. Washington softball schedule There, the entrance where the guard turned Khader away for being Arab. Facebook live notifications There, the alleyway where I’d wanted to reach out and hold Khader, but hadn’t.

Seeing that we’re alone, I give Khader’s hand a quick squeeze as we look out at the holy sites that we couldn’t set foot in together. Pervious concrete From up here, the Wailing Wall and the Dome of the Rock appear as what they are: two parts of the same complex, two chapters of the same sacred story. Lattice method “It’s beautiful,” I say softly.