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אחרי שנה שלמה של משחקי שש-בש מול ריאד אשר בלוס-אנג’לס, הוחלט שאהיה לו לעיניים, ואסע לעיר הולדתו, שכם, שם אסתובב במסלול משפחת ענבתאי, עם הדוד. זה היה הכי קרוב לטלה-פרזנס שידענו אז, לפני הטלפון הסלולרי. נמרוד ישב בחדר הפיקוד, בני משפחתו של ריאד, הגולים באירופה ודרום אמריקה, התחברו והתפלאו והתרגשו גם הם.


Ahlan.


To make a long story short:

Tuesday morning, April 6th, we went to Nablus.
Me equipped with the “TelePresence” Technology and Meir the camera man, with Naim the driver and Salim Abbas (Cicsmology Dr. and part of ICAHD – Israeli Commitee againt House dimulation).
Riyad watching from Argentina, and Nimrod giving us technical support from Tel-Aviv (more details about each of us), and some of you visitors, came with us virtually (see site access statistics from that day).

We started at 9:00 ISR time from Tel-Aviv, and arrived to Nablus around 11:00.
First stop in Nablus is at the NAJAH University, where we meet Ammo Sadeq Anabtawi, relative of Riyad and Assistant Vice President of the University.
Nablus is a beautiful city, located between hills and mountains. The University is high on the mountain, overlooking the city, so we sat at a nice caffee, and tried to establish first communication.
The atmosphere was great. Sadeq was very much excited about the technology, I was very excited too, especially after we got our first Caffe masbut and a Nargilla smoke.
Luckily, the telephone lines on the mountain were quite good (as opposed to the connection problems we had from down town), so we got conected very quickly. Imagine, Riyad who didn’t see Sadeq since he was 4 years old, is sitting virtually with us, moreover, Riyad’s father is getting connected, and this is a suprise to all.
Sadeq’s excitement is sensed in his voice greeting to Riyad (you need Quicktime 3), and so is Riyad’s voice reply to Sadeq (again, needs  QT3).

Sadeq started telling us about the huge Anabtawi family and all its branches, and we headed out to the scenery street going down the hill (note that the taxis here are yellow, reminding NYC). First stop was at the cemetary.
In the cemetary we walked through the graves of the Anabtawi family, most exciting for Riyad was his GrandPa Grave, and GreatGrandpa, and GreatGrandMa‘s graves.
Right across the street, is the house of FARID ANABTAWI, GreatGrandFather of Riyad. We see it from the cemetary, a Palestinian flag on its top.
Beautiful palace, which is now a school. It is located in the HARET AS-SUMARA neighborhood (The Semereten Area), opposite the cemetary, overlooking the city of Nablus down the hill.
After visiting and enjoying the outsides of the palace, we crossed to the next corner of that same junction, to see the the house of FAYEK ANABTAWI, GrandFather of Riyad. Here is where ADNAN ANABTAWI, Riyad’s father, grew up.

Noon time, and all the batteries need recharging. We headed to town and went to Net-House, the internet caffee located at Omar Muchtar St. in the center. We sat there with Jawad, listening to some of his stories about the high-tech situation in Nablus and the role of public places like NetCaffees in bringing up a new generation of high-tech kids.
Most exciting were Sadeq stories about his home town Lod, and about him coming back to Nablus after few years abroad.
This of course was an issue, thinking of how Riyad and many of the youngsters in the Anabtawi family are spread around the world, much detached from their home land. I couldn’t help but thinking of the characters in my novel, Digital Affair, where NN who lived in California came to be aware of his Palestinian roots, through JJ’s eyes. This gave a mistique added value to our current experience, as if it wasn’t so intensive anyway…
Now Sadeq had to get back to work, and we went wondering around the center and the market. It was colorfull and we had good vibrations from all around (opposed to our fear from hostility against Israels, and maybe because Salim and Naim were with us). By Riayad’s request, we stopped by the Knafeh swetts shop (near the family house doentown which is now ruined, as heavy reconstruction is taking place there). The guy in the Knafeh shop was welcoming, and mentioned something about knowing Riyad, or one of his brothers, from NYC. We also went into another internet caffee, the are five of them in Nablus.
We started heading back home in the early afternoon, and as we went back on the mountains, the communication got better again.
Nasser, a Highh Officer at the palestinian border, told us in his comic way about the absurd situation between Palestinians and the Israeli settlers, and later on, in one of the vlllages out of town, we met the houseowner whose house was ruined by the ISR authorities and build back by ICAHD – Israeli Commitee againt House demolition. These two interactions gave some political sense to our trip, which we later discussed thouroughly on our way back to Tel-Aviv.

This site will be updated as we start converting the filmed materials to accessible avi files.

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