neighbouhood

When you live in a bad neighborhood there are some issues that you have to consider in your everyday life.

Is it safe to go outside at night ?

Is it safe to go outside any time ?

How will you see that no bully is going to hit you because you look different or act different ?

How will you act in order to survive the gangs that will come after you just because they believe you are more successful than they are ?

How will you keep on your daily life and the necessary routine, go to work and go to school,  when there are many dangers everywhere and you cannot know when it will break out next time ?

Will you call the cups ? Well, if the cups were doing well it wouldn''t have been a bad neighborhood…

Will you call your older brothers ? Sometimes it can be done but this cannot be the solution any time. Your older brothers have also their enemies to take care of. You have to be able to protect yourself.

And then again, you don''t want to become another bully or a gang man yourself, you want to have decent good life even if you live in the bad neighborhood.

This is your right. You were born there, this is your home and this is where your whole life is. You will never move to a better neighborhood, even if it is much easier there. And if you''ll move, will it make the neighborhood any better ?

Even if you are a very strong guy, you always have your soft points and the bad guys already know them, so they will try to hit you there.

Even if you are very strong and you had hit them once or twice, think you taught them a lesson; they will still come for you again and again.

They will throw stones at your window time after time. You will catch them after the first times but then you will understand that you cannot chase them every time, so you will change the windows to plastic so it won''t break.

Now you don''t have to chase them every time. But they try you again. Now they throw bigger stones and you have to come with a better idea.

Meanwhile, the neighbors from the peaceful neighborhoods around you see the fighting in your area and they are worrying: those fighting will get their properties prices down.

When it keeps on this way for a long time they demand that you will find the way to finish it all immediately. They don''t understand why you are fighting so much. After all, in their neighborhoods everyone is very polite to each other and life is very easy. Why do they have to listen to the shootings every night ? They are worried that the violence will slowly creep to their area and houses.

But you live in the bad neighborhood. You know that things are much more complicated. You know that it is very hard for them to understand it because they never had lived in this neighborhood. They don''t speak the language. They don''t know how it works. And what''s funny is that they are quite right about it, but what can you do when no one wants to listen and the situation is so bad for already so many years ?

When the gangs hear the people from some penthouses on the good neighborhoods asking you kindly to leave the neighborhood it gives them the courage to try and kick you out. They will try to de-legitimate you as you are different and they will say you don''t belong there. They will say that you are the reason for all their problems, although if you will check the numbers, the gangs are fighting with their people much more then with you.

Life in the bad neighborhood is not easy but you really try to make a change as much as you can. You know that everything is about education and economy and that it will take many years for the bad neighborhood to become a better neighborhood; but you are willing to pay the price. After all, this is your home and among the neighbors in your neighborhood there are many other neighbors who want to have better life just like you do.

One day, if you will not kill each other by then, this east side neighborhood or actually this middle-east side neighborhood will become a better place. Until then, we will do our best to keep the flames down. We wish our self good luck. We sure need it.

Chami Zemach

The Israeli Family Project


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