Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Building in Geva Benjamin Industrial Zone
Yesterday I went to see the large food factory plus events hall and a large shop, being built in the Geva Benjamin Industrial Zone. I had worked with drawings and did not realize where the thing was sited. "Arrive to East Jerusalem and I will direct you by phone" the Client had said. East Jerusalem is a maze of high bridges over precipices communicating isolated Jewish neighborhoods, and serpentine bypass roads that go up and down in the hills to avoid Arab houses, and walls and concrete blocks being moved from here to there according the United Nations decisions in New York. I totally lost my way. I went down almost to Jericho and then back to Pisgat Zeev and then to the road to Ramallah, the capital of the Palestinian authority. The soldiers in the roadblocks, mostly ugly African girls, sat chatting among themselves and could give me no directions, they had no idea at all where they were stationed. At least arrived to the Adam settlement and found the man, who take me to the building site in nearby Geva Benjamin Industrial Area. The place has a large mall with a supermarket full of religious young women and lots of veiled Arab women. The center of the area has a cement water tank, very ugly and very unprofessionally looking, I wonder who is the engineer who committed that profanation. The industrial area is being built by a private company - Rafi Levi or something - and it appears to be a large success. The place is full of cars and buyers. It is almost in Ramallah, so I presume that many of the customers are well off Palestinians. My Client, the builder, is an Sepharadi Jew who started selling confectionery in a hole in the market wall, and now is building a 3 - floor modern building. He is trying to manage it by himself, and he asked me: "Secret Water Engineer, everybody in the building business is olam ha tachton (underworld)?" He had contracted a perforating machine by the day, the machine came but the stone resulted too hard for the machine. The contractor left the machine on the site and left looking for another one. In the meanwhile the clock is running, the contract is per day on the site. The Sepharadi is desperate, he begged them to take away the machine but they left it purposefully on the building site. The Sepharadi was calling the police to evacuate the machine from his property. The project and his team was all waiting for the results. All these was happening a stone throw distance from Ramallah, in the very heart of the territories. The place was full of women buying provisions, all with young children making a pandemonium, very very busy, no one giving a damn to anyone else and totally unaware of the desperation of the Sepharadi entrepreneur. In the middle of all the noisy chaos, you could find the Water Engineer trying to understand the engineering rationale of that water tank monstrosity and taking pictures of the place. The main water pipe had the flow meter incorrectly installed, the Y filters were mounted against the current, all a chaootic and noisy Middle East bazaar 570 meters on sea level on the Benjamin mountains.