Checkpoints: My brother’s birth story is the most eventful

My mom felt the baby coming around midnight. My dad was ready, the drive to the hospital was only forty minutes if he took the direct route, but he took mountain backroads in order to avoid Israeli checkpoints. In no time they were on coastal Mediterranean road, only twenty minutes from the hospital. My mom was okay, and my brother was getting really ready. Then, there was an Israeli checkpoint.

The soldiers spoke neither Arabic nor French, the languages my dad speaks. They did speak English, the language my mom speaks, but she was in active labor at that point, so English benefited no one there. They had them step out of the car and searched the car. Then a bright searchlight shined on the car, from a nearby mountain top. My mom now was really in labor, so the soldiers let them back in the car, but they decided to accompany them. My dad sped to the hospital, with Israeli armored cars in front of and behind them, and a bright searchlight focused on their car. They made it on time, the Israelis turned around near the hospital entrance and my brother arrived safely to a doctor’s hands.

Twenty two years later, the phone rings in Beirut. I pick up.

“Hi, I am Tamar, you are accepted to NYU! I can’t wait to meet you! I am from Israel.”

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