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Aya and Hisham

Aya, who lives in Kibbutz Be'eri, got up early on the Shabbat of Simchat Torah. How early? At 6 AM. Aya really likes these hours; this is her private time that she dedicates to cycling in nature.

But that Shabbat, Aya didn’t manage to ride too far, as the red alert sirens broke the silence. Her phone rang; it was her husband saying that she had to return home. Aya turned towards the kibbutz gate, and then she heard some workers calling out to her: “Don't come in here, there are terrorists here!” She started running and running until she found a hiding place in the bushes along with a guy named Hisham.

Hisham is Bedouin and lives in the settlement of Rahat. Aya and Hisham spoke in whispers. They knew that the terrorists did not distinguish between Jews and Bedouins. They wanted to hurt all Israelis. Hisham called his father Ismaeel, and whispered: "Help us. We are hiding." His father and uncle immediately set out for Kibbutz Be’eri. On the way they saw many young people running away from the shootings, and even though they were in a great hurry, they took them in their car and evacuated them to safety.

Hisham and Aya waited. When Ismaeel arrived, they jumped into the car, and they sped away. Suddenly a military jeep appeared in front of them. The soldiers saw Aya in the car with Ismaeel. They drew their weapons at them. "Don't shoot! We came to help! We are Israelis!" Hisham and his father shouted. Aya stepped out of the car. "We are from Israel!" she called out to the soldiers. The soldiers then escorted her to a bus that would take her to a hotel in the Dead Sea with all the evacuees from her kibbutz, including her husband and children.

Aya's phone rang: "Aya, look out the window!" Hisham's voice said. Aya looked out of the bus window and saw Hisham and his father's car driving alongside the bus.

"You are not alone", they said "we will drive with you until you get to the hotel". And so it was. Aya traveled by bus and Hisham and Ismaeel accompanied her with their car, as if to continue together on this unforeseen journey .


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