Israelis Tell Him to Go to Gaza, Palestinians Call Him a Collaborator: The Life of a Stateless Jerusalem Reporter

Born in East Jerusalem, he’s stateless and didn’t know a word of Hebrew until five years ago. But then Suleiman Maswadeh, who spoke to Haaretz before the flare-up in Gaza, decided he wanted to succeed. Today he’s the Israeli public broadcaster’s correspondent in Jerusalem

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Suleiman Maswadeh.
Suleiman Maswadeh.Credit: Emil Salman
Ayelett Shani
Ayelett Shani

Tell me a little about yourself.

I’m 25, and I was born and raised in the Muslim Quarter of [the Old City of] Jerusalem. My father is a truck driver, my mother is a housewife. I’m the eldest; I have six sisters. We’ve always lived together, the whole extended family – I don’t want to say in poverty, but modestly. A simple life. No restaurants, no traveling. Actually, we did go to Mecca a few times – by bus.

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